As part of Ivy Exec’s Spotlight Series, we interviewed Orkun Oguz, North American Managing Partner at Peppers & Rogers Group. Orkun has extensive experience in the design of customer-facing processes, the development of effective channel strategies and the establishment of platforms supporting those strategies. Under Orkun’s leadership, Peppers & Rogers is undergoing significant growth and establishing themselves as the preeminent consulting firm focused on customer strategy.
Ivy Exec: Thanks very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Your company’s founders, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, have a history of providing thought leadership in the customer strategy marketing field. Can you tell us a little about how you are using their abilities and credentials to grow your consulting practice?
Orkun Oguz: In their first book, the One to One Future, Don and Martha introduced a simple but very powerful approach for building lasting and loyal relationships with customers. Their methodology for treating different customers differently laid the foundation for our global consulting practice. Their concept combines the rigor of customer data analytics and the strength of interactive technology to create strategies that deliver lasting value.
Over the years, working with clients all over the world, we have added significant depth to their methodology and customized it to meet the specific needs of industry leaders in a number of verticals.
In difficult economic times, corporations frequently cut costs leading some to neglect their marketing efforts in favor of increasing operational efficiency. Do you see this happening at your clients and, if so, how are you adapting?
Orkun: Many companies do make that mistake. They choose to cut marketing programs across the board during challenging economic times. We believe this is a flawed strategy because they run the risk of disappearing from their customer’s frame of reference. We believe even in difficult times, companies need to allocate resources to the best potential return. Our approach allows companies to understand which customers are the most valuable today and which ones will be valuable in the future. We also help them understand which customers are least profitable or even costing them money. Our 3D segmentation helps clients understand who to target, what to say and how to sell to remain relevant with their customers. Whatever the economic climate, this approach always turns out to be a much more effective way to grow business.
How do you differentiate your services from larger and smaller competitors in your market space?
Orkun: We call ourselves a “boutique-–global” consulting firm. We are the world leaders in the customer-centricity domain. We have deep methodology but we are also flexible and nimble. Whether a company is looking for a strategy for growth or a way to be more efficient with resources, we solve the business challenge through the customer lens. Because this is all we do, we have a deeper methodology than larger consulting firms and more experience with best practices and how to avoid common mistakes. That makes us quicker and more effective than our larger or smaller competitors.
Your US practice is entrepreneurial and growing at a fast pace, and yet you are a global consulting firm with some very well established offices, supported by a substantial corporation. Can you tell us how you bring these pieces together to offer something unique to the market?
Orkun: We create solutions “globally” – I mean we combine a global perspective with local nuances. Because we have global reach, we can tap into new ideas and best practices wherever they happen all over the world. We have an extensive knowledge management system that enables our consultants to tap into the insights of their colleagues across the globe any time of day. In addition, we encourage our consultants to participate on project teams in other regions so that they are exposed to regional differences.
What sort of opportunities does Peppers & Rogers Group provide to their consultants and what makes you unique as an employer?
Orkun: Our culture is very entrepreneurial and results driven. Therefore, junior consultants who demonstrate their capabilities have the opportunity to play significant roles on client projects. They have a chance to create new IP, present it to very senior level executives in client organizations and participate in promoting new ideas to the market. On the more senior side, our leaders have a chance to build a business and a reputation with significant support from our global network of Partners and our independent publishing division 1to1 Media.
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