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What is your MODE?

Imagine three statisticians out duck hunting—first one shoots 3 feet too high, second one, 3 feet too low, third one says “you got ‘em!”

This joke explains why the MEAN average often misses the mark in the real world. You may remember from high school there are three averages, mean, median, mode. Within any series of values the MODE is the most frequent.

Here is what you need to know about the MODE:

When it comes to business and marketing, the MODE is quite often the more important average. Why? Because it measures the most common, most likely customer behavior. For this reason it is often the most predictive of FUTURE customer behavior.

How important is understanding the mode? In many cases it is the most central concept to the SURVIVAL of any business. WHY? Because it answers this question:

 When and how often are my customers going to come back to my company?

Put simply the MODE is central to the study of customer visit CYCLE. It is also central to any good study of share of customer requirement.

In short, regardless of whether your company is trying to grow share, worried about competition, interested in growing loyalty, better understanding the customer journey, MODE and purchase or visit CYCLE are central. For this reason, MODE is foundational to good 1:1 strategy and tactics.

Many companies believe that their monthly newsletter to customer subscribers is good enough 1:1 thinking. We respectfully disagree. The world is moving at light speed towards right time, right product, right offer multi-channel marketing.

All these RIGHTS are driven by MODEs.

Usually the most valuable NEXT move of any business is to analyze their customer modes, identify the visit and purchase cycles and begin to better tailor to the rights. The rights help your advertising via any channel.

American consumers are bombarded with 1,000’s of ad messages daily, the vast majority are filtered out sub-consciously. Companies need to break through.  How?


Here three simple business risks that knowing customer level MODEs helps with:

  1. Your customer fall OUT of the habit with your company.  Don’t wait!
  2. Your customer skips you and goes to competitor. You need to get the rebound visit before your customers establish a new habit with your competitor instead of YOU!
  3. Your customer likes you but often procrastinates. Communicate at the right time and you will grow category!  Why?  Because they WOULD spend more with you because they like you they but the reality is they are ALSO VERY BUSY AND DISTRACTED.

We can help. We offer a range of MODE finders to power all the RIGHTS.

  1. At the customer level our JOURNEY engine helps you map the most productive and promising paths your customers are taking. The JOURNEY engine includes within it a visit CYCLE finder.
  2. At the product level a MODE finder called our WHO’S NEXT engine. This engine answers three mode finding questions, WHO’s next?, WHEN next?, WHAT ELSE?

Contact us to find out more>

About the Author:

Scott Ulring, partner, has over twenty years building brand promise delivery systems that work one customer at a time. Brands include Blockbuster Video, American Express Financial Advisors, Carlson Marketing Group (now EMIA), Carlson Hotels, Carlson Hospitality and Great Clips among others. Scott fell in love with data science as a graduate student at the University of Iowa and went on to extended graduate studies in multivariate methods working as a Senior Analyst at Fingerhut way back when. Scott started as a pioneer in lifetime value and profit scoring and has been on a fantastic ride ever since. Two years ago Scott and his partner decided to productize as a SaaS their consulting and analytic tools. These "knowledge engines" are best practice examples and package years of development, testing and real world knowledge of what works in the areas of segmentation, measurement, drivers and outcomes, marketing attribution and scheduling optimization. Scott lives in Minneapolis MN where there are lots of coffee shops some open as early as 6AM EVERY DAY. It is cold and dark a good bit of the year and that is highly conducive to this kind of work.