June 02, 2008

Great Moments In Database Marketing #2: Multichannel Forensics

We've talked an awful lot about Multichannel Forensics on this blog. Maybe you noticed? Many of you purchased the book on Multichannel Forensics. Close to four thousand of you read the Multichannel Forensics white paper. In just the past year alone, I've put about forty brands through the Multichannel Forensics filter. Who knows how many you've analyzed?!

The reason we spend so much time talking about this topic is because it can be a challenge to understand micro-channels without having a tool that identifies how customers migrate between micro-channels.

E-Mail marketers typically evaluate the performance of their marketing strategies across only customers who click on an e-mail campaign. Catalog marketers are obsessed with allocating online orders back to catalog marketing. Web Analytics experts are focused on visit-specific conversion rates. Retailers focus on customer intelligence that drives comp store sales increases. Online marketers care about online marketing channels. Few people focus on long-term customer value. Almost nobody at your company can tell you what the five-year sales trajectory of your brand looks like, by product, brand or channel.

So many of you found Multichannel Forensics valuable because it provides a framework for understanding how customers interact with advertising, products, brands and channels.

Multichannel Forensics were born at Eddie Bauer in the late 1990s, when we tried to understand how markets evolved as new stores were opened in combination with the birth of e-commerce.

Multichannel Forensics allowed us to demonstrate that catalog marketing wasn't needed at Nordstrom, that e-commerce and stores interacted in a way that benefited the customer (customers evolved from catalog to e-commerce, then e-commerce to stores).

As micro-channels continue to proliferate, Multichannel Forensics will be the preferred method for understanding how customers migrate through the many "touchpoints" a brand possesses.