The CX Iconoclast

Peter Fader and Daniel McCarthy – Customer Value, Disclosable Metrics, and Data to Guide Change

May 15, 2023 OCX Cognition Season 1 Episode 11
The CX Iconoclast
Peter Fader and Daniel McCarthy – Customer Value, Disclosable Metrics, and Data to Guide Change
Show Notes

Our guests today are business partners and academic collaborators: Peter Fader and Daniel McCarthy. Their entrepreneurial and academic pursuits are intertwined in interesting ways. On the entrepreneurial side, they co-founded a predictive analytics firm, called Zodiac, that they sold to Nike in 2018, and now they are co-founders and directors of Theta, a predictive customer value analytics company. 

Theta’s work draws heavily on customer lifetime value, along with an output of Peter and Dan’s academic collaboration – a research-driven framework called Customer-Based Corporate Valuation. 

That co-invention is just a part of their academic work. Peter is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he pursues his academic expertise and passion for using behavioral data to forecast customer behavior. Peter is also considered to be one of the world’s top experts in customer lifetime value – and that’s in addition to the corporate valuation model he developed with Dan. Peter works with companies in many industries, ranging from gaming to pharma, has published widely, including three books.

Daniel McCarthy is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory University's Goizueta School of Business. Dan’s a statistician by training and his research applies leading-edge statistical methodology to marketing problems. Particular areas of interest include customer lifetime value, data privacy, and how marketing and finance intersect. Like Peter, he publishes widely in both academic and business publications.

The common ground between OCX Cognition and these two thinkers is a conviction that customers are a key driving force in value creation for businesses. In this conversation, the two collaborators and partners talk about the ins and outs of how customers drive value and what businesses should do to maximize that value. Some areas to listen for:

  • Fundamentally, customers are assets that can be measured and managed, so a true embrace of customer behavioral data and the insights it offers will lead to a sea change for companies.
  • Finding the set of metrics that provide a clear, fair valuation of companies is critical, but complicated, with a balance between internally and externally disclosed measures.
  • Customer acquisition gets a lot of hype, but it might not be entirely good.
  • B2B companies often feel like B2C companies are the cool kids on the block, but in many ways B2B companies are ahead of the curve.


Theta Equity Partners  


Find Peter Fader on LinkedIn

Learn more about his work at Wharton


Find Daniel McCarthy on LinkedIn

Learn more about his work at Emory

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