Doing Matchbacks? Follow the Rules

OK, class, quick test: You mail a catalog, and 21 days later send a postcard. If the customers buys something on day 28, what fraction of that sale was postcard-driven?

Consider this example: A mailer sends out a catalog on the first day of a campaign, and 21 days later sends out a postcard to many of the same customers. If an order is placed on Day 28, what fraction of that order did the postcard drive? And what about that e-mail that went out on day 12?

You can see how murky this is when you have no keycode attached to the sale and rely on the matchback to tell you the order was driven by those mail pieces. And it’s not much better even if you do.

But it proves on point.

As the media mix diversifies, the need to match sales data to promotional files is no longer up for debate. Direct marketing merchants simply must do it. But necessity and ubiquity won’t clear the minefield of business intelligence.

Chief among the potential pitfalls, ironically, is the misinterpretation of results due to questionable business rules driving the matchback process.

To tease the data apart and make it actionable, you must set business rules that all stakeholders will buy into. Given that we’re talking about interpreting customer behavior, this is inherently paradoxical, but I do not believe there is a responsible way around it.

One set of matchback business rules won’t fit all, and a matchback can’t provide all the information required to do the best job in today’s direct-to-customer business environment. So approach the development of solid business intelligence as an iterative and collaborative process.

Jude Hoffner is director of marketing and database services at San Rafael, CA-based consultancy Lenser.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.