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The Customer Centricity Playbook

Implement a Winning Strategy Driven by Customer Lifetime Value

Peter Fader and Sarah Toms

2019 Axiom Business Book Award Winner

Featured in Forbes, NPR’s Marketplace, and a Google Talk, The Customer Centricity Playbook offers “actionable insights to drive immediate value,” according to Neil Hoyne, Head of Customer Analytics and Chief Analytics Evangelist, Google.

How did global gaming company Electronic Arts go from being named “Worst Company in America” to clearing a billion dollars in profit?

They discovered a simple truth—and acted on it: Not all customers are the same, regardless of how they appear on the surface. The most successful companies, from Amazon to Best Buy, understand their best customers are their most valuable asset, and they tailor their acquisition, development, and retention efforts to those customers.

In The Customer Centricity Playbook, Wharton School professor Peter Fader and Wharton Interactive’s executive director Sarah Toms help you see your customers as individuals rather than a monolith, so you can stop wasting resources by chasing down product sales to each and every consumer.

Fader and Toms offer a 360-degree analysis of all the elements that support customer centricity within an organization. In this book, you will learn how to:

  • Develop a customer-centric strategy for your organization
  • Understand the right way to think about customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Fine tune investments in customer acquisition, retention, and development tactics based on customer heterogeneity
  • Foster a culture that sustains customer centricity, and also understand the link between CLV and market valuation
  • Understand customer relationship management (CRM) systems, as they are a vital underpinning for all these areas through the valuable insights they provide

Fader’s first book, Customer Centricity, quickly became a go-to for readers interested in focusing on the right customers for strategic advantage. In this new book, Fader and Toms offer a true playbook for companies of all sizes that want to create and implement a winning strategy to acquire, develop, and retain customers for the greatest value.

Download an Excerpt from The Customer Centricity Playbook
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About the Authors

Peter Fader

Peter S. Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Fader co-founded Zodiac, a predictive analytics firm that was acquired by Nike in 2018. More recently, he co-founded Theta Equity Partners, which focuses on customer-based corporate valuation. Fader is the author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage and coauthor with Sarah E. Toms of the book The Customer Centricity Playbook. He has been quoted or featured ... More

Sarah Toms

Sarah E. Toms is executive director and co-founder of Wharton Interactive. She is a demonstrated thought leader in the educational technology field, fueled by a passion to find and develop innovative ways to make every learning environment active, engaging, more meaningful, and learner-centered. Her drive to modernize, transform, and democratize education led Sarah and her team to co-invent simpl.world, an open source simulation framework. She has spent more than twenty years as a leader in th ... More


“A fantastic 360⁰ analysis of how companies become truly customer-centric, The Customer Centricity Playbook is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand customer lifetime value and its ability to grow organizations large and small.”

—Neil Hoyne, Head of Customer Analytics and Chief Analytics Evangelist, Google

“A must-read, The Customer Centricity Playbook, by Peter Fader and Sarah Toms, sets the record straight and gives executives tools to drive growth.”

—Aimee Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer, Zillow; Former Senior Vice President, Digital Customer Experience, Starbucks

The Customer Centricity Playbook offers fundamental insights to point organizations of any size in the right direction.”

—Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company, Inc., and coauthor, The Ultimate Question 2.0

“Required reading for leadership teams, as well as marketing and sales executives, Peter Fader and Sarah Toms’ new book is a true playbook on how to become customer-centric.”

—Matthew Derella, Global Vice President, Revenue and Content Partnerships, Twitter

“Peter Fader and Sarah Toms offer transformative insights that light the path for business leaders.”

—Susan Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer, SunTrust Banks

“If you struggle with customer engagement or are ready to better acquaint yourself with your customers, Peter Fader and Sarah Toms’ new book The Customer Centricity Playbook is a must-read.”

—Jacqueline Parkes, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP, Digital Studios, MTV, VH1 & Logo

“Peter Fader and Sarah Toms have a talent for translating the complexities of customer centricity into accessible and actionable insights. With The Customer Centricity Playbook, they offer us a practical guide to establishing a customer-centric organization, essential reading for those who aspire to market leadership, regardless of industry.”

Joshua Kanter, Chief Marketing Officer, PetSmart

“I read The Customer Centricity Playbook by Peter Fader and Sarah Toms in a single sitting—so much value packed into about 100 pages. Everyone talks about ‘customer centricity,’ but this book is the first one I’ve read that takes the trouble to define the terms: customer centricity, expected lifetime customer value (ELCV), and what it means to be a ‘good customer.’ I recommend The Customer Centricity Playbook to anyone who has read my book The Membership Economy and who wants to understand, in a holistic and practical way, how to build deeper, more valuable relationships with the people they serve.”

Robbie Kellman Baxter, Consultant, Peninsula Strategies, and Author, The Membership Economy

“Mercifully light on technical business jargon [and] easily digestible. In addition, the authors don’t shy away from shattering conventional wisdom …. An authoritative introduction to customer-centric business strategies.”

—Kirkus Reviews


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In the Media

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May 28, 2019  |  The Economist
Why customer centricity is crucial to your organisation
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May 3, 2019  |  Think with Google
Think your company is customer-centric? Here’s why you’re probably wrong
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April 2, 2019  |  Forbes
Why The Corporate Valuations Of Rent The Runway, Airbnb And Lyft May Be Completely Wrong
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March 22, 2019  |  800-CEOReads Change This
The Customer Centricity Manifesto: Leverage Customer Lifetime Value to Create a Winning Strategy
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March 14, 2019  |  YaniqueGrant.com
Podcast: Practical Tactics to Implement a Winning Strategy Driven by Customer Lifetime Value with Dr. Peter Fader and Sarah E. Toms
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March 4, 2019  |  The C-Suite Network
Peter Fader Joins Us To Discuss “Customer Centricity”
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March 4, 2019  |  The CX Pod
Set the Record Straight on Customer Centricity
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February 28, 2019  |  Customer Think
CX Metrics Aren’t Customer-Centric, But Should Be. Learn How
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February 24, 2019  |  College Media Network
Book Review: This ‘Playbook’ Is a Must For Business-Minded Students
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February 19, 2019  |  Inc.com
Implement a Winning Business Strategy Driven by Customer Values
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February 6, 2019  |  CMO.com
Next Stop In Digital Transformation: Experience 2.0
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January 30, 2019  |  NBC5, Dallas
How Retailers Grade You to Determine Customer Treatment
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January 28, 2019  |  Talks at Google
Peter Fader and Sarah Toms: "The Customer Centricity Playbook" | Talks at Google
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January 23, 2019  |  Marketing Sherpa
Customer-Centric Mobile Marketing: Interview with Wharton’s Peter Fader and Sarah Toms
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January 7, 2019  |  School for Startups Radio
School for Startups Radio: Peter Fader discussing Customer Lifetime Value
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December 21, 2018  |  Velocitize
5 Mistakes in Adopting a Customer-Centric Strategy, and How to Avoid Them
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December 20, 2018  |  The Wharton School
Customer Centricity: Why Companies Should Play a Long Game Strategy
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December 10, 2018  |  NBC4
Retailers Have a Secret Shopper Score for You
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December 10, 2018  |  NBC10
NBC10 Responds: How Companies Rank You
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December 7, 2018  |  WPHM Radio
Sarah Toms discusses The Customer Centricity Playbook on WPHM Radio
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November 23, 2018  |  NPR Marketplace
How companies are sizing you up based on your behavior as a customer
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November 15, 2018  |  Ambition Data
Podcast: Black Friday with Pete Fader
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November 14, 2018  |  ChargeItSpot
An Unlikely Upsell Tactic: Free Phone Charging
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November 12, 2018  |  Wharton Magazine
The Secrets of Customer Centricity Success
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November 9, 2018  |  Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School
Marketing Matters: Customer Centricity Special Part II
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November 9, 2018  |  Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School
Marketing Matters: Customer Centricity Special Part I
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November 7, 2018  |  NPR Planet Money
Your Lifetime Value Score
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November 7, 2018  |  Knowledge@Wharton
How to Find Value in Every Customer
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November 6, 2018  |  Wharton@Work
The Customer Centricity Playbook, Reading List
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November 2, 2018  |  KCBS Radio
The Secret Score That Determines How Long You Wait On Hold
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October 29, 2018  |  LinkedIn
Why the Los Angeles Dodgers Are Still Winners
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October 29, 2018  |  PR News Wire
How Best Buy, Electronic Arts, and Other Companies Are Leading in the Customer Centricity Movement
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October 22, 2018  |  Kirkus
Kirkus Review: The Customer Centricity Playbook