June 25, 2008

Matchback Bias

You're probably partnering with your list organization, data warehouse vendor, or co-op on the never-ending scope of matchback analytics.

The goal, of course, is to prove that catalog marketing is a vital piece of the modern marketing puzzle. You're trying to truly understand the ROI of this activity. That's why you try so hard to attribute every online order back to one of the dozens of catalogs you mailed in the past year.

Now let me ask you this.

Do you go through the same effort to attribute every phone order back to the original online source?

You don't?

I met with a business that is doing just that. They combine their web analytics tool and their matchback analytics platform to attribute phone orders back to the online marketing activity (which is usually organic/natural search) responsible for driving the phone order.

Why is it that our industry is so bent on proving that catalog marketing drives online orders, but doesn't invest the energy to prove that online marketing drives phone (and store) orders?

Our view of the world is biased, folks. And that bias favors co-ops, printers, the USPS, the paper industry, and the list rental/exchange industry.

Your thoughts?