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I’m sure most of us with affinity marketing products look at the fantastic brands, the audience they’ve created and see the power in that connection. And I’m not going to dispute that connection, but intend to elaborate on it.

So much of business is metrics driven. You want to have the necessary reporting in place to run your business, make your daily decisions and adjust your product based on that key data. You’ll find good discussions on key businss metrics from Fred Wilson on Business Insider.

You’ll also have access to more data that may not be necessary on a daily basis, but is useful for a regular high-level look at your business. This gives you the benefit of looking at longer-term trends and correlations across product lines. As an example, I’ve talked about our core product leveraging brand affinity, and in my last post talked about the value of our product extension into topical themes. It’s been interesting looking at the data that compares those versions of our interactive browser themes.

I’ve heard that for the NFL credit cards where football fans can get a card with their favorite team emblazoned on the credit card – in the top 5 of all cards is the straight NFL card (and I think it’s actually in the top 3, but can’t find this data referenced anywhere). That means of the 32 teams in the NFL, the NFL credit card does better than at least 85% of the teams. I would have bet, and lost, that most fans would tend toward their favorite team over the general category of “football.” Instead, the odds are in favor of people choosing the general “NFL” as their preferred logo for their credit card.

We’ve witnessed similar phenomenon with our own product. The success of our more general Football, Baseball or Basketball themes are in line with our most successful sports teams. There are interesting differences, though. Adoption is faster with the teams, but more stable with the category. Stable means we’ll keep a larger percentage of the topical-theme users in the off-season and that base gets built upon with the coming of a new season. I don’t know if that implies fans of the support are more loyal. It could imply that people who align with the team will find their “new” team for the current in-season sport. It does mean that we need a mix of offerings if we want to balance the seasonality effect of our sports team browser themes.

That’s good data to have and one that comes with continuing to review and analyze the data. It’s also helpful because as we look at the product we produce, we can create a product line up that creates steady growth, and lessens volatility.

Are there unique affinity marketing insights you have? Are there business metrics that have shaped your business overtime? We look forward to hearing.

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