Chapter 4

The Ever Changing Customer and Strategic Planning

The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

—Peter F. Drucker

Customers have come a long way from being told to take-it-or-leave-it by mid-20th century sellers to where they are now included as partners in a “customer–supplier” relationship. Part of the change can be explained by the unprecedented rise in the standard of living, but more importantly it is due the profound effect of the Information Age and all its dazzling infrastructure. We have seen a literal explosion of information in the public domain that has enabled customers to be more knowledgeable about their options than at any other time in civilized history.

Not only has the marketing effort moved from a mass ...

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