B-to-B: On the Right Track
To make this situation even more interesting, turnover at U.S. companies has never been higher.
Simple Tracking Solutions
The most common and, perhaps, simplest method of tracking response is to use a special key code and ask buyers or inquirers for the code when they call. Often, an incentive is given to encourage the reporting of the code. Wily buyers and sales people soon learn that these special codes result in rewards, so order tracking can become skewed.
You also can give your products slightly different item numbers to track an order back to a specific promotion. For example, a widget may be item #ABC123 in a supplement catalog, but item #ABD133 in the master catalog.
A similar technique uses toll-free telephone numbers to track orders. In this scenario, you advertise one number in the catalog and a different number on the Web. While it’s still possible to see an item in a catalog, look it up on the Web site and then order using the telephone number on the Web site, toll-free numbers still have some value, as they point toward the promotion used for the order.
Recently, many B-to-B direct marketers have developed numerous, complicated e-commerce promotions, and it’s becoming even more difficult to distinguish which promotion is most effective. Al Contarino, president of Web consulting firm The Click Pro’s, explains that a common method for tracking e-response is to create a specific landing page for each promotion. “Make it available for a set period of time. Advertise this landing page in each promotion and correlate the resulting business from the specific landing page,” he advises.
Matchbacks and Allocations
One of the most popular and effective ways to track orders back to the promotions that generated them is the use of matchbacks. Matchbacks can be as simple as matching the buyers’ names back to the names of the people mailed. This process originally was developed to help direct marketers determine which lists performed best.