Like my flights to and from Barcelona, this blog post is rather late…

On Friday morning, I spoke about the need for us to reconsider customers on a social level.  As marketers, we find ourselves relying more and more on consumers to impact others in their purchase decisions.  Evaluating customers based only on their business or financial value – such as my much-loved Life Time Value, or an operation’s ROI – is *has been*. 

I called for marketers to integrate a second dimension – the social value – into their thinking.  What’s social value?  I’ve simplified it into 3 components:

1) A customer’s knowledge and involvement – in short, his level of expertise and interest in the category and brand. 

2)  How he participates, and the value of his connections – what social activities is he involved with (both on and offline) and where (on what networks is he active).  The value refers to the value of the connections themselves:  are the communities more tightly-knit or diffused, are they public or more intimite.

3) The number of contacts the customer has in each network. 

I’ll soon publish the score card with examples.  The most important challenge for marketers:  understanding and mapping what customers are doing *socially* is still terribly hands on.  The best bet for marketers with an established customer base – ask them.  Your CRM or loyalty program members and active web users would be great starting points for social scoring. 

The new high-value customer is what I’ve called  *Ambassadors* – those customers with both high financial value AND high social value.  Ah yes, even in this new connected world, financial value should remain a key focus – with social value laid on top.