Professional Development Units (PDUs): 20
Entrepreneurs naturally tend to gravitate to product development and in the process can overlook the benefits and minimize the challenges of consistent and comprehensive customer management. In this eLearning course we look to apply to the discipline of customer management the same elements of entrepreneurial thinking that are commonly applied to product innovation.
This course is unique because it examines the benefits of comprehensive customer management through the use of five case studies involving ancient Roman entrepreneurs. Four of the five entrepreneurs reaped great success by focusing their talents for innovation on the customer more so than their products. Each case study presented will analyze the ancient businessperson’s approach to dealing with their customers and insights gained will be extrapolated to the modern business world. At the conclusion of every module you will be tasked with applying the lessons learned to a modern market situation.
The Five Ancient Roman Case Studies
- Marcus Vegilius Eurysaces (referred to here simply as Eurysaces) is thought to have operated his bread making business in the last few decades before the birth of Christ. Eurysaces, whose grand tomb still stands in Rome today, demonstrated innovative marketing and promotional practices in his business.
- Eumachia was a wealthy widow and is thought to have conducted her business very late in the last century before the birth of Christ. Eumachia possessed significant business interests in sheep herding and the woolen trade and demonstrated what we would call innovative stakeholder management techniques in support of her business interests.
- Aulus Umbricius Scaurus (referred to here simply as Scaurus), operated his fish sauce production and distribution business in the city of Pompeii, and is thought to have been alive when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Scaurus demonstrated innovative customer communications about his products.
- Pliny the Younger (referred to here simply as Pliny) was a wealthy Roman Senator as well as an imperial advisor, lawyer, financial administrator, author and Tuscan vineyard owner. Pliny demonstrated a creative approach to customer management during a grape price collapse in 107 AD.
- Marcus Crassus (referred to here simply as Crassus) was the wealthiest Senator in the Roman Republic with assets estimated today at $11 Billion dollars. Crassus helped to finance a young Julius Caesar's political career and shared power with Caesar (as well as with Pompey the Great as part of the Roman Republic’s First Triumvirate) until he was killed in battle in ancient Parthia in 53 BC at the age of 61 or 62. Crassus is chronologically the earliest of the entrepreneurs but since he represents lessons in client management from the negative perspective (i.e. he was client insensitive), his case study is the fifth and final case to be studied in this course.
Despite a sea of modern business books available in the marketplace, the lessons drawn from these ancient entrepreneurs and their experiences are of great relevance to modern readers interested in the essentials of customer management. This is because the actions of our selected entrepreneurs were conducted without the benefit of the information and communication technologies that we have become so dependent upon in our daily business lives today. This is not a liability however, but rather a benefit because the absence of modern management tools only serves to better highlight and emphasize the importance of the core elements of comprehensive customer management. Customer management demands much more than a tweet, an apologetic email, text, or a posted press release on the home page of a supplier’s website – good customer management requires the ongoing application of entrepreneurial thinking.
This course uses sound. Please have computer speakers or a headset ready.