Putting Your Customer At the Center:
Unleashing Your Company's Profitable Growth Potential

Larry Selden
Selden & Associates
Geoffrey Colvin
Fortune Magazine

Virtually every company we meet these days claims to be customer-centric newspapers included.

Yet these companies' managers moan about declining customer loyalty, oppressive competitive price pressures, and the difficulty of attracting lots of new customers. It's clear their customers don't think these companies are customer-centric and, in truth, senior managers often talk about their customers as if they were some homogeneous blob.

The key to being truly customer-centric really putting customers at the center of your newspaper and growing profitably is not to view customers holistically but rather to view them as groups with very different needs. Your customers want to be treated in ways that meet their specific needs rather than in ways in that happen to be convenient for management, or low cost, or amenable to existing information systems. (See Figure 1.)