July 31, 2022

File Power In Practice

So I'm exchanging emails with a digital marketing expert - this person is excited because he acquired new customers at a $10 ROAS.

Now, I already knew the answer (as do you), but I asked the expert if that was a profitable outcome?

His response? "I don't know. I just know that's a good ROAS".

In practice, you have an existing customer base. The existing customer base is capable of spending "x", you'll spend "y" marketing to the customer, yielding "z" dollars of profit.

Profit is a function of the life stage the customer is in. Somebody acquired customers five years ago, and the work that somebody performed back then ends up in your pocketbook via a bonus today, because those customers keep generating profit.

In practice, we want a powerful file. We want as many customers as we can afford, and we want them to generate as much subsequent profit as they can possibly generate. When we figure out ways to generate more profit out of a customer, we are allowed to spend more money acquiring customers ... this behavior is circular because then we have more customers, generating more File Power, allowing us to acquire even more customers.

In my projects, I keep seeing instances of companies that cannot acquire enough new customers to grow. This seems like a Customer Acquisition problem (and it most certainly is a Customer Acquisition problem), but it is also a Customer Loyalty problem. When we cannot figure out how to generate more profit out of a customer, we have to back off on Customer Acquisition to make sure we generate enough short-term profit. Our Customer Loyalty problem accelerates our Customer Acquisition problem.

What drives Customer Loyalty more than anything else?

Merchandise Productivity.

In other words, there's a lot of interconnected pieces. If we take our eyes off of any one of the connected pieces, we lose profit, which hurts our ability to acquire new customers, which shrinks the customer file, which lowers File Power, which costs us more profit, and the circular problem continues iterating through the business.

Everything we do impacts File Power.

So yeah, we want to study File Power, don't we?

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