Crazy Domains and Buffer, their PR Responses: The Pain and The Glory

Net Promoter Failure

Net Promoter FailureIf you have a social media bone in your body you will know about the recent hack of Buffer. You may also have seen or experienced its response, I know I did.

In my opinion, and many others, Buffer did a stellar job in responding to a major issue. Almost as if to counter point Buffer’s success, internet hosting company Crazy Domains’ response to recent network outages shows how not to respond.

What Happened at Buffer and Crazy Domains

“Buffer has been hacked” – that’s not me being overly dramatic. That’s the subject line in an email they sent one hour after the incident took place. From my understanding a hacker was able to post to Twitter and Facebook using the Buffer credentials.

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The 3 Important Differences: Qualitative vs. Quantitative Analysis

bigstock-Brawl-2670840

bigstock-Brawl-2670840It’s Tuesday afternoon and you’ve just been handed a stack of customer feedback forms with a wealth of information and data to go through and analyse before Friday. You look at the forms; there are numbers, scales, and paragraphs upon paragraphs of commentary.

You pause for a moment and breathe. Where do you begin? What can you even do with all that information?

You want to get the best analysis possible – so the question is – Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Analysis – which one is better?  Which will provide the best results?

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How Kmart knows you’re pregnant before your family does

This is a fascinating insight into the state of the art in triggered and reactive marketing. In a longish, but very good article, the New York Times provides some great case study material on how Target in the US identifies and targets, no pun intended, women who are pregnant BEFORE they buy any pregnancy related goods or services. With this head start on the competition they are able to generate excellent returns on their marketing.

Do you know any companies working at this level of sophistication? Let me know.

Here is the full article: How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Do Your Customer Experience Initiatives Have These Flaws?

defective_chain

It seems to me that many customer experience initiatives are deeply flawed. They start out well intentioned but lack the right process improvement mindset to drive long term change.

The customer experience strategy that seems to be best practice at the moment is:

  1. Do some research on what people want: ask a focus group, run a survey, etc,
  2. Design “the best” customer experience based on the research.
  3. Test it in a limited way –asking people what they think, doing some usability testing (i.e. watching what people actually do either actually or via analytics) of your systems.
  4. Roll-it out.
  5. Relax

The critical part is that the design process (steps 1 and 2)  is run only once. Then, having agreed that it is perfect, just let it run. This is wrong. [Read more...]

Forecasting customer value when you don’t have a contract: Discrete transactions

hardie_non_contract_continuous

This post is one in a series in which I summarize into actionable steps parts of the substantial body of work by Peter Fader, Bruce Hardie, et. al. in the analysis of customer bases. The relevant source papers are referenced at the end of the post.

In this post, we will focus on the bottom left quadrant of the Fader/Hardie customer relationship map (as I will refer to it). We will be examining situations where there is no on-going contract between the supplier and the customer and where the customer can only purchase at discrete time intervals.
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Calculating Retail Sales Forecasts, Customer Life Time Value, and other customer variables

hardie_non_contract_continuous

This post is one in a series in which I attempt to summarize into actionable steps parts of the substantial body of work by Peter Fader, Bruce Hardie, et. al. in the analysis of customer bases. The relevant source papers are referenced at the end of the post. The details of the statistical models are deliberately excluded from this summary but can be reference in the source papers.

In this post, we will focus on the top left quadrant of the Fader/Hardie customer relationship map (as I will refer to it) . [Read more...]

4 Practical Approaches to Calculating Customer Lifetime Value

classifying-customer-bases

Recently, I came across a very useful Marketing Science article on customer lifetime value calculations. “Customer Base Analysis in a Discrete-Time Non-contractual setting,” presents an excellent and accessible way of answering the difficult question of customer lifetime value when no ongoing contractual relationship exists.

The paper itself was enlightening. Unfortunately, as is often the case with academic papers, the key business insights are hidden from plain sight behind a rather dense, high order, statistics heavy paper. I am sure their findings are as clear as glass to the authors. However, for me, I needed some time to unpack the content, understand it, and work out how to apply it for my customers. [Read more...]

Customer Retention: You already have enough segmentation, take action!

datadrivenmarketingstrategies

Think quick: to drive customer retention, should you focus on a deeper understanding of your customer segmentation or take action with the data that you already have?

If you said segment your customer data base with greater accuracy, you probably picked the wrong answer. According to research by Aberdeen Group (“How the Best in class use customer data to boost retention revenue in 2010″) best in class organizations focus on “doing” more than they do on analyzing. This certainly has the ring of truth based on my experience. [Read more...]

Refer a friend programs: are they worth it?

customer-referral-programs-margin

Refer a friend programs: are they worth it?  Yes, as it happens they are and some very recent research gives us the numbers to back it up.

Referral Programs and Customer Value was recently published by Schmitt, Skiera and Van den Boulte.  In this excellent paper, rigorous analysis was applied to a topic of discussion by marketers the world over: do ‘refer a friend’ programs make money?

Their findings: customers acquired through paid customer referral programs have a higher retention rate and higher initial contribution margin than other customers.  In other words, yes they do work. [Read more...]

An introduction to Customer Life Time Value (LTV) and Loyalty Marketing for SMEs

Dominos

We recently participated in a written interview for the SME magazine of one of our major Australian banks. The article was not all about us, so some of the input was edited to meet space restrictions. And we are posting the transcript here for those of you interested in Customer Lifetime Value and loyalty programs.

It is best that the original Q&A structure is retained as seen below. [Read more...]