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Innovative Marketing is Focus of Wharton Executive Education's First Online Program

Taught by Peter Fader, "Strategic Value of Customer Relationships" helps executives explore customer-centric strategies in a unique learning environment.

Philadelphia, PA—October 15, 2013:  For the first time in its history, Wharton Executive Education is offering executives anywhere in the world the chance to enroll in a premier program online called the Strategic Value of Customer Relationships. Taught by world-renowned Wharton Marketing Professor Peter Fader, co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative and named a “Professor to Watch” by the Financial Times, the program is designed to help executives sell more effectively to existing best customers and find new customers with similar behavioral tendencies.

Executives admitted to this program will join a small, select group of international participants who have demonstrated a specific business challenge to address with this new approach to customer relationships. During the eight-week program, (to run from March 3 to April 27, 2014), a mix of video lectures, case studies, live and recorded teaching sessions, group projects, and online classroom discussions will be used. Professor Fader and Wharton teaching assistants will provide weekly feedback and assessments. In live classroom forums, participants will explore the subject and learn from one another’s experiences in putting this new knowledge to immediate use.

"This is the right content for an online experience," says Fader. “The subject is evolving, as are the rules for applying customer-centric strategies. Right now, companies are testing the waters. For many of them it feels radical, because it runs against their traditional product-centric mindset. In other, more well-established business areas we can say ‘learn these guidelines and read these case studies.’ But for these concepts we need an organic process. Through the diversity of the participants and their companies, and multiple ways of interacting with me and each other, we will work together to shape best practices."

Fader explains that the online platform also allows for an extended learning process; most executive education programs run for a few days or a week. "Participants can watch the lectures, discuss the learnings with each other, bring ideas to their companies, and then come back to classroom over a couple of months. That reciprocal dynamic is unusual. You will be able to start testing the concepts as you learn them, and then share your experiences with the group. The unique social learning environment will enable these executives to genuinely pursue these issues together."

Fader, who is the author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage (Wharton Digital Press, 2012), notes, "I'm excited to get this opportunity to continue to explore the subject and go beyond what’s in the book. We are still so early in this revolution and there are so few companies that are doing it right. We need to find a balance between customer centric and product centric strategies, and the rules are not established. I look forward to getting this select group thinking and talking. This program isn’t about ‘inject and evaluate.’ The business environment is changing rapidly, and we need to teach these concepts as they are evolving. The online format is the right way to do that.”

Strategic Value of Customer Relationships is part of the evolution of online learning at the University of Pennsylvania, which is a charter partner of the Coursera learning platform. The Wharton Executive Education program provides a unique opportunity to gain access to one of Wharton’s top professors in a dynamic, extended learning environment. It will run from March 3–April 27, 2014, and the tuition is $3,700. For more information, contact Wharton Executive Education Customer Care at execed@wharton.upenn.edu or call 215.898.1776.


Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

Media Contact

  • Eleena de Lisser
    Director of Marketing Communications
    Aresty Institute of Executive Education
    The Wharton School
    University of Pennsylvania