The authors present a powerful and tested approach that helps managers see a business’s every action through the eyes of its customers. This approach is organized around the values that matter most to customers: Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility and Awareness. Taken together, these attributes are called the “4A’s.” The 4A framework derives from a customer-value perspective based on the four distinct roles that customers play in the market: seekers, selectors, payers and users. For a marketing campaign to succeed, it must achieve high marks on all four A’s, using a blend of marketing and non-marketing resources.

The 4A framework helps companies create value for customers by identifying exactly what they want and need, as well as by uncovering new wants and needs. (For example, none of us knew we “needed” an iPad until Apple created it.) That means not only ensuring that customers are aware of the product, but also ensuring that the product is affordable, accessible and acceptable to them.

Throughout this book, the authors demonstrate how looking at the world through the 4A lens helps companies avoid marketing myopia (an excessive focus on the product) as well as managerial myopia (an excessive focus on process). In fact, it is a powerful way to operationalize the marketing concept; it enables managers to look at the world through the customer’s eyes. This ability has become an absolute necessity for success in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.

As a long time practitioner of the 4P's seller-oriented toolbox of marketing, I welcome the more customer-oriented 4A's toolbox...Sheth and Sisodia are to be complimented for their insightful development, application, and illustration of 4A thinking. I believe that the 4A's will rank as an important contribution to marketing theory and practice.

Philip KotlerNorthwestern University

Move over marketing mix. The 4A framework wins on every dimension that matters. It is dynamic rather than static, active rather than passive, and requires decision makers to look at marketing activities and investments from the outside in, by putting the customer value proposition at the center of the strategy dialogue. Best of all, it engages the entire organization in key marketing decisions.

George DayGeoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The 4P's can thankfully be retired as the 4A's provide a much superior road map to delivering great offerings and marketing programs and a framework that will help screen out both strategic and tactical disasters.

David A. AakerE.T. Grether Professor Emeritus of Marketing and Public Policy, UC Berkeley, Vice Chairman, Prophet

This is a splendid book for the neophyte and accomplished manager alike. Sheth and Sisodia combine razor-sharp analyses with useful action plans and in the process teach us how to think better about market opportunities and how to apply the 4As framework to advantage. A model of exposition, this book brings to life principles and policy guidelines with new diagnoses of both market successes, from the Aflac Duck to buying shoes on the web with Zappos, and market failures, from Apple's, yes Apple's, Newton to Ford's Edsel. The focus is on learning how to be a better analyst, manager, innovation implementer, and sustainer. Meticulously argued and illustrated, this book will make the reader better able to succeed in the knowledge economy and beyond. Two thumbs up!

Richard P. BagozziDwight F. Benton Professor of Behavioral Science in Management, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

A 'must-read' for any business that wants to be customer-oriented! It offers a simple and powerful way for businesses to keep from falling prey to navel gazing.

Ajay KohliGary T. and Elizabeth R. Jones Professor of Marketing, Georgia Tech, Editor, Journal of Marketing

The 4A's of Marketing represents a long overdue, truly novel framework for thinking about marketing decision-making. Despite decades of exhortations that companies adopt a more customer-centric stance, the decidedly company-centric 4P's paradigm has endured. In the 4A's of Marketing, Professors Sheth and Sisodia creatively convert the 4P's to the desired customer perspective. Think benefits rather than features: Price becomes Affordability; Place becomes Accessibility; and so forth. The shift in perspective is deceptively simple but profound in its implications for how marketers anticipate the impact of their decisions on the consumer. The 4A's of Marketing offers a game-changing perspective for any manager or organization striving to become market-driven and customer-centric.

Richard J. LutzJC Penny Professor of Marketing, University of Florida

Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia have teamed up to develop a powerful treatment of customer-centric marketing. Built around the notion that the customer is the dominant actor in most markets, the 4A's of Marketing identifies four roles of customers to which marketers must respond if they are to be successful. Written in an engaging and highly accessible style, this book is filled with real world examples that illustrate the concepts and ideas it offers. It is 'must' reading for every marketer and contains especially sage advice for marketers who want to return the marketing function to a central role in the strategic planning of firms.

David W. StewartProfessor of Marketing and former Dean, University of California, Riverside, Past Editor, Journal of Marketing and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science