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Ask & Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By David McCarthy

Mary Ann O’Brien’s Ask and Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers offers a refreshing perspective on modern marketing, presenting a compelling case for the transformative power of customer-centricity. As the CEO of OBI, a renowned marketing firm, Mary AnnO’Brien draws from her extensive experience and the evolution of her revolutionary O’Brien Voice of Customer (O.VoC) survey to guide readers through a journey of business growth through active listening and adaptation.

At the heart of Mary Ann O’Brien’s narrative lies the compelling story of how she developed the O.VoC survey for Gateway Computers, marking the beginning of a paradigm shift in marketing strategies. Through a series of iterations and client collaborations across diverse sectors, Mary Ann O’Brien demonstrates the tangible impact of prioritizing customer insights in shaping brand experiences. The book navigates the reader through the author’s journey, illustrating how Mary Ann O’Brien’s methodology not only revitalized struggling brands like Gateway computers but also positioned her own company as a beacon of innovative marketing strategies.

One of the book’s strengths lies in its blend of theoretical frameworks and practical examples, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of the O.VoC methodology while showcasing its real-world applications. Mary Ann O’Brien’s emphasis on ethical growth and her commitment to championing businesses to do good add a layer of depth to her insights, resonating with readers who prioritize values-aligned practices in business.

Furthermore, Mary Ann Brien’s personal anecdotes, particularly her company’s resilience during economic downturns and global crises like the Great Recession and the Covid pandemic, provide valuable lessons in adaptability and perseverance. By intertwining her professional journey with broader socio-economic contexts, the author offers readers a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in navigating dynamic market landscapes.

However, while Mary Ann O’Brien’s narrative is undoubtedly compelling, Ask and Deliver occasionally falls short in addressing the potential limitations or criticisms of the O.VoC methodology. A more balanced exploration of alternative perspectives or potential challenges in implementing customer-centric approaches would have enriched the book’s discourse, providing readers with a more nuanced understanding of its applicability across diverse business contexts.

Additionally, the book’s focus on Mary Ann O’Brien’s personal experiences and achievements, while inspiring, occasionally detracts from a deeper exploration of the broader implications of customer-centricity in modern marketing practices. A more expansive examination of case studies beyond OBI’s portfolio would have provided readers with a broader perspective on the methodology’s efficacy across industries.

In conclusion, Ask and Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers offers a compelling narrative of innovation and resilience in modern marketing. Mary Ann O’Brien’s expertise shines through her exploration of the O.VoC methodology, providing readers with invaluable insights into the transformative power of customer-centric approaches. While the book could benefit from a more balanced examination of potential limitations and a broader range of case studies, it remains a valuable resource for businesses seeking to elevate their customer experiences and drive sustainable growth.

About the Author

Mary Ann O'Brien

A nationally-recognized branding and marketing thought leader, OBI founder and CEO, Mary Ann O’Brien has been entrusted by brands including Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Stericycle, Viewsonic, Delta Dental, and dozens more to help steer their strategic marketing and communication direction. She is the author of the O’Brien Voice of the Customer™ and Voice of the Employee™ studies, which have served as the foundation for numerous business success stories by helping clients implement customer-centric practices. Her business acumen, marketing expertise, and ability to deliver results give clients the confidence they need to make the strategic decisions required to grow. Passionate about the power of businesses to do good, O’Brien champions ethical growth and is a proud recipient of an Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau. She is a 2023 Inc. 5000 recipient. mom to CeCe and lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

Mary Ann O’Brien has been dubbed “The Mother of Modern Marketing,” helping dozens of companies, from cutting-edge tech firms to venerable financial institutions, forge meaningful relationships with their customers and experience unprecedented growth. In this book, she shares the story of the development of her revolutionary O’Brien Voice of Customer (O.VoC) study, a data collection and analysis tool that helps companies quickly tune into their customers and discover what they really want from them.

Featuring case studies of real clients representing a range of business sectors, the book shows how seeing themselves through their customers’ eyes can reveal hidden weak spots, uncover their strengths, and spur the kind of explosive growth and authentic connection that comes when a company is everything its customers want it to be.

Packed with insight and plenty of humor, this book is a must-read for anyone who’s ready to put their customers at the center of their business and take that business to the next level.


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