January 21, 2013


This is a picture of the Red Cross.  They are in the process of responding to a disaster.

If you had to attribute events that caused the Red Cross to be here, you'd have a challenge on your hands, right?  It would be easy to demonstrate that the disaster gets most of the credit.

It would be hard to show how individual contributions and corporate contributions led to this response.  It would be hard to show how the actions of a Red Cross volunteer or employee led to the purchase of the vehicles, which contributed to the response.

Similarly, in catalog marketing, we have to attribute response.  In the rest of the marketing world, this is called "attribution".  In catalog marketing, catalogers frequently take credit for actions that should be attributed to online marketing ... as a result, the methodology is called "matchback", not "attribution".

There are many matchback vendors.  Often, I'm asked to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of matchback vendors.

Instead of my opinions, let's focus on your thoughts.

In the comments section, please leave an anonymous comment.  Here's what I want you to share.

  1. Name of the Matchback vendor you use.
  2. Grade you would give their services ... "A", "B", "C", "D", or "F".
  3. Tell us what your matchback vendor does best.
  4. Any additional considerations.
If you wish to put your name behind the comments, go ahead.  If not, please leave an anonymous comment, and give your thoughts to the catalog community.  Via the magic of search engine optimization, this can become the post that folks look to for your thoughts about matchback vendors.


  1. marketing guy12:22 PM

    First as you pointed out key to differentiate between matchback and attribution ... related but different. In my definition matchback is a simple process ... more of a comodity service. Anyone can "match" a mailtape and assign a source code to an unsourced order. Most can develop the logic internally or any service bureau etc will do. The assumptions used in the matchback is "attribution". Many vendors claim to be experts and some are playing with sophisticated modeling techniques and fractional allocations but typically where you set the dials ... the assumptions ... are up to you. You need to keep working the problem, testing, learning, arguing with stake holders to come closer to the "right answer" I have not found a vendor who has the answer ... everyone has opinions ... i prefer my opinions on where the dials should be set. But with that said I think Clario Analytics thinks about attribution most intelligently.

  2. I have clients who work with Clario. Like any vendor, it's a coin toss, if you talk to folks in the industry.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Who Is In Control?

At every company, there are the people who appear to be in control (Owner, Board of Directors, CEO, Executive Team). Then there are the peop...