B-to-B: On the Right Track
These simple matchbacks required only that a direct marketer supply the person doing the matchback with the names and transactions of those purchasing in a specific period of time, as well as the names and addresses mailed and the circulation plan. Even today, direct marketers who mail infrequently and in small quantities can use this simple matchback process.
Early matchbacks attempted to match the purchaser’s name with the occurrence of the name appearing most recently on a promotion. Today, that process has been broadened to include fractional allocation. So, if you’ve sent four promotions to an individual and you get an order for $400, you can tell the person doing the matchback how much of the $400 to allocate to each of the four promotions. You might choose to do this based on the percentage the channel plays in your company’s overall sales and order curve.
Look at your history and see how many sales each channel contributes to your overall revenue. You can use this percentage to weigh the importance of that channel when deciding how to credit an order. Also, you can look at how many orders and sales you typically get week by week following a promotion.
That weekly activity, usually in the shape of a bell curve, is your order curve for that promotion. Different promotions behave differently and create different order curves. For example, you may need up to six months to get the expected response to a printed mail piece, but you only may need a few weeks to get the expected response from an e-mail.
Laura Wojtalik, director of product management at Abacus, a cooperative database and data services provider that helps B-to-B direct marketers use matchbacks to assess multichannel performance, gives an example of how fractional allocation works, using a weighted, rules-based process to match each transaction to one or more open campaigns across channels: