Peter Fader – Professor of Marketing, Wharton School [interview]

“There are companies that just feel: if we throw enough money at it, if we hire enough smart people they will figure out what to do with the data. No, that’s not the way to go.”

Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton School, talks to Daniel Waisberg about his newest book and about the work he has been doing to bring academics closer to industry practitioners and vice versa.

Peter starts by talking about the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, a new research center he co-directs that serves as a “matchmaker” between leading-edge academic researchers and top companies that depend on granular, customer-level data for key strategic decisions.

He then speaks about his newest book, Customer Centricity Essentials: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It Matters. According to him:

“I wanted to make sure that companies understand what customer centricity is; I am not necessarily pushing them to become customer centric but I would like them to make an active, a smart, a well informed decision of what it is and therefore whether to do it. And then to worry about the implementation steps.”

Professor Fader discusses the gap between academic researchers and industry practitioners which, according to him, is getting wider than ever. Both the industry and academics are getting over-specialized: researchers are working on highly theoretical problems and practitioners are going sometimes on the wrong direction by surrounding themselves with data and technology and not necessarily asking the right questions. This gap will be closed through education, as professors change their curriculums to adapt to the new world and the new generation of PhDs start teaching on universities.

Watch Peter Fader recent presentation: Customer Analytics Definition & Case

Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton School

Peter FaderPeter S. Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities. He works with firms from a wide range of industries, such as consumer packaged goods, interactive media, financial services, retailing, and pharmaceuticals. Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains.

Professor Fader believes that marketing should not be viewed as a “soft” discipline, and he frequently works with different companies and industry associations to improve managerial perspectives in this regard. His work has been published in (and he serves on the editorial boards of) a number of leading journals in marketing, statistics, and the management sciences. He has won many awards for his teaching and research accomplishments.

Daniel Waisberg

Daniel Waisberg is the Owner of Conversion Journey, a consultancy that provides insights on improving the performance of websites. He is also the founder & Editor of Online Behavior. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and member of the Advisory Council of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @danielwaisberg.