March 02, 2009

Stress Test

You may have read about the stress tests banks are being put through.

For those of us in the "multichannel" industry, we, too, need to put the customer file through a stress test.
  1. The cataloger really needs to see what happens to the business, over five years, if catalog customer acquisition is shut down.
  2. The online brand can stress test the business if offline advertising were executed against the housefile. What happens to profitability, what happens to the retention rate, what happens to orders per buyer when any type of advertising happens other than online marketing?
  3. The retail brand can stress test the business when stores are closed. How is the online channel impacted when a market only has one store, and that store is closed? How are stores impacted when one store is closed in a multi-store market?
This isn't an exercise for the CFO. This isn't an exercise for the web analytics expert. This isn't an exercise for the business intelligence staffer. This isn't something your co-op will do for you. This is something that you, the multichannel forensics practitioner, must become proficient at, and must assume the leadership role for in your business.

Now if you really want to stress test your Executive Team, do what Skittles did.