Nuts & Bolts - Multichannel: Navigating Consumers’ Cross-Channel Purchasing

Only 7 percent of marketers surveyed report relying on the last click for attributing conversions. That’s a good sign.

The bad sign is that, while 57 percent of interactive marketing professionals measure results in each channel, only 28 percent track the influence of one channel on another, 
according to “Upgrading Your Interactive Measurement Strategy: Why You Should Make Multichannel Measurement A Priority,” by Joanna O’Connell, published by Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research.

This means many marketers don’t understand how consumers who cross channels are making their purchasing decisions, the research states.

“The industry has historically measured in swim lanes—email, search, display, TV,” the research quotes of Wes Nichols, co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based software provider MarketShare Partners. “The 21st century consumer doesn’t make decisions in swim lanes.”

Consumers often experience multiple touchpoints across channels. Marketers need to invest in analytics to understand what’s happening and what decisions to make about it, according to the research.

Forrester provides a few suggestions about how to get started in multichannel analytics:

1. Partner with an agency, technology provider or evolve the organization. Acting on the latter tip, FedEx reorganized its marketing group to create an “interactive marketing center of excellence” to consolidate and improve its digital marketing analytics capabilities.

2. Align digital metrics with stated business objectives. “Digital metrics are useful indicators only after you have benchmarked which of them map to your key business objectives, such as sales or brand awareness.”

3. Understand the customer’s purchase path and measure along the way. “For example, if your website is your primary source of conversions, focus on deep site-side analytics and customer intelligence to improve the site experience.”

4. Take baby steps, but don’t 
get complacent.

5. Talk to current partners, as they may already offer multichannel measurement solutions.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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