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Paper info: Strategic Utilization of Customer Information or Just Muddling Through?


Strategic Utilization of Customer Information or Just Muddling Through?


Danny Bellenger,
Minna Rollins
Georgia State University
United States
Minna Rollins and
Wesley Johnston
Georgia State University
United States
Wesley Johnston

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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This research focuses on customer information generation and utilization in business-to-business companies. Empirical evidence shows that customer information utilization may improve a company‟s customer and business performance. However, customer information utilization is underdeveloped in many companies. There is a clear question about whether companies use customer information to plan relationship strategies or simply to muddle through short term tactical day to day decisions. Based on findings from field interviews, the authors propose that the process of generating and using customer information might follow Lindblom‟s successive-limited comparison or muddling through method, which emphasizes small incremental changes, building up from the current situation, and shorter term orientation. Authors suggest that managers should balance their customer information utilization efforts by using both short-term and long-term methods when developing customer information generation and utilization.
Keywords: customer information utilization, business-to-business marketing, qualitative research, incrementalism