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What is a "Secured Customer"?

… and how do I measure it?

It’s time for some Marketing Metrics 101, kids.  I offer this quick tutorial, inspired by Jeneane Sessum’s call for a likeability measure, and Robert Scoble’s call for an engagement measure.

Old Man in Rocking ChairWay back in the bad old days of marketing boxes of bits on shelves at retail, the good folks at Microsoft used to measure a secured customer metric.  The objective was to come up with a numerical value that could be used to determine how likely a customer would be to switch from Microsoft to someone else.  It was a pretty good metric, too.  We used it to determine which of WordPerfect’s verticals would be vulnerable to a switching campaign, for instance.

A customer was said to be secured if they rated the product highly, would repeat the purchase if given a chance, and would recommend that product to others.  You would measure each rating on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 highest, and then take the subset of customers who scored 4 or 5 in every category as your secured customer base.  Compare that percentage to the overall customer base, and you would have a measure of the percentage of your customer base that was secured — ie. not likely to switch from Microsoft.

That’s an awful lot like what Jeneane and Robert are proposing, isn’t it?  For Ze vs Rocketbom, you want to know how many people think it’s great, how many people would return again, and how many would recommend it to their friends.  I put it to you that the top scorers in all three are engaged readers.

Here’s the rub — we used to gather this information using random digit dial surveys; telemarketing. You need to measure either a statistically significant random sample, or the whole survey set. I’m not sure you could automate this process and still get a meaningful result. 

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • jeneane October 25, 2006, 5:45 pm

    I shouldn't have been so cryptic. What I was trying to say is that RocketBoom isn't likeable, and its mighty claims are not believable.

    If I subscribe to Ze Frank in my feed reader or on my video ipod — however all that fancy stuff works — and I am claimed as "traffic" or an "eyeball", and then one day Ze Frank gets kicked off the show and Joanne Frank starts doing the show, maybe I don't give enough of a shit about Joanne Frank's show anymore to even bother CHANGING my default. That doesn't mean I am an active viewer. That means I'm a passive lazy downloader of something I don't really care about. How valuable am I?

    The technology does change the metric, I think, because we are allowed to be both passive and participatory at the same time. Or at least claimed as such. It's downright freaky.


  • Alec October 26, 2006, 4:17 am

    Absolutely, right, Jeneane — at the point Ze is clogging your feed rather than being a valuable part of your day, you're a lot less valuable. I think the engaged reader metric I just described would capture that — you wouldn't be likely to be repeat reader, or recommend the feed to your friends, in that circumstance.

  • jeneane October 26, 2006, 4:34 am

    Hey, are you monetizing my comment content? I haven't seen that before. THAT is interesting. I'm not sure I like it. So, Xanax, Viagra and Penis Enlargement to you. 😉

  • Alec October 26, 2006, 5:03 am

    Your content? It became mine 4 comments ago… mu ha ha!

  • jeneane October 26, 2006, 12:07 pm

    why i oughta……..!!!!

  • Jim November 5, 2006, 12:45 pm

    Nice Contentlink on that Penis Enlargement…! Wonder what mortgages have to do with enlarging your…

  • Alec November 5, 2006, 2:04 pm

    Inquiring minds want to know what you were doing searching on that topic Jim….

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