All Circuits are Busy
“The more targeted we get, the more lift we see in these categories,” Garlow says. “Our circulation isn’t decreasing anymore, but it’s getting more targeted and we’re seeing stronger results.”
Matchbacks, Square-Inch Analysis Gauge Effectiveness
In measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, particularly with catalogs, CDW uses matchbacks and square-inch analysis. Depending on the catalog and how often it’s dropped (monthly or quarterly), the company performs a two-week or six-week analysis.
With its matchback program, CDW can encounter duplication because its reps don’t request key codes on purchases from customers, believing they inhibit sales. “If I drop a catalog to said group of customers in the federal market, and I also mail them a direct mail piece during that time, and the same product is advertised in both,” Garlow says, “I’m going to double count it because we don’t have a way of differentiating which vehicle actually made the pull.”
Square-inch analysis, however, helps CDW determine whether products are carrying their weight in sales in the catalogs. CDW also compares how sales are doing for each specific vendor. “If we have HP servers in the catalog, we can see how the space we gave it performed, so if in a previous month we gave an item a full page and it was on the front cover, the next month we’d run it as a quarter-page and bury it in the middle of the catalog,” Garlow points out. “We also make comparisons on how the server in our catalog compares to HP’s overall sales of servers with us. And we can compare how the server in that catalog sold as compared to HP sales nationally, which HP shares with us.”
CDW is constantly adapting its marketing approach. For instance, the company has adapted its merchandising approach within its catalogs. Looking to sell solutions rather than just products, it now focuses on relating products together. If a customer is looking for a wireless hub at its company, Garlow notes, “we’ll present all the components you need for that wireless hub, rather than just giving customers a page of cables.”