In 1993 when Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., wrote The One to One Future, the content was groundbreaking. Their radical theory of selling more goods to fewer people revolutionized marketing.
It's been 20 years since that book's launch, and I often meet marketers, consultants, and industry thought leaders who keep a beloved copy of the "marketing bible" on their desks to turn to for quick reference. Don and Martha's innovative paradigm, which focused on share of customers, not just share of market, turned the industry upside down and still resonates with businesses today because of its evergreen practices and methodologies. Their approach of identifying valuable customers, differentiating them, and engaging with them in a targeted and personalized way has become the foundation of all relationship marketing efforts in business today.
Don and Martha's essential role in launching the "customer revolution" will be recognized on October 15th by the Direct Marketing Association. The DMA will honor them at its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony being held at its annual conference in Chicago. The ceremony honors direct marketing professionals whose outstanding career contributions have contributed to the practice, growth, and stature of the direct marketing community. Each year, individuals are chosen to receive this prestigious honor for their accomplishments in marketing to customers, donors, and/or prospects, and for breaking new ground with creative, response techniques, and/or analytic measurement capabilities.
Linda A. Woolley, DMA president and CEO, said she applauds their remarkable and prescient work in business and relationship management. "The exemplary vision and thought leadership from these honorees demonstrate an unparalleled commitment to customer-focused, responsible data-driven marketing strategies, begun long before our current 'customer-centric' age," she said Linda A. Woolley.
Since the debut of The One to One Future, Don and Martha have launched more than a dozen books that place customers at the fore. They also started the global consulting firm Peppers & Rogers Group, and today travel the world speaking at conferences and to business about the benefits of running a customer-focused organization.
I personally feel honored to have worked with Don and Martha for the past 11 years. I've learned so much under their tutelage and feel lucky to know them. Their dedication and commitment to this practice has inspired thousands of business leaders, including myself, to think differently and creatively and to poke holes in traditional approaches to offer innovative alternatives. They've also provided the tools to help leaders become instrumental in shifting their companies' marketing, sales, and service paradigms in an effort to make managerial decisions that help grow their companies.
In the early days when Don and Martha first started their consulting firm, they repeated a mantra to employees in meetings and through the halls: "Have fun, make money, and change the world." I'm confident that these business-driven values have been realized by many who've closely followed Don and Martha's approach to business: buildling relationships one customer at a time.
Congratulations Don and Martha! I'm confident that in another 20 years your methodologies will still inspire customer-focused change in business.