Whatever Happened to Precise DM Measurement
Matchback technologies examine historical data. Test design anticipates future results. Here, let’s focus on matchback approaches. Multichannel matchback methodologies are usually integrated with catalogers’ processing of databases. To engage such tools, marketers must capture data for the following metrics:
• each customer relating to mailings received;
• e-mails delivered to customers; and
• visits to the Web site originating in paid and organic search, among others.
Incoming orders or retail transactions are then matched back to mailing files, e-mail records, telemarketing logs and others. Each order from a household is matched to all the media you know you’ve targeted to that household over a period of time, thereby identifying the costs of those media.
Then, typically, these methodologies use a series of business rules to allocate the sales from the order to the media that might have generated it. Here’s a very simple example of a business rule: If the household was mailed four times in the past four months, assign all of the sales from the order to the most recent mailing.
Practices and approaches to multichannel performance measurement are evolving quickly, and almost every serious cataloger is experimenting with several analytical approaches. The business is still lacking a universally accepted set of best practices, however.
Allocate Orders Realistically
“The key is to define rules that realistically allocate orders to each channel,” says Bob Gaito, founder/CEO of data services provider I-Centrix. He advises mailers who have invested heavily in search engine optimization, banner ads and affiliate programs to be careful not to overallocate the traditional direct mail channel.
If an order is placed over the Web and it can be determined that it came via paid search, for example, is it really appropriate to allocate the order to a catalog the consumer received 90 days ago? Perhaps, but that’s where the difficulty lies, Gaito points out. Work through these scenarios in detail before implementing a definitive matchback program.