22 DARDEN IDEAS TO ACTION
THE WHO AND HOW OF WOOING CUSTOMERS Darden Professor Rajkumar Venkatesan’s ultimate goal is to find profitable customers. He seeks to determine the behavior of customers: What do they buy, what are their attitudes and what might they buy?
“Think of me as a treasure hunter. I see in the data some clues to the map — it’s about how customers behave. The data gives me some clues. I put the clues together,” says Venkatesan. “I get a partial picture of customer behavior and also motivation, and I use that to project what the customer profit would be, given what I know about how customers react and what their preferences are.” In a nutshell, he has formulated a model to develop customer-centric marketing strategies that provide measurable financial results. His book Cutting-Edge Marketing Analytics: Real-World Cases and Data Sets for Hands-On Learning will be published in July 2014. His co-authors are Darden Professors Paul Farris and Ron Wilcox.
Seeing Customers Across All Dimensions Marketing used to be more art than science, Venkatesan says. But with the advent of point-of-sale scanners and the use of loyalty cards and credit cards, data started pouring in. Firms began using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and technologies to capture what customers bought and when. “Now you can see a customer across all the dimensions, which was not possible before,” says Venkatesan. More firms today are also mining the Internet — Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms and blogs
Faculty Research from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Spring 2014