July 29, 2008

Multichannel Forensics A to Z: Hybrid Mode

Hybrid Mode is probably the most interesting aspect of Multichannel Forensics (book, study).

Hybrid Mode occurs when customers of a product, brand or channel have a forty to sixty percent chance of purchasing again in the next twelve months.

Unless you have a diverse array of skus among products that must be purchased often (i.e. Wal-Mart), it is likely that your brand is in Acquisition Mode or Hybrid Mode, with Hybrid mode yielding fascinating dynamics.

When I was at Lands' End and Eddie Bauer, we were in Hybrid Mode, and at some times (at Lands' End), we strayed into Retention Mode.

In Hybrid Mode, the executive has a myriad of levels that can be pulled to improve business performance. Want to improve performance, long-term? Boost customer acquisition! Want to improve short-term sales? Advertise more to your best customers! Want to improve profit today? Advertise less to your best customers!

The executive in Retention Mode is trapped by her best customers --- they call the shots.

The executive in Acquisition Mode is trapped by the constant need to find new customers --- there isn't any customer loyalty to tap into.

The executive in Hybrid Mode has the best chance to genuinely influence the future trajectory of the business.

Some of the more spectacular executive failures I've witnessed happened because the executive has training in Hybrid Mode, but the business the executive is managing is in another mode.

Is your business in Hybrid Mode?

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