March 05, 2009

Channel Migration Visualization

Many database marketers who practice Multichannel Forensics categorize customer activity on the basis of the channel the customer purchased from. Others take this a step further, combining the physical purchase channel with the advertising channel that drove the order.

  • A brand has two physical channels: Telephone and Website.
  • A brand has eight advertising channels: Catalog, E-Mail, Paid Search, Organic Search, Affiliates, Shopping Comparison Sites, Portal Advertising, Blogs, Twitter, Uncoded.
Each combination represents a micro-channel. Many combinations have little relevance, and are not included below:
  • Catalog / Phone.
  • Catalog / Website.
  • E-Mail / Website.
  • Paid Search / Website.
  • Organic Search / Website.
  • Affiliates / Website.
  • Shopping Comparison Sites / Website.
  • Portal Advertising / Website.
  • Blogs / Website.
  • Twitter / Website.
  • Uncoded / Phone.
  • Uncoded / Website.
At this point, you have twelve micro-channels, and now you have something. Take a look at the ecosystem revealed by a Multichannel Forensics analysis (click the image to enlarge it).

This is fun stuff!! You can clearly see the path a customer takes as she moves from newbie status to becoming a loyal customer.

E-Mail marketers --- pay close attention to the middle of this chart. I frequently find that e-mail marketing is the "glue" that links a customer as the customer moves from the past (direct marketing, catalog marketing) to the future (social media, organic demand).

Paid Search marketers --- pay close attention to the role you play in this chart. You are frequently a source of new customers, but the customers you bring into the business are often not responsive to traditional direct marketing. That's ok, as long as the brand doesn't try to convert that customer to traditional advertising via direct marketing.

Often, there's a transition the customer goes through.
  • Traditional Direct Marketing (Catalogs).
  • Traditional Digital Marketing (E-Mail Marketing).
  • Loyal Customer Generating Organic Demand.
And there's a digital transition that the customer goes through.
  • Paid Search
  • Organic Search
  • Loyal Customer Generating Organic Demand.
There's a ton of profitability to be had by marketing appropriately to customers walking down one of these two paths. And increasingly, we'll add in social media and micro-blogging and mobile marketing.

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