Logical 07017 - Consumer-Customer Lifecycle Context View

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Subject Area Concepts

Logical 07017 - Consumer-Customer Lifecycle Context View is an expansion of the prior Logical 07015 view.  In this view the central entities dealing with consumer conversion states and conversion events are supplemented with contextual information.  The contextual information creates a business description of place, time, channel, store, location (place inside a store) and retail transaction -- all which links the abstract state transition model into the tangible retail business setting.

A review of the entities will show that most contextual entities are inherited from the ARTS ODM version 6.1.  There are a few new entities (beyond the lifecycle entities discussed in the Logical 07015 subject area).

Entity Model Groupings

The entity model is organized into colored blocks of entities.  Each block contains entities that reflect a specific aspect of consumer-customers, their conversion states, conversion events and the context around them.

Retailer Defined Customer Lifecycle States (Conversion States) and Retailer's Conversion Goals and Strategy

Retailers go into a market with a working hypothesis (also called a business plan) of how consumers will be influenced to become customers and once customers, how they will be influenced to buy higher valued offerings.  Higher value as used here means increased purchasing volume and/or higher gross margin offerings.  The Retailer Defined Customer Lifecycle States (Conversion States) in the pink block of the entity diagram contain two entities.  The RelationshipStage entity sets up a retailer designated phase of consumer-customer development.  It is the place where retailers describe how they will organize new customer acquisition, customer stewardship, customer reactivation and customer final disposition.  The model shown in the Consumer-Customer Journey may be used as is or as a starting point.  The important thing is that retailers establish their own defined model of a customer lifecycle.

Each RelationshipStage is composed of an ordered sequence of ConversionState entities.  A ConversionState is an identified, named, defined condition that describes a consumer's level of interaction with the retailer.  The number, nomenclature and definition of criteria are up to each retailer to define based on their business strategy.  ARTS provides examples to serve as a starting point for retailers (see the Consumer-Customer Journey topic).  Together RelationshipStage and ConversionState define the consumer-customer lifecycle roadmap.

The next part of the retailer's working hypothesis is the Retailer's Conversion Goals and Strategy.  It uses the roadmap as the basis for organizing the retailer's plan for acquiring, retaining and cultivating customer demand for their offerings.

The ConversionGoal entity defines a desired ConversionState and associates that state to ConversionBehavior. ConversionBehavior identifies and describes observable consumer-customer behaviors that the retailer believes indicate that a conumer-customer has transitioned to the desired ConversionState (i.e. the ConversionGoal).  The ConversionInitiative entity identifies and references retailer demand generation initiatives (i.e., promotions, product offerings, pricing, channels, etc.) that the retailer believes will influence consumers-customers to exhibit ConversionBehavior that indicates that they have transitioned to a desired ConversionState (i.e., the ConversionGoal).

Consumer and Party Antecedent

The Consumer and Party Antecedent (light blue) block shows how Consumer is linked through PartyRoleAssignement to Party.  The person or organization that trades with the retailer is represented as a Party in the ARTS Data Model.  The Consumer as a role player is expected to transition through a sequence of named states(based on the retailers working hypothesis just described).  For demand creation purposes the most critical state is that of a Customer.  Retailers revenue is based on consumers that have purchased products. The initial purchase of a product is the point where a consumer transitions into a customer state.

The three blocks (blue, yellow and pink) establish a working hypothesis that outlines the retailer's consumer-customer lifecycle roadmap and identify the traveler (the Consumer).  The next block ties this model to the real world.

Consumer Conversion State and Event Causing State Transition

The Consumer Conversion State and Event Causing State Transition (light violet) block ties the Consumer and ConsumerState together into a ConsumerConversionState entity.  The ConsumerConversionState entity tells the retailer what state an individual consumer is in (e.g., whether they have visited a store, whether they have browsed, whether they have made a purchase, etc.) .  A consumer may only assume only one current state.  However, the ConsumerConversionState, using a status attribute, allows historical states assumed by a consumer-customer to be memorialized which preserves their journey.  This entity is the point where the abstract notion of a ConversionState is made real by applying it to a real person or organization (the Consumer) through the ConsumerConversionState entity.

The ConversionEvent entity captures the triggering action (along with a lot of context) that alters the ConsumerConversionState.  It allows the retailer to place ConsumerConversionState transitions into a relevant place and time.  Together, these two entities provide the facts required to describe and analyze each consumer-customer lifecycle journey.

Contextual Information: Placing Conversion Event into the Real World

The ConversionEvent, assigns a consumer-customer conversion state change to a real world time and place.  In the ARTS model, real world time and place is represented by:

RetailTransaction entity (in the Retail Transaction Context for Consumer State Transition (blue green) block);

Channel entity (in the Channel Context for Consumer State Changes (light yellow) block);

SellingLocation entity ( in the Place Context for Consumer State Change (medium blue, upper left) block;

ConversionEvent.ConversionEventTimeStamp (owned attribute);

ConsumerID (foreign key to Consumer);

PromotionInitiativeID (foreign key to ConversionInitative ); and

CustomerReferral (FK from CustomerReferral to ConversionEvent).

The association with RetailTransaction is particularly important because it triggers the transition of a consumer from a shopper ConversionState to to a customer ConversionState.   In ARTS ODM V7.0/7.1, the primary source for real world customer behavior is the retail transaction.  This basis for capturing customer behaviors will be extended beyond the retail transaction in future ARTS Data Model Releases.

The Customer entity is a separate identity assigned to a Consumer who has completed the transition to a "customer" ConsumerConversionState.  In simpler terms a customer is a consumer who bought something from the retailer.  The Customer entity references the ConsumerConversionState which establishes the condition of a uniquely identified Consumer.  This structure enables retailers to describe consumer state changes over time and makes consumer-customer journey visible which was not possible in ARTS ODM V6.1 and earlier versions.

Registration State

The Consumer Registration State & Event (light orange) block contains entities used to define whether customers have shared contact information with the retailer and in return received a unique identifying number and token or not.  The RegistrationState defines retailer designated codes to indicate if a customer is registered or not.  Retailers, at their option may elaborate on this binary classification to indicate different degrees of registration.  In the ARTS data model a simple binary treatment is used.  The ConsumerRegistrationState indicates the registration condition of a Consumer.  As noted in the ARTS simplified treatment of registration this means they are or are not registered.  The RegistrationEvent captures the point in time trigger of a registration state change and references real world places, times and parties to put the event into a business context.  Registration is very important because it is a prerequisite for a Customer to be promoted to a KeyCustomer.  A Customer must be a KeyCustomer as a prerequisite to capturing attributive demographic, psychographic, geographic, interests/activities and other descriptive information.  Customers that are not key customers are anonymous and can be analyzed and understood strictly from their retail transaction activity.  Registration state is discussed in more detail in Logical 07015.