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Live from InterACT: What's Next? The "Best Next Action"

InterACT BlogI am attending InterACT San Francisco 2007 this week and blogging live (or nearly live) from the sessions. This session is "What's Next? The "Best Next Action"" with Jeff Zabin, one of our precision marketing "gurus" and author of Precision Marketing and The Seven Steps to Nirvana: Strategic Insights into eBusiness Transformation.

Looking to the past can be a source of innovation as much as looking to the future - Jeff noted his grandparents' ability to run a small store with very high customer relationship qualities with personalization and high-quality customer treatment decisions. Jeff emphasized the 5 aspects of decision yield (Precision, Consistency, Agility, Speed and Cost) and the importance of applying the scientific method to marketing - plan, do, check, act. This is core to improving decisions using adaptive control, as is experimental design to make good choices about the kinds of experiments to conduct. All this increased science is being applied to more and better data that is being displayed more intelligently (check out The Visual Display of Quantitative Information)

  • Right Individual
    Segmentation and personalization. Frequency and support after purchase. Small percentages of customers account for much revenue, often even more than the traditional 80//20 rule like Pringles chips with 6% of customers delivering 80% of revenue. Must understand the value of customers coherently and capture information that describes them (sometimes simply by asking).
  • Right Channel
    Determining which channel is the most approrpiate. Customers cannot be defined by the channel they use - if web channel defines customers then does a billboard? Manage channels as a set and measure the value of individual channels. Model how channels influence each other such as the increased effectiveness of coupons during TV campaigns.
  • Right Time
    What is the right moment to contact a customer or prospect? Could delaying improve results (e.g. by waiting until the typical gap between the initial purchase and follow-up item not upselling immediately). Can you develop a rich contextual understanding of the customer to improve timing. For instance, Peacock is an analytic tool that includes analysis of time delays between purchases as well as item combinations.
  • Right Action
    Message, offer or treatment. What is the best next action?

I have blogged before about using this kind of approach and technology in recreating the corner store.  My post on Best Buy, one on extreme personalization and the general CRM category are all good places to go too and you might enjoy this post on Hits and Niches. You can find the full set of posts from InterACT in this category.

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