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Radical new metrics for the third wave of digital

Digital has irreversibly shifted market power towards customers. It has given customers direct access to brands, 24/7. It has created the platform for customers to influence others. It allows customers to set the terms of their relationship with brands. The game has changed.

In response, brands have invested heavily in digital: mobile, social media, ‘content’, etc. The underlying assumption is that engaging customers via digital is a good thing, though there is limited hard data on the value of doing so.

Which begs two questions: can we get a proper measure of customers’ digital engagement and how this maps across a brand’s customer base? And, if so, can we then put a hard £-value against it?

New Masters answers these questions.

Introducing New Masters

New Masters is a radical new system of metrics for classifying, tracking and putting a £-value to customers’ digital engagement. It is an invaluable tool for brands to optimise their advertising, marketing and sales in the third wave of digital.

Quadrangle Research Group Introducing New Masters

Over c.25 years, the first wave of digital transformed the supply-side, building new industries and changing all others.  Kick-started by the launch of the iPhone in 2007, digital’s second wave has made people’s lives easier.  Customers of all ages and kinds love mobile’s ease, using it to search, enquire, purchase, comment and complain. It’s also made it easy for customers to support or attack a brand.

Now, the third wave of digital is hitting as tech players increasingly behave as principals; new technologies go mainstream; and, market by market, new competitors leverage mobile’s ubiquity and ease to create new customer gateways.

Digital has become the new norm – but customer metrics have not yet evolved to reflect the profound change in customers’ attitudes, behaviours and loyalties it has generated.

What’s required is a radical new system of customer metrics that derives from the new norm of digital.  A set of metrics that brands can use to successfully play into digital’s third wave.

The ability to make sense of and measure customers’ digital engagement are at the very heart of this.

Which is precisely what New Masters does.

A new system of customer metrics for brands

New Masters gives a read on how digitally-engaged a customer is and, from this, a map of digital engagement across a brand’s customer base.  This data can then be appended to (transactional) customer data-sets to put a £-value on engagement and tracked across time.

Quadrangle Research Group Customer Metrics For Brands

By ‘digitally-engaged’, we mean a hybrid of attitudes and behaviours relating to digital.  We ask each brand’s customers a battery of questions around four broad themes – mobile, tech, data exchange and power – which enables us to classify them into one of 16 customer types.

Seeing how customers distribute across these 16 types creates a map of digital engagement.  This then enables the brand to quantify how digital engagement profiles – in terms of customer numbers, value, behaviours, characteristics, etc. – across its customer base.  It is possible that engagement is strongest amongst the least valuable customers, or vice versa; or that customers who are the main target of digital investment show weak levels of digital engagement.

Each brand in a market has its own distinct profile of digital engagement; similarly, a map of customers’ digital engagement will vary by market; and specific customer characteristics (demographics, lifestyle, lifestage, brand affinities, etc.) correlate with distinct patterns of engagement.

Currently, we are building norms – nationally, by markets, and by customer characteristics – to enable brands to benchmark themselves against their own market, other markets and, crucially, competitors.

Why brands need New Masters

In the third wave of digital, New Masters is the foundation stone for any brand’s go-to-market strategy.

Unless the brand starts from an understanding of its customers’ digital engagement, how this profiles and – ideally – where £-value falls out against this, the risk is of (a) flying blind, (b) making huge assumptions that may or may not reflect customer realities or (c) wasting a significant part of the brand’s investment.

If a brand’s advertising, marketing and sales investment is to be optimised, then – as a minimum – the brand’s Sales and/ or Marketing Director needs to know how the customer base profiles by digital engagement, and the £-value of the different customer groups.

This can be done either by using the 16 classifications in New Masters, and/ or overlaying the brand’s New Masters profile on an existing customer segmentation.

But New Masters goes beyond this and can be used to not only map where £-value is found by digital engagement, but also track how this £-value changes over time.

New Masters is the first system of customer metrics specifically designed to gauge the impact of the third wave of digital on brands. It uses bespoke tools to unpick customers’ attitudes, behaviours and needs.

Reflecting the new reality of digital, New Masters is truly customer-centric, rooted in people, not in markets, products, services or channels.  It is not a theoretical model, but a framework to help brands make sense of and respond successfully to the unprecedented challenge – and opportunity – of digital.

How brands can use the insight that New Masters provides

Quadrangle is a world-leading insight consultancy.  We were one of the first to recognise how the second wave of digital was not just driving profound changes in customer attitudes and behaviour, but also creating an urgent need for a radical new set of customer metrics aligned to the norms of digital.

The insight that New Masters provides will help brands to be more effective in developing strategies to create and keep customers. It has profound implications for how brands should communicate with customers, and manage customer relationships.

The classification is particularly powerful in enabling brands to, e.g.:

  • Achieve an optimum balance of digital and non-digital investment
  • Target advertising, marketing and sales activities more effectively
  • Hone more fit-for-purpose digital, social media and content strategies/ campaigns
  • Better handle customer complaints and social media comment
  • Overall, communicate with, sell to and serve customers more effectively


What next?

In the first quarter of 2017, Quadrangle will release New Masters to a limited number of clients across different sectors.

If you would like to gain a competitive edge for your brand by being amongst the first to use New Masters please request more information, using the link below.

To request more information on New Mastersplease click here.