for Customer Value & Business Growth

Tag: customer experience

Why every Marketer should consider an E/MBA

From ‘dream’ to ‘done’: a next milestone achieved! – Last Saturday the mailman delivered a long desired certificate, my Executive MBA (with honours) degree.

As a B2B marketer, I see CX-centricity as a key competitive differentiator and growth marketing enabler. A truly customer centric organization involves all business disciplines and cannot be realize by marketing alone. During my career I have seen marketing more than once to be restricted or even isolated due to lack of good strategy, historical decisions, insufficient funding and suboptimal integration with other business functions. While expectations were high and everyone had an opinion on how to do marketing, the setup and conditions to be successful were only partly in place, causing a big dilemma. For this reason I wanted a deeper understanding all the aspects of a businesses required to be organized around customer, to fully embed marketing and to enable maximal growth and business result. My journey started in September 2021 when signed up for the Quantic EMBA 42D cohort which ran from January 2022 to March 2023. And it was more than worth every minute and penny invested; not only did I learn a lot, I also met tremendously interested and motived fellow students and got access to a great alumni network.

A giant thank you to my personal coach and spouse Caroline van den Berg-Kuehn, who with our two small boys had to miss me many evenings and Saturdays. During the EMBA year she not only gave birth to our second child but also started her own Personal Communications business. With her background in vocal performance and teaching, I can recommend her to all Quantic students and alumni to improve their online and face-to-face presence, presentation and communication, see

A big thank you to my team mates at our Capstone Project on Sustainable Product Design Tarun Gupta, Bogdan Merza and Prechard Mhako, of the different project groups Ahmed ElGedwany (Gado), Abdullahi Muhammed, Teodor Parvanov, Evelyn Shumba and to my fellow board members at the Quantic Sustainability Group Theresa Reichlin, Alessandra Caggiano, Anirudh Kshemendranath, Ines Garcia, Cath Witten, Meghan Doffing, TJ Tweddle and Kelly Stafford.

And finally a big compliment for the Quantic School of Business and Technology leadership for the vision, courage and skills to set up a model that is truly global and disruptive. Its pure online setup and cost effectiveness make the E/MBA program accessible to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity. For me as an engaged father of two young kids, this was the best and probably only opportunity to completing an EMBA. And meeting ‘the world’ is truly enriching and exciting. Quantic though founded less then 10 years ago, has a vibrant network of almost 20.000 alumni and an endless calendar of events, accessible forever through the Quantic app. A special thanks to Grace Liaw for managing our cohort in a wonderful way!

Highly recommended to all marketers and non-marketers who want to make the best of their discipline.


The Quantic EMBA curriculum consists of a core part and of specialization course. The core curriculum consists of Accounting, Markets & Economies, Finance, Leading Organizations, Strategy, Data and Decisions, Marketing and Pricing, and Supply Chain & Operations. As specialisation course I choose Strategic Leadership, Start-up Entrepreneurship, Strategic Thinking and Business Communcations.

Capstone project

The highlight of an EMBA study is the capstone project, where a viable business plan that include the knewly obtained knowledge is included. Having done marketing consulting in the Systems Engineering world and as a board member of the Quantic Sustainability student Group, I got interested in sustainable product design and formed a four person project group.

Customers, investors and regulators increasingly demand that manufacturers pursue sustainable strategies. While the transformations to renewable energy for production and transportation and to recyclable packaging have gained momentum, it is still difficult to minimize the environmental impact of product design, to do so right from the start in the concept phase, to avoid the lock-in trap, and to do so in a cost-effective manner.

What is the environmental impact ‘lock-in’ trap? Sustainability is often not well embedded into business processes, as they date back to a time when decision criteria were centered around product functionality and profitability. Suboptimal decisions during the early stages of product design and development causes a cumulative lock-in, where it is increasingly complex and expensive to make changes: 80% of the sustainability impact is determined in the conceptual and detailed design phase.

We came up with a business idea for Agile Sustainable Concept Assessment (ASCA) consulting with a three-pillar offering consisting of a unique methodology, intensive moderation and evidence collection in a knowledge data lake (KDL). ASCA uses new, transparent and agile assessment methodology that is based on a relatively simple mathematical model with 5 metrics and 24 attributes, based on a weighting model developed 2021 by Ji Han, Pingfei Jiang and Peter R. N. Childs. It is agile as it allows to quickly change parameters and immediately show the environmental impact change. It includes inputs from all relevant stakeholders with both internal and external data sources. To avoid personal bias of certain characters, intensive assessment moderation with adequate social guidance is a key part of the offering. To analyze, understand and predict the environmental impact of product scenarios, the consulting is supported by a knowledge data lake (KDL) with machine learning capabilities (ML) and a cloud application as interface.

Marketing and Market Intelligence: what is it all about?

The definitions of what Marketing and Market Intelligence include and what not, show a great variation and are sometimes not that clear. In the below article, Philip van den Berg shares his thoughts about this topic, where the two overlap each other, and for both provides a definition, that he thinks works best.

A great variety of Marketing definitions

Definitions of Marketing range from narrow ones, limiting it to planning and executing promotional activities, to broader ones, that include applying the complete marketing mix, exploring potential customer needs and defining the go-to-market strategy. Some discussions on the definition of what Marketing covers even want to include Sales into it. Originally Marketing was a company-centric term that tried to order market opportunities, customers and partners around the own organization. For a selection of definitions, see the list below.

In the last decade the maturation of e-commerce has shifted marketing towards Customer Experience, Loyalty and Advocacy. Consequently, attempts have started, to more successfully organize the company and its partners around the customer, in order to interact at all points of the Customer Journey. Direct customer-vendor touch-points concern not only Marketing but also Sales and Services. Indirect touch-points include partners, regulators, customer advocates, and other external and internal stakeholders. To ensure consistency and effectiveness in Customer Satisfaction and serving stakeholders, Marketing needs to cover all these groups within the own organization and in its ecosystem.

A comprehensive definition of Marketing

With the above in mind, I have come to this definition of what Marketing is:

Marketing is the discipline that, across the different functions of the organization and its ecosystem that have direct or indirect customer touch-points, aims to deliver exceptional customer experience and customer value, that attract and retain customers and create customer advocates by:

a) ensuring full understanding of the market potential, the customer needs, and competition
b) delivering the strategy and the plan of how to profitably realize that potential and fulfill those needs
c) executing the strategy and plan in an agile way, while reporting progress and final results

How about Market Intelligence?

Market Intelligence is the discipline that gathers, organizes, and analyses external data and delivers insights with the aim of supporting strategic or tactical decisions. It is an umbrella term that covers markets, competition, and customers. Intelligence of Markets, Customer Intelligence, and Competitive Intelligence use data to create insights. Therefore the term Market Insights would be better. For the best insights, external Market Intelligence should be combined with internal Business Intelligence.

Dax Sorrenti defines Customer Data as ‘the raw material of information about customers.’, Customer Intelligence as ‘the holistic and flexible understanding of customers that comes from gathering, contextualizing and analyzing data.’ and Customer Insights as ‘the deep understanding of customers that comes from gathering, analyzing and synthesizing customer intelligence. Insight goes beyond the “who”, “what”, “when” and “where” to tell us “why” customers behave as they do, guiding better business decisions and delivering results.'[1]

The number of definitions on Market Intelligence is much smaller than those on Marketing (see some definitions below), but all agree that its scope is quite wide. It includes gaining knowledge and insights on markets and market players in all areas. Market players include competing vendors, customers, partners, suppliers, government and regulators. Market Research, Marketing Intelligence, and customer feedback or reviews may all be seen as part of Market Intelligence. Therefore there is a big overlap in the areas covered by Marketing and by Market Intelligence.

A definition of Market Intelligence

These observations about Market Intelligence have led me to define Market Intelligence as follows:

Market Intelligence is the discipline that, across the different functions of the organization, aims to deliver meaningful insights for strategic, operational and tactical decision making, that allow delivering exceptional customer experience and customers value, outperform competition and bring structural business value and profitability.

Let me know if you have another view, have additions or simply agree!

Marketing Definitions

Philip Kotler: Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services .. .. the most important concepts of marketing .. are: segmentation, targeting, positioning, needs, wants, demand, offerings, brands, value and satisfaction, exchange, transactions, relationships and networks, marketing channels, supply chain, competition, the marketing environment, and marketing programs. These terms make up the working vocabulary of the marketing professional. Marketing’s key processes are: (1) opportunity identification, (2) new product development, (3) customer attraction, (4) customer retention and loyalty building, and (5) order fulfillment. A company that handles all of these processes well will normally enjoy success. But when a company fails at any one of these processes, it will not survive. [2]

Matt Blumberg: Marketing when done well is (a) the strategy of the business – its value proposition, go to market strategy, and brand positioning and image to the world. … Marketing in the twenty-first century must be (c) largely, but not entirely, measurable and accountable around driving business goals. Marketing when done brilliantly is driven by (a) includes a small, disciplined subset of (b), and is steeped in a culture of (c). [3]

Hubspot: Marketing is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and understanding your ideal customer’s interests. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising. [4]

AMA (American Marketing Association): Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. [5]

Market Intelligence definitions

Elli Mirman: Good market intelligence requires getting a complete view of a market, from marketing campaigns to product details to hiring activities. This includes: News: the latest announcements and mentions in the news, Team Intelligence: including job openings, employee reviews, and key leadership changes, Product Intelligence: product and pricing details, whether from product pages, help sites, app store updates, or other sources on or off a company’s website, Discussions: unfiltered discussions and feedback from customers and prospects on solutions they’ve tried, Marketing Intelligence: including content marketing, social media campaigns, and promotions across channels. [6]

KPMG: Market intelligence is the process of gathering, organising, managing, digesting, and finally delivering information with the aim of supporting a decision. … The scope of what market intelligence encompasses will vary from company to company, for example covering strategy, marketing, technology or other areas. We take a broad view of this scope, believing that companies’ needs and cultures vary widely, and therefore different organisations may benefit from different approaches to market intelligence. … Market intelligence covers one, some, or all of these topics (non-exhaustive list): regulatory changes, news, companies/competitors, technology trends. Depending on which topics it encompasses, market intelligence is also sometimes called competitive intelligence or marketing intelligence. Generally speaking, these functions are alike in technique, but pursue different goals. [7]

Adi Bhat: Market intelligence is defined as the information or data that is derived by an organization from the market it operates in or wants to operate in, to help determine market segmentation, market penetration, market opportunity, and existing market metrics. Market intelligence is a vital aspect to understand the state of the market, as well as helps collect competitor intelligence which in turn aids towards becoming profitable. … Market intelligence gathers data externally providing you a holistic view of the entire market and not just your organization. However, incorporating market intelligence with business intelligence processes will enable a company to have a holistic view of the ongoing corporate performance in specific market conditions. .. Market intelligence is closely associated with market research and can be explained in three simple parts as follows: Competitor Intelligence, Product Intelligence, Market understanding. [8]










Driving purchase behaviour and customer loyalty

I have always been fascinated by what drives purchase behaviour and customer loyalty. Whether it was at the local dairy shop and the mobile supermarket, that I as a little boy visited with my mum, or at today’s rapidly growing high tech brands that are disrupting the world. What value, what experience do they bring, to make customers buy, become engaging, become and become advocates.

Analysing the market, building the right strategy, AI driven predictive analytics to ensure success and executing on it. … Marketing for Customer & Business Value … Optimizing Marketing & Sales Performance ..

These are the topics that drive my curiosity, that I like to drive and that I want to share about on this marketing blog.

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