Real Time: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satistied Customer

Regis McKenna, Author Harvard Business School Press $24.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-87584-794-8
McKenna, chairman of the Palo Alto, Calif., marketing and management firm that bears his name, presents a convincing theory that today's rapidly changing technology means that all companies must rethink their entire approach to their customers and clients. ""Real time,"" says McKenna, ""occurs when time and distance vanish, when action and response are simultaneous."" For example, a consumer inserts a card into an ATM machine and draws money from an account across the world; someone else orders a book via the Web and receives confirmation in seconds. As technological advancements continue, people will become increasingly impatient if they're not given a wide array of almost instantaneous options. Says McKenna, ""real time management... calls for the intimate and immediate interconnection of marketing, production development, engineering, and manufacturing--in fact, of every sphere of an organization's activity."" Not only should corporations listen to their customer's needs and desires, the internal communication within corporations should be redesigned so that everyone focuses on that end goal. McKenna cites examples of companies that have already adapted: FedEx allows customers to track packages on line; Microsoft managers are required to listen to and try to incorporate customer comments into new products. McKenna (Who Is Afraid of Big Blue?) has written a manifesto for marketers, customer-service employees and managers in general. In an accessible and convincing manner, he explains why--and shows how--corporations must use these technological advancements to compete in today's marketplace. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-87584-934-8
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