March 02, 2011

Forecast Forensics + Digital Profiles: How Channels Fit Together

Each of our Digital Profiles are defined.  Now let's see how channels fit together (contact me if you'd like to have your own custom Forecast Forensics + Digital Profiles project).

I run a query, identifying the top three Digital Profiles that customers in each Digital Profile migrate to in the subsequent year.  This relationship yields the following relationship (click to enlarge):

Oh boy.  OH BOY!

The secrets of your business are unlocked, they are visually apparent in this image.

New customers migrate in from the upper left hand corner of the image.  Loyal customers are in the bottom right hand corner of the image.

Newbies filter into lower-value segments, like Adores Email, Pricey Website Preference, Web Masters, and Gaga For Google.  In other words, the online channel is the primary source of acquisition for this brand, with e-mail and search playing a role in acquiring new customers.

Take a look at the upper right hand corner of the image.  Here's where the "catalog" portion of this business exists ... it is almost separate from the rest of the business, isn't it?  Customers can get to this part of the business through The Future Of Multichannel profile, and customers in this quadrant can become loyal customers (Classic Multichannel).  By and large, however, the catalog portion of this business is separated a bit from the rest of the ecosystem.  Pay attention to your own business ... if you notice this within your business ecosystem, well, that says something about the future of your business, and your downstream marketing strategy, doesn't it?

There are five Digital Profiles that yield loyal customers.
  • Classic Multichannel (from the catalog ecosystem).
  • Search and Shopping.
  • The Future of Multichannel (including mobile & social buyers).
  • Email Loyalists.
  • Crazy for E-commerce. 
Notice that one profile includes the catalog ecosystem, one includes the e-commerce ecosystem, one includes the e-mail ecosystem, one included just about everything, and one includes search, too.  This business can yield high-value customers from a single channel, or from multiple channels.

The Digital Profile process yields several strategic questions.
  • Is the catalog ecosystem separate from the rest of the customer ecosystem because the channel is dying, because it is unique and interesting to a subset of customers, or because the brand failed to integrate it properly?
  • Social customers are surprisingly mainstream, among the better portion of the customer file?  It does not look like this is a big customer acquisition channel.  What value does a social channel deliver to a brand if it is skewed to best customers?
  • Mobile customers are also surprisingly mainstream.  Does this mean that e-commerce will be cannibalized or enhanced, going forward?
  • Search customers seem to be linked to e-mail customers.  Does e-mail marketing cause a customer to conduct a search, and if so, does e-mail marketing actually encourage customers to shop the competition?