Multichannel Marketing: Putting it All Together
In the mid ’90s, Louis Stack, founder and president of Fitter International, was like many people — he’d never seen a Web site. Then a Web developer from Florida offered to create one for his Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based company that sells balance and fitness equipment around the world. By 1997 — the same year Stack’s catalog, Fitterfirst, was launched — the site was downloading orders. Today, Fitterfirst also sells products from a retail store attached to its headquarters, and through 2,500 international dealers and wholesalers.
Like plenty of other multichannel marketers in North America, Stack’s challenge these days is in coordinating his company’s multichannel efforts. Chief among his concerns is effectively measuring sales from each channel, budgeting and marketing to the different channels.
“Tracking is becoming more important than ever,” Stack says, noting that Fitterfirst uses Web tracking software. “It’s good, but not good enough. We’re always looking for new options.”
Lisa Papageras, e-commerce manager for Hudson, Ohio-based Universal Screen Arts, also has had trouble with tracking software. Universal Screen Arts markets through the Signals, Wireless, What on Earth? and Art and Artifact catalogs. “Some of them do better than others. But my piecemeal way of doing it brings me closer to what happened,” she says, adding, “I do believe in them as a piece of my piecemeal.”
Papageras says there are so many different ways customers can be driven to Web sites that putting it all together has become more challenging than ever. She suggests coding every link to your Web site a little bit differently, “so that all these tracking mechanisms have a different fingerprint on the order.”
Rory O’Connor, Web developer and president of Bellingham, Wash.-based Web design firm The White Room, says that like source codes on catalogs, “Each marketing campaign should have a unique source that gets attached to orders in your system. Having a site that can track through online marketing to orders is essential,” he says.