Definition: A micro-channel is the combination of advertising channels and physical channels that are attributed to an order placed by a customer.
As you might surmise, most brands have a customer base using a diverse array of micro-channels. Micro-channels are ultimately driven by the customer, making them difficult to manage in a traditional marketing sense. Let's consider a series of micro-channels, for illustrative purposes:
- Customer orders on a website using the key code from the back of the catalog.
- Customer orders on a website after clicking on a paid search term. Customer received an e-mail campaign earlier that week, and received a catalog two weeks ago.
- Customer visits website on Monday, then purchases merchandise in a store on Wednesday.
- Customer sees a clearance item advertised on Twitter, visits website, purchases item.
- Customer sees an item advertised on a popular apparel blog, visits website, purchases the item.
- Customer receives a direct mail piece on Monday, visits website on Tuesday, buys merchandise in a store on Wednesday.
My Multichannel Forensics projects suggest that micro-channels are highly predictive of future behavior, and help the brand go a long way toward determining when/if the customer should be advertised to.
Equally important is the concept of creating a micro-channel dashboard. In other words, rolling twelve month files can be created for each micro-channel. The dashboard illustrates the micro-channels that are growing, and shrinking.
In lieu of working with your favorite Multichannel Forensics expert, your matchback analytics vendor should be able to provide you with micro-channel reporting, especially if the vendor houses your customer database.