September 14, 2009

OMS vs. Multichannel Forensics

One of our loyal readers says ... "I don't understand how OMS represents the logical evolution of Multichannel Forensics."

We've been talking about Multichannel Forensics for almost four years. The metrics (MPT) and the modes (Retention Mode, Hybrid Mode, Acquisition Mode, Isolation Mode, Equilibrium Mode, Transfer Mode, Oscillation Mode) are unique to Multichannel Forensics. We use the metrics and modes to describe how customers migrate through our channels, we learn the role that each of our channels play in our total business.

It has been my experience that Analysts/Managers are very interested in this aspect of Multichannel Forensics.

It has been my experience that CEOs/CFOs/CMOs are very interested in having me predict what sales will look like, by marketing channel (catalog, e-mail, pay-per-click, affiliates, natural search, organic demand), for each of the next five years. They want to understand how e-mail marketing will be impacted by paid search, how affiliates influence future off-price purchase activity. They want to know if they should invest more/less in e-commerce. They want to know what impact their website has on retail sales. They want to know why certain merchandise divisions aren't growing online anymore. They want to be able to understand if shopping cart abandonment truly impacts long-term customer behavior, or if it is a psuedo-metric that isn't truly correlated with long-term customer value, sales, and profit.

In other words, the needs of business leaders changed in the past two years. The focus dramatically shifted ... reduce offline marketing expense, find ways to understand online customers beyond segmentation and conversion rates and optimization.

CEOs/CFOs/CMOs were increasingly asking me to fold online activity into the Multichannel Forecasts I was running. This really picked up after the economy crumbled last fall. E-commerce no longer represented an unfettered growth channel. Boards and Owners are now challenging CEOs to present an accurate picture of long-term e-commerce growth, in order to make long-term investment decisions.

After receiving several similar requests from Management teams across a diverse set of companies, requests that shifted focus from high-level channels (retail, online, catalog) to online channels (e-mail, pay-per-click, affiliates) and their impact on the total business, it became obvious that we needed to evolve the forecasting component of Multichannel Forensics projects.

This is why you now see the intense focus on the Online Marketing Simulation on this blog. This is what business leaders are now asking me to do for them.

And this is why I am imploring you, the Web Analytics expert, to read this content carefully, and to adopt this information in your daily activities. Your business leaders are looking for you to do this type of work for them.

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