Five Ways to Bring Your Catalog/Multichannel Business in Tune With 2008
There’s that old Bob Dylan song about times a-changin’ that I won’t bother to quote further. But it seems to hold true moreso year after year, and 2008 is no exception. So while some of us continue to exchange “happy new year” greetings with one another, I’ll send along one last new year’s greeting with what I believe to be the top five actions you should act on, examine or just ponder to bring your catalog/multichannel business in sync with the times.
1. Get your matchback system working smoothly at once.
Assign someone in either your marketing or operations departments to do nothing other than go over your matchback system with a fine-toothed comb so it’s working accurately. Why? Because a sizable chunk of the catalog/multichannel business still doesn’t get it.
Consider the facts: In our Latest Trends Report on Key Issues that ran in our January issue (and that you can find on our Web site right on the home page, above the fold), we have two survey questions on matchbacks. The results show that catalogers’ learning curve on matchbacks remains steep.
In response to our simple question, “Do you have a matchback program in place?” more than 47 percent of respondents said they don’t have one at all. Need I say anymore? Yes, I must: Among those who said they do have a matchback program, while 40.9 percent said theirs is “very accurate and reliable,” 59.1 percent called theirs only “somewhat accurate and reliable.”
To you folks and especially to those of you without a matchback program at all, I say, get on it. Find out which channels your orders are really coming from. You could be tossing marketing money down the drain, and you don’t even know it.
And having a functional matchback program in place shouldn’t only be about whose department gets credit for the sale; it should really be about which department gets more marketing money going forward, based on that sale.