Thursday, February 21, 2008

Are We Finally Getting Some Analytics?

I just saw a story by Kate Maddox that is titled "Marketers pursuing new customer-focused metrics." There was a brief review of her article in the B-to-B online that is aimed at marketing strategists. She points out that it appears that customer centric metrics are taking center stage this year. Finally!!!

Maybe this will mobilize the industry to focus on the metrics issue so that we can finally settle on a few metrics on which every one can agree. It is really a shame that we have not been able to settle on a few base metrics for customer loyalty. There are many different metrics used in the market and, unfortunately for the uninformed business, the selection process of which metric to use usually comes down to who is the best salesperson.

Ms Maddox mentions several alternatives in her article; namely, she mentions the NPS metric which seems to have mixed reviews. She also mentions the Customer Affinity Index recently published by the Chief Marketing Officer Council. We already know that IBM has a new metric that they are using in their consulting business. In her article she goes into some detail on the work being done by HP where the customer metrics seem to occur at different levels and are aimed at seeing the customer from many different angles, rather than using a simple metric. Finally, there are a number of research firms that seem to have their own version of what it takes to measure customer loyalty.

Bottom line: Can we PLEASE agree on the basic metrics of customer loyalty for the sake of the companies who are paying BIG BUCKS to people who are selling everything from the magic bullet to snake oil? I will wait and see.

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