The following is a book review by J Patrick Bewley, CEO, Big Cloud Analytics of  Profitable Customer Engagement by Dr. V. Kumar PhD., Sage Publications.

VK book

In my work over the last two decades, as a CEO and a business leader of some of the world’s most sophisticated data and analytics companies, I’ve witnessed something very special happening. I have seen the transformation of the marketing discipline within organizations.  Simply put, marketing organizations have become scientific. This paradigm shift of marketing from art form to a science has many parallels to the changes that the manufacturing disciplines within businesses went through in the 1990’s.


Marketing’s available technology, and methods have undergone a consonant proliferation, which has allowed companies to gather exponentially greater data about customers, prospects, their attitudes and behaviors as well as the market around them.  For example, from the early days of e-commerce, marketers have witnessed an emergence of anonymous click-stream data about user behaviors which can give them insights in minutes that historically took qualitative focus groups months to yield.  But, we marketers were greatly unprepared to assemble or understand these data streams about customers.

Any time humans have experienced this type of renaissance of information; it takes the work of pioneering individuals to show us the way forward.  In the same way that physicists gave us explanations to gravitational, electromagnetic and nuclear forces, Dr. V Kumar PhD (VK) gives us fundamental explanations of the marketing discipline in his latest book, Profitable Customer Engagement.

In typical fashion, VK has returned tour de force to provide marketing practitioners with the equivalent of the Grand Unified Theory.  In his latest work, he links a customer’s individual value with their referrals, influence and knowledge, and ties that to the effects on brand and shareholder value.  This provides a holistic framework that can be applied at the center of marketing strategy.

VK takes his work in Managing Customers for Profit: Strategies to Increase Profit and Build Loyalty (2008) to the next level in this new book, giving us even greater accuracy and predictive power by expanding on the Customer Engagement Framework, allowing us to understand and accurately measure the new phenomenon of influencers and referrals in a way that links to the bottom line. The addition and integration of Customer Influencer Value and the significant evolution of Customer Referral Value provides us with the mechanics to accurately quantify our social media efforts.  Customer Knowledge Value helps us understand how to link voice of the customer initiatives to the critical research phase of product development.  As consumer demands of products and services rapidly increase, the expectation for turn times and new releases rapidly decreases, providing the ability to link investments to a more holistic customer engagement strategy.

I invite you to read VK’s Profitable Customer Engagement and start leveraging the groundbreaking vision and strategic tactics he has pioneered.  I did – and I was able to demonstrate to a prominent European mobile handset manufacturer that minute improvements in consumer engagement were worth nearing a half a billion euros of additional sales – in just a three-year time frame.

In addition to being a founder and the Chief Scientist of Big Cloud Analytics, Inc.:

  • Dr. V. Kumar PhD (VK) is the Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing, and Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Brand and Customer Management, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. He was recently ranked amongst the top five marketing scholars worldwide based on his research productivity.
  • Dr. Kumar has been recognized with many teaching and research excellence awards and has published numerous articles in premier journals of marketing such as the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Operations Research. He has won several awards for his research publications in scholarly journals, including the Donald R. Lehmann Award twice for the best paper published in the Journal of Marketing/Journal of Marketing Research, and the MSI/Paul H Root Award twice with his Journal of Marketing article discussing best practices of marketing. He has co-authored over 100 articles, book chapters and books (titled Managing Customers for Profit, Marketing Research, International Marketing Research, Essentials of Marketing Research, and Customer Relationship Management: A Databased Approach).
  • Dr. Kumar is currently on the editorial review board of several scholarly journals and has lectured on marketing-related topics in various universities and organizations across America, Europe, Australia and Asia. His current research focuses on retailing, international diffusion models, customer relationship management, customer lifetime value analysis, sales and market share forecasting, international marketing research and strategy, marketing resource allocation, sales promotion and interaction orientation.
  • Additionally, Dr. Kumar was named Editor of the Journal of Marketing for a three-year term starting July 1, 2014.

Dr. Kumar is also a consultant to many Fortune 500 firms where he has helped large corporations design suitable marketing strategies to identify the most profitable customers. His work with IBM and P&G has been recognized by INFORMS as award winning entries in the 2006 and 2007 Practice Prize Competition. Recently, Dr. Kumar was conferred with two Lifetime Awards from the American Marketing Association Special Interest Groups for his contributions to the field of Marketing Strategy, and Inter-organizational Marketing. Dr. Kumar received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Interested in an opportunity to win a copy of this book?  Click here.


##  ##  ##

To win a copy of VK’s book, visit Big Cloud Analytics or buy it on Amazon.

Are you an author? Want to be considered for DMA “Book Shorts“?  Just email information to Stephanie Miller.