Is Your Paper Catalog Dying?
I was discussing with a client last week the method his company uses to allocate credit to matchbacked orders. The discussion quickly turned to how to allocate credit for an order received from a site or name that had been mailed, but ordered via the Web and entered via a search engine, not a direct URL entry. There were several company marketing reps in the room, and the discussion quickly got interesting.
As I sat back and observed the “internal communication dynamics” (read: chaos), I couldn’t help but notice the respective points of view were being argued from very different perspectives on the business. No one involved in the discussion was being objective. Essentially, the participants with the “legacy view” were vested in the catalog and other mailings, while the e-commerce folks were advocates of the ways of the future, albeit with less development analysis.
When it came time for me to play referee — a common role of a trusted advisor — I started with a position we could all agree on: The relevance of the paper catalog was trending downward; perhaps even dying. What we couldn’t agree on, of course, was how soon and if the catalog would ever really breathe its last breath. Only the interpretation of the numbers will tell us that.
If you find yourself in the same debate as to how to evaluate and allocate your matchback results, here are some guidelines to follow (note, each company will have “nuances”):
* Direct-entry URL orders get credited to the catalog or other mailing, particularly if your catalog carries a unique URL.
* Search engine orders get credited to the Web, unless you receive catalog item codes.
* Avoid blatant, biased views such as allocating all orders to the catalog within 30 days of it being dropped. Conversely, avoid allocating all online orders that don’t have catalog item codes to online marketing efforts.