September 17, 2007

Your Questions About Multichannel Forensics, Matchback Analyses, and Web Analytics

Tell people you have a book coming out, and you get a few questions.

Question: How are Multichannel Forensics different than Web Analytics?
  • Multichannel Forensics and Web Analytics are very different disciplines. Web Analytics looks "back" in time, and tells you what customers did during a specific visit to a website. Multichannel Forensics look back in time to understand online customer behavior, then forecast over the next five years how online, retail and catalog sales will evolve. Notice that the methodology views online customer behavior, then illustrates what happens in all channels in the next five years.

How are Multichannel Forensics different than Catalog Matchback Analyses?

  • Matchback Analyses are very trendy these days, with dozens of catalog and analytical vendors vying for the right to explain to you how e-mail marketing, online marketing, and catalog/direct marketing work together to cause purchases to happen. Matchback Analyses typically "guess" at what caused customers to purchase, using business rules. Matchback Analyses only look back in time. Multichannel Forensics seldom try to quantify the impact of an individual e-mail marketing campaign, online marketing campaign, or catalog campaign. Instead, Multichannel Forensics quantify the annual impact of an e-mail marketing program, online marketing program, or catalog marketing program on telephone, online and retail channels. This is a fundamental and important difference. Multichannel Forensics is a strategic tool used by CEOs/EVPs to determine the best future strategy for various marketing platforms. Matchback Analyses are tactical tools that can be very beneficial for determining how to allocate a budget.

What is the best use of Multichannel Forensics?

  • There are four areas that I really like applying the technology.
    • Understanding the long term impact of eliminating a product, brand or channel.
    • Measuring the long-term impact of various forms of advertising.
    • Identifying the reason why one specific channel is not growing the way management expects the channel to grow.
    • Graphically illustrating how customers interact with advertising, products, brands and channels interact with each other.

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