Yes, a rare 5 star article, my “must read”. Why? For one thing, it is based on analysis and real-life data modeling by Professor Peter Fader and friends at the Wharton School – it’s not a trade mag article by some Consultainer. Fader has a major track record in customer analysis and modeling. The article is Beware the Walking Dead.
What we’re talking about here is the effectiveness of cross-sell and retention efforts based on the Customer LifeCycle, and how if you execute too late in the Cycle, you could end up “waking the dead” and driving defection rather than encouraging retention. The specific example given is cable television, though this article provides support for a lot of ground covered on this blog and others, including my piece on engagement, and Ron’s numerous pieces on customer experience. I love it when academia synchs up with real world experience – academics are so much more rigorous, you know…
The article is a summary of the results from the academic paper, and includes a link to the actual paper for those of you who are into the math and modeling. If you’re unfamiliar with academic papers, they typically provide the actual formulas for the proof of the assertion. Reading the actual paper is not for the faint of heart, but I know some of you folks dig the high level modeling math. Not into the math? Read the article itself, an excellent summary.