Integrated Customer Retention Management

Columbia University, New York, NY


Customer retention management is critically important to sustain and improve financial performance. While the basics of retention are well understood, there are significant opportunities to achieve improvements in market. Academic research can be marshalled to solve several practical problems that many companies experience:

  • How do you measure customer retention? How often?
  • Are your retention strategies effective?
  • Which customers are at risk for attrition, and why?
  • Of those at risk, should customers be targeted for retention activities based on their financial value and level of risk?
  • What incentives have been found to be most effective in improving retention?
  • Which types of retention campaigns work in the short term? the long term?
  • How do you manage the whole portfolio of retention campaigns to achieve optimal results?
  • What retention measures should be used to accurately capture results?
  • Finally, what does the company gain from retention activities?

Experts in the field will translate research findings into insights that explore these questions that apply to a wide range of businesses, regardless of the existence of a customer/ firm contract or the type of transactions. Participants will interact with speakers and panelists to maximize learning from the workshop. Breakout sessions will explore specific topics in more depth to enable participants to apply ideas into their organizations. The workshop will also identify areas requiring further research and opportunities for ongoing collaboration to fill knowledge gaps and encourage innovative applications.

Who should attend?

  • Customer relations managers and others who design and implement customer engagement, loyalty, or retention programs
  • Insights and analytics professionals who develop and use appropriate retention or churn metrics to identify targeting opportunities and conduct risk assessments
  • Managers who integrate retention management with marketing strategies and tactics related to acquisition and brand development
  • Training and education professionals who develop CRM and related capabilities

Group rates are available, please contact Christen Stumpf at for more information.



Please note that this Agenda is for planning purposes only and is subject to change. Please check back soon for additional information.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome Remarks
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute
Gordon Wyner, Research Director, Marketing Science Institute
9:30 – 10:15 In Pursuit of Enhanced Customer Retention Management: Overview, Challenges, and Opportunities
Scott Neslin, Dartmouth College
Scott Neslin will provide an overview of challenges and opportunities in managing customer retention. In particular, he will propose an integrated framework for managing customer retention and highlight a few key issues.
10:15 – 10:45 Retention Futility: Why Targeting High Risk Customers Might Be Ineffective
Eva Ascarza, Columbia University
In this session, Eva Ascarza will challenge the common practice of focusing on “risk of churning” as the most important metric for proactive churn management. She will propose an approach for proactive churn management that, leveraging experimentation, identifies customers with the highest sensitivity to the intervention and results in more effective retention campaigns.
10:45 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:45 Beyond the Target Customer: Social Effects in CRM Campaigns
Oded Netzer, Columbia University
Oded Netzer will discuss the opportunities for CRM practitioners to move beyond customer lifetime value (CLV) to social customer lifetime value (SCLV). In particular, he will demonstrate how a retention campaign that is targeted at a particular customer can have a social multiplier, affecting the activity and retention of customers who are socially connected to the targeted customer but were not targeted themselves.
11:45 – 12:30 p.m. Academic Panel Discussion
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute – Moderator
Eva Ascarza, Columbia University
Scott Neslin, Dartmouth College
Oded Netzer, Columbia University
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:00 Myths and Misconceptions About Customer Retention
Peter Fader, University of Pennsylvania
As customer retention evolves from a “nice to know” to a “must have” metric for marketing executives, it is important to set the record straight about some widely held notions about it. Peter Fader will address a number of these beliefs and discuss the reasons and implications for practitioners.
2:00 – 2:30 In-Market Experience with Retention Management
Zachery Anderson, Senior Vice President & Chief Analytics Officer, Electronic Arts
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:30 Practitioner Panel Discussion
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute – Moderator
Zachery Anderson, Senior Vice President & Chief Analytics Officer, Electronic Arts
Panelists to be Announced Soon
3:30 – 4:30 Breakout Group Sessions
4:30 – 5:00 Closing Remarks
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute


  • Zachery Anderson

    Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer, Electronic Arts

    Zachery Anderson is Chief Analytics Officer and Senior Vice President at Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s largest video game company. He is responsible for leading consumer insights, UX research, data science, studio analytics, and marketing analytics for EA. His team uses in-game behavioral data, traditional consumer research, lab work, and online advertising data to provoke and inspire EA’s development and marketing teams to think and act “Player First”. Prior to joining EA in 2007, Zachery was head of consulting and modeling for J.D. Power and Associates’ PIN group, Corporate Economist for Nissan North America, and Economist for the private investment company Fremont Group.

    Zachery’s work has been highlighted in the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Management Review. His work has won many awards including the INFORMS Marketing Science Practice Prize, and while at Nissan he was recognized by the U.S. Federal Reserve for the Best Industry Forecast. He is a member of the University of California Master of Science in Business Analytics Industry Advisory Board.

    Zachery’s undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communications is from Southern Illinois University. His graduate work was at UCLA, in Economics and Political Science, where he studied game theory with Nobel Prize Winner Lloyd Shapley.

  • Eva Ascarza

    Columbia University

    Eva Ascarza is Associate Professor of Marketing at Columbia Business School. She is a marketing modeler who uses tools from statistics, economics, and machine learning to answer relevant marketing questions. Her main research areas are customer analytics and customer relationship management with special attention to the problem of customer retention. She uses field experimentation (e.g., A/B testing) as well as econometric modeling and machine learning tools not only to understand and predict patterns of behavior, but also to optimize the impact of firms’ interventions.

    Her research has appeared in leading marketing journals including Marketing Science and Journal of Marketing Research. She received the 2014 Frank Bass award, awarded to the best marketing paper derived from a Ph.D. thesis published in an INFORMS-sponsored journal. She got a B.S. in Mathematics at the Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain) and a M.S. in Economics and Finance from Universidad de Navarra (Spain). After finishing her Ph.D. at London Business School, Eva joined the marketing faculty at Columbia Business School, where she has taught strategic marketing in the Full-time and Executive M.B.A. programs. Eva was recently honored by being selected a 2017 MSI Young Scholar.

  • Peter S. Fader

    University of Pennsylvania

    Peter S. Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities. He works with firms from a wide range of industries, such as telecommunications, financial services, gaming/entertainment, retailing, and pharmaceuticals. Managerial applications of his work focus on topics such as customer relationship management, lifetime value of the customer, and sales forecasting for new products. Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains. These insights are reflected in his book Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage.

    He believes that marketing should not be viewed as a “soft” discipline, and he frequently works with different companies and industry associations to improve managerial perspectives in this regard. His work has been published in (and he serves on the editorial boards of) a number of leading journals in marketing, statistics, and the management sciences. He has won many awards for his teaching and research accomplishments.

    In addition to his various roles and responsibilities at Wharton, Peter is also co-founder of Zodiac, a SaaS-based company that aims to make top-notch customer valuation models and insights easily accessible to a broad array of data-driven organizations.

  • Scott A. Neslin

    Dartmouth College

    Scott A. Neslin is the Albert Wesley Frey Professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College. He has been at Tuck since completing his Ph.D. in 1978 at the Sloan School of Management, MIT. He also has been a visiting scholar at the Yale School of Management, the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University as part of Duke’s Teradata Center for CRM, and Columbia Business School.

    His expertise is in database marketing, sales promotion, and advertising. He has published on these and other topics in journals such as Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Interactive Marketing. In the field of database marketing, he is co-author with Robert C. Blattberg and Byung-Do Kim of Database Marketing: Analyzing and Managing Customers (2008, Springer). He is also co-editor, with Kristof Coussement and Koen W. De Bock of Advanced Database Marketing (2013, Gower). He has applied predictive modeling to cross-selling, forecasting customer churn, and optimal customer management. He has analyzed issues in multichannel customer management including research shopping, customer channel migration, channel choice, and cross-channel effects of advertising. In the sales promotion area, he is co-author with Robert C. Blattberg of the book, Sales Promotion: Concepts, Methods, and Strategies (1990, Prentice-Hall), and author of the monograph Sales Promotion (2002, Marketing Science Institute).

    Scott is an Associate Editor for Marketing Science, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Marketing Letters. He served as President of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMS) and is an ISMS Fellow.

  • Oded Netzer

    Columbia University

    Oded Netzer is a Professor of Business at Columbia University. His research centers on one of the major business challenges of the data-rich environment of the twenty-first century: developing quantitative methods that leverage data to gain a deeper understanding of customer behavior and guide firms’ decisions. He focuses primarily on building statistical and econometric models to understand how customer choices change over time, and across contexts. His approach to modeling consumers and firm behavior is motivated by relevant business problems. Most notably, he has developed a framework for managing firms' customer bases through dynamic segmentation. More recently, his research focuses on leveraging text-mining techniques to mine big data.

    He received a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and an M.Sc. in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Business, both from Stanford University. His research has appeared in top academic journals in the field. He is the winner of the ISMS Long-term Contribution award, the John Little best paper award, the Frank Bass outstanding dissertation award, the George S. Eccles Research Fund award, the Columbia University Ph.D. Faculty Mentoring Award and Columbia Business School Dean’s Award for teaching excellence.

    Prior to joining Stanford, he was a senior consultant in a marketing research, strategy, and economic consulting group. He frequently consults with Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial companies. He is a frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences. Oded teaches at Columbia Business School the core Marketing course to M.B.A. students, a course in Marketing Research to M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. students and a course on Developing Quantitative Intuition.

  • Additional Speakers to be Announced Soon


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Oct 17, 2017



Columbia University, New York, NY



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Registration Deadline: Sep 25, 2017