Get Ready for the Holidays with Matchbacks

In this age of multichannel marketing, in which sales are being collected from any number of sources, smart catalogers are trying to answer the question, “How much of my total sales is the catalog actually generating?”

Some companies have siloed marketing departments where the print catalog is handled separately from the Internet and/or e-mail marketing departments. In some cases, these departments might have their own set of marketing budgets, and thus everyone is fighting for what they think is their share of sales allocation.

But you as a merchant need to think about the symbiotic relationship mailing a catalog might have on web and e-mail sales. It is important to understand that sometimes the Web is simply the channel of purchase, not always the channel of origin.

In order to start understanding this relationship, a sophisticated and detailed matchback is needed.

In preparation for your upcoming holiday season, start thinking about the following six steps to help create a complete and detailed matchback:

  • Make sure that you have tracking capabilities for different types of sales as they come in through various channels. E-mail, Google, affiliate, organic search, etc. should all have separate source codes.
  • Heading into the matchback, be sure to pull 100% of total transactions for the time span in question.
  • Make sure that the total sales from the responder file matches the total sales used in your financial reporting.
  • Request that the service bureau provide you with a report detailing the sum of orders and sales per source code. Assign one of three categories to each source code: catalog, other, omit (Omits should be excluded from the matchback altogether, for example employee purchases, ProDeals, etc.).
  • Ask your service bureau to run the catalog and other source codes through the matching process together, using the established match logic rules.
  • Have your service bureau report on matches from catalog transactions separate from matches from other transactions. This will allow you to control how much, if anything, you want to allocate back to the catalog results.

It is more important than ever in this environment of convergent channels to understand which channels are driving purchases so that we don’t waste marketing dollars on a channel that isn’t truly contributing.

Anna-Lisa Ulbrich is senior marketing manager at catalog consultancy Lenser.

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