Matchback Analytics, Part 3: Six Key Questions and Pointers
In the third and final installment of my three-part series on matchback analytics, this week I’ll take a look at methodologies to employ in your matchback analytics, as well as opportunities to increase prospecting lists. Here are six questions to ask yourself (along with the answers) to get the most from your matchbacks.
1. Allocation of buyers’ methodology. Are buyers allocated by crediting the most recent catalog? This is the basic methodology that’s appropriate when the mailings are spread evenly. Are buyers allocated by an alternative methodology because of the bunching of catalogs in the holiday season, for example? If a buyer is mailed several catalogs, then the methodology for allocating that buyer to a particular catalog gives the proper credit across all the catalogs mailed in a single season.
2. Does the projection of total sales to catalog match with actual historical order curves from this catalog and season? Catalog order curves are remarkably stable from catalog to catalog. Check your projections when a matchback is done in the middle of a catalog season to make sure you’re projecting sales to the end of the catalog shelf life based on historical order curves.
3. Is the order curve for Web buyers and traditional buyers different? Web buyers’ sales can significantly fall off compared to traditional catalog buyers. So don’t expect your Web buyers to keep ordering in the weeks and months after a catalog arrives in-home. Web buyers tend to have a shorter attention span.
4. What is the potential for circulation increases in current prospecting lists based on full matchback results? Catalogers can see the potential for profitable business growth from mailing to their prospecting universe. The most certain way to grow a catalog/multichannel business is to mail all the prospecting names available that will respond above breakeven.
5. What is the potential for increasing the frequency of mailing prospecting lists that respond well above breakeven? If the matchback shows lists performing well above breakeven, it may be possible to mail to them more frequently.
6. Are your Web buyers and your traditional call-center buyers a different demographic? Are the “pure Web” buyers different than the catalog-generated Web buyers? Ask your co-op database providers to model your buyers by channel and tell you how the different channels yield different kinds of buyers.
Dive deeply into your matchback results to read and understand the implications of your Web buyers — those who are driven by catalog vs. Web buyers who come to you purely through the Web.
Jim Coogan is president of Catalog Marketing Economics, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based consulting firm focused on catalog circulation planning. You can reach him at (505) 986-9902 or email@example.com .