Walker Information
Helping you put the customer at the heart of every decision.

Revisiting the Idol Map

It’s been a few weeks since the season 8 finale of TV’s American Idol.   After hundreds of millions of text, web, and phone votes, the excitement of Kris Allen’s surprise victory over Adam Lambert is dying down.  Yet many conspiracy theories still persist. While there are many blogs on this topic, this one is the second in my series and will revisit the concept of using American Idol as an analogy to Walker’s strategic account management tool called Value Mapping. Click here to see my initial blog about Idol Mapping from eight weeks ago.


The original Idol map proved to be dead-on for the first month, but within that month Kris’ performances took him from “one of the pack” to “dark horse front-runner.” Now picture that you manage a strategic account in which a dramatic twist has ‘changed the game’ in that relationship. Since the Idol map’s axes were based on dynamic metrics like viewers’ ratings and weekly performance-based inputs (such as weekly survival, the judge’s verdicts, song choice, Dial Idol predictions, media buzz, etc.) – the effects of a dramatic turn quickly impacted perceptions of Kris. Adam and Danny remained predicted front-runners, as Kris’ position in subsequent versions of the map tracked his ‘rising star’ (see animation of map updates below).




This change points out the importance of using value mapping as a longitudinal tool in managing strategic accounts. As twists and turns happen in your customer relationships that could affect the landscape, updates to the value map should be undertaken to account for it and reset new predictions. In the Idol Map, the strategy associated with Kris’ position evolved from Improve to Invest. So while Kris’ victory was a surprise to many, it was not a shock – if one were monitoring the Idol map. You could see his trajectory emerging as the weeks progressed.


I recognize that your strategic accounts don’t usually run their entire course in just 11 weeks and you thereby wouldn’t need to do weekly or monthly updates to your value mapping, however the parallels between value maps and the Idol map are hard to deny. So let’s hear from you all – do any of you have a “Kris” account where a turn of events dramatically changed your perceptions of the relationship that necessitated a change of strategy to manage that? 


Brad Linville

Sr. VP, Strategic Accounts

Walker Information

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *