The authors present a powerful and tested approach that helps managers see a business’s every action through the eyes of its customers. This approach is organized around the values that matter most to customers: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility and Awareness. Taken together, these attributes are called the “4A’s.” The 4A framework derives from a customer-value perspective based on the four distinct roles that customers play in the market: seekers, selectors, payers and users. For a marketing campaign to succeed, it must achieve high marks on all four A’s, using a blend of marketing and non-marketing resources.
The 4A framework helps companies create value for customers by identifying exactly what they want and need, as well as by uncovering new wants and needs. (For example, none of us knew we “needed” an iPad until Apple created it.) That means not only ensuring that customers are aware of the product, but also ensuring that the product is affordable, accessible and acceptable to them.
Throughout this book, the authors demonstrate how looking at the world through the 4A lens helps companies avoid marketing myopia (an excessive focus on the product) as well as managerial myopia (an excessive focus on process). In fact, it is a powerful way to operationalize the marketing concept; it enables managers to look at the world through the customer’s eyes. This ability has become an absolute necessity for success in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.
About the Author
He is known nationally and internationally for his scholarly contributions in consumer behavior, relationship marketing, competitive strategy, and geopolitical analysis. Professor Sheth has over 50 years of combined experience in teaching and research at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois, Columbia University, MIT, and Emory University.
Throughout his career, Professor Sheth has offered hundreds of presentations in at least 20 countries. He has also provided consulting for numerous companies in the United States, Europe and Asia. His client list includes AT&T, BellSouth, Cox Communications, Delta, Ernst & Young, Ford, GE, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel, Pillsbury, Sprint, Square D, 3M, Whirlpool, and others. Professor Sheth has also served on the Board of Directors of several public companies including Norstan, Cryo Cell International, and Wipro Limited.
Professor Sheth’s accolades include “Outstanding Marketing Educator,” an award presented by the Academy of Marketing Science, and the “Outstanding Educator” award twice-presented by Sales and Marketing Executives International. Professor Sheth is also the recipient of all four top awards given by the American Marketing Association: the Richard D. Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award, the P.D. Converse Award for outstanding contributions to theory in marketing, and the William Wilkie Award for marketing for a better society.
Professor Sheth is a Distinguished Fellow of the Academy of Marketing Science, Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and a recipient of a Distinguished Fellow award from the International Engineering Consortium. He has authored or coauthored several hundreds of articles and several books including Clients for Life, Tectonic Shift, Firms of Endearment, Chindia Rising, The 4 As of Marketing, Breakout Strategies for Emerging Markets.