July 27, 2009

A Multichannel Marketing Rally?

This article makes the case that multichannel marketing, cross-channel marketing, bricks & clicks, whatever you want to call it, is one of the secrets to sales growth.

It's an interesting argument, supported by metrics.

There are other metrics to look at.

Back on March 16, 2007, I selected two groups of stocks ... one set of stock represented online and online/catalog brands, while one set of stocks represented "multichannel" brands, brands with a retail channel to support the online/catalog brands.

Online Brands: Amazon, Blue Nile, CDW, Dell, Drugstore.com, eBay, Overstock.com, PC Connection.

Retail Brands: Best Buy, Cabelas, Circuit City, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, J. Crew, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, Talbots, Williams Sonoma.

I compared the price of the stocks, on March 16, 2007, and today, July 27, 2009.

Online/Catalog Brands: The average value of these stocks decreased by 17% during the last 28 months.

Retail Brands: The average value of these stocks decreased by 65% during the last 28 months. Excluding two bankruptcies (Circuit City & Eddie Bauer), the average value of these stocks decreased by 58% during the last 28 months.

There are many ways to slice and dice data. In many cases, sales are aggregating among larger companies. This doesn't mean this is the best way for a business to be more profitable. Run your multichannel forensics analytics carefully, so that you thoroughly understand how your customers interact with channels. The right answer lies in your own customer data, not in the analysis of stocks, or in the analysis of aggregate sales totals.