Will the REAL Trent Dilfer please stand up?


For many years, a common nickname for me during football season has been “Dilfer”.  This began when Trent Dilfer burst onto the NFL scene in the early nineties with the Tampa Bay Bucs, and continues today as he is seemingly on ESPN 24×7 talking football.  True Story – in my mid-twenties, I made my way through a night club red rope or 2 in the Tampa area as a result of this resemblance.  “Welcome Mr. Dilfer, right this way…” 

Not all look-a-likes are created equal

When it comes to acquiring new customers, I often advise my clients to build RFM analytic models that examine their existing clients across many dimensions, resulting in a segmentation that quickly identifies their “best” customers.  From this point, the statistical factors that define the top performing customers can be applied to databases of consumers (or businesses), looking for prospects that most resemble the best customers.

While this provides great results and should be part of any serious marketer’s arsenal of approaches, the ongoing explosion of data worldwide is changing the game a bit.

MJD vs. Dilfer - Tale of the Tape

It’s the differences, dummy

Data points related to sentiment and intent are harder to identify, but are proving that the differences in our customers are sometimes more important than the similarities.

Do you agree?  Let’s discuss at #DMA2011 in Boston next week – DMA 2011

Spray and Pray is NOT a Customer Contact Strategy


My family and I recently moved  into a new house, and in the process I utilized the “moving” services offered by Big Satellite Company [name changed to protect the guilty].  I was a little perturbed when I was unable to coordinate the moving service online, but that’s another topic.  Anyway, all went well and the move went great – they even threw in some free premium channels for free as a “value add” to using the service.  Great way to protect against attrition to competing companies or, god-forbid, cable.

Here’s the kicker – a day later I received an email from Big Satellite Company asking me “Did you know that you can manage your account online?”.  My first inclination was to reply and ask them “Do you know that I had been doing so for my 10+ years as a customer?  Not to mention that the account service I most recently used was not accessible online?”.

Obviously there is a business rule trigger that sent me the email, likely because I called in to the service center to request the moving service, but the automation rules failed to recognize the fact that:

  1. I am frequent user of their online system for account changes.
  2. The service most recently used in not available online.

To borrow from the ESPN crew, C’mon MAN!

I know this is probably rocket-science to some, but companies can do better!

Spray and Pray is not a Customer Contact Strategy – by this I mean that automating communications with your customers should not be done simply for the sake of doing it, and furthermore, not all customers are created equal.   A sound Customer Contact Strategy should span each and every potential interaction a company could have with a customer regardless of contact or delivery channel.  And, these contacts should be well thought out, situational, and personalized to maximize relevance to the customer.  This results in improving sentiment towards your brand with the big payoff being not only the retention of customers, but perhaps more important, the recommendation of your product or service to the customer’s extended “network” of friends, family, and colleagues via social networks .  This is often exacerbated by the  interactions being handled through different software platforms and the wide spread practice of outsourcing portions of CRM processes to different companies (or handled internally by different teams)  as well as the proliferation of subcontracted delivery channels – but trust me when I say that it can be done!

Ask me how…

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