Media Attribution: Matchbacks: The Next Generation
When driving sales in multiple venues, understanding your customers’ path to purchase gives you the insight to develop relevant messaging, provide each customer with the right offer and lets you know where to spend those marketing dollars.
We’re in a time of limited marketing budgets and careful accountability; you want to be confident about what works. Advanced media attribution has become the checks-and-balances element of multichannel marketing strategies. But accurately attributing a sale to the proper marketing activity is an art as much as a science.
How can retailers, catalogers and online marketers conquer this marketing and sales challenge? Not only are consumers hit with promotions across multiple mediums, but many retailers also offer multiple purchasing avenues — from online to catalogs to brick-and-mortar stores.
Media attribution is the process of allocating all of the customer’s media touchpoints to a transaction. Which catalog drove the order? Which online campaign enticed the customer to come into your store at the mall? Likely, it was a mix. And marketers need a way to correctly credit the different types of media that had the potential to drive that interaction — whether it’s an e-mail, catalog, social network, affiliate or search engine.
For years, of course, we’ve called that the “matchback.” And retailers did simply that: matched orders back to the catalog mail file via mailing address or source code. Today’s media attribution expands that process. Retailers are looking at all their transactions across all their media channels. Then, within certain business rules, they determine which touchpoints played a part in the sales.
While landing pages and Web analytics help you understand the relationship between, say, your latest e-mail campaign and online demand, backtracking a store purchase to a marketing effort is trickier. To figure out what lures a customer into a store, merchants need a reason for customers to share personally identifiable information. Privacy is a concern, so asking your customers for personal information while they’re standing in the checkout line might not be a good idea.