Multichannel Attribution and Today’s Catalog Circulation Issues
Multichannel attribution can be considered the most complicated and dangerous issue facing catalog circulation managers. Cutting programs with indirect results can lead to the loss of customers or profits. It's important to have an integrated contact strategy, but creating one can be overwhelming. Below is a checklist of questions and solutions you should consider when taking your next step forward. (Check out the PowerPoint presentation in the "Related" content box for additional information.)
When creating an integrated contact strategy, you want to ask the following:
- How do we measure the direct results of catalog, email and web?
- How do we measure the indirect results of catalog, email and web?
- How do we get the big-picture results — year-over-year comparisons of total demand against total marketing costs?
Here's what you want to avoid when developing your integrated contact strategy:
- getting stuck in the weeds of all the niches of multichannel campaign attribution; and
- "double counting" issues where two channels claim credit for the same sale.
Be sure to start with what you know when creating a strategy. Ask yourself the following:
- What do your matchbooks tell you?
- Do you still collect source code data in your call center?
- What data do you have on email and web offers?
Simple best practices to follow include picking a marginal housefile name so you're testing both your break-even line and not giving up too much revenue. Another thought to keep in mind is fourth-quarter matchback results are skewed. You need to be aware and ask how can you avoid the mistake of allocating 100 percent of sales on the in-home date to a single catalog? Source-coded data yields order curves that allow for a truer picture of allocation between catalogs. A simple approach is to take your last two holiday catalogs, add the results together and divide by two. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you underinvested on the web?
- Does web marketing and traditional catalog marketing have the same return on investment goals?
- Are you cutting back too much on your catalog circulation, leaving profits on the table because you have profitable web marketing programs?
It's important to have a strong catalog strategy as well. Consider the following:
- How do you balance your catalog and email offers to get the right mix of top-line sales and bottom-line profitability?
- Are you giving up profit dollars with catalog offers that last too long?
- It used to be that catalog customers would know a catalog's promotion pattern. Now catalog customers expect promotions will be coming so catalog brands have lost some control over their own destiny because customers are waiting for the promotion to arrive.
Finally, the holidays are just around the corner, and the growing reality is the holiday spending season continues to shrink as consumers start their holiday buying later and later every year. So, how can retailers respond to the shrinking holiday sales window now?