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  • Writer's pictureAjay Row

Why a single CAC doesn't make sense - Part 1

All lifeforms respond to incentives. Higher life-forms, "care". And that is a key goal for folks in marketing (especially CRM, loyalty, branding and sales). Making people care. Care enough to respond, care enough to buy, care enough to return, repeatedly.

Brands measure how people care in different ways:

1/ Folks at Coca-Cola wonder how far you would walk from an immediately available ice-cold Pepsi on a blazingly hot day to get yourself a Coke. 5 ft? 100 ft? 1 km?

2/ An NPS score asks how likely you are to recommend a brand to the folks you care about. In other words do you care enough to risk your reputation amongst those you care about?

3/ Facebook measures how many inches you scroll per day as well as how engaged you are (e.g. likes): another indicator of caring.

4/ HR folks scurry around asking employees how much they cared about the office picnic and the new yoga instructor's last session.

5/ A Focused Group is moderated by an expert, a psychology grad, perhaps qualified in semiotics, patiently listening to and analysing 12 housewives discussing toilet cleaners -- what makes them care?

6/ Your company probably has a measure for customer and employee loyalty and preference -- which is basically a measure of how much these folks care.


Take a moment, think about the the things you really care about. A good test to figure this out is ask yourself how you would feel if it was taken away permanently.

Two situations: first gone completely, second, replaced by something equivalent but not identical. For instance, your toothpaste disappears for good. Alternatively, your tooth paste is replaced by another brand.

How much do you care in each instance? Today? After a week? After a couple of years? (We will leave how your spouse reacts to your new-found halitosis for another day.)

As a thought experiment think of various categories of brands you use and how much you would care if they disappeared or were replaced.

How does the loss of a brand make you feel? Obviously in some cases you are distraught. But equally in others, you would barely notice.

A change of toothpaste. Discounts online disappearing. Your car. Membership status as you are bounced down from Platinum to Silver.

What makes you care? Your emotions? Or it more rational? Or both? What is the role of habit?

To repeat the core question: what makes people care? Why should we as CRM and loyalty folks care even more about this than our advertising and marketing brethren?

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