Faster than a speeding shopping trolley. More powerful than a social media strategy. Look. Up in the sky. It’s a store front. It’s online. It’s SuperMulti!

Yes, it’s SuperMulti, strange visitor from another marketing world who came to Australia with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal marketers. SuperMulti, who can measure the course of marketing programs across channels, attribute value to all customer contact points; and who, disguised as Bo Ring, mild mannered web analytics reporter for a great metropolitan web property, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice, and increased marketing budgets.

But seriously, one of the trends we are seeing emerge in marketing is the need for business to measure the influence of their hard won marketing spend across multiple channels including in store POS, call centre, catalogue, kiosks, direct mail, kiosks, mobile, email and web. New sorts of questions are being asked:

What is the impact of online marketing on offline in store sales?
  • How many people who get a catalogue then come online and buy?  

  • Which products do better online rather than offline and why?  

  • What is the total lifetime value of my customer across all channels?  

  • What online information about consumer behaviour can I use in store to increase average order value?
  • How do I attribute the value of an email campaign if the customer ends up converting on the phone in the call centre?

… and many, many more.

To work out this sort of multichannel influence, you need to look at the behaviour of clients in both channels – they need to be the same client and they need to be able to be uniquely identified in all channels. Whilst there will always be some individual customers who go by unidentified in most channels, there are also many who are happy to be identified, especially if there is something in it for them – and for trend level data like this, a good sample will generally give a very good result.

For example, loyalty programs will help you identify customers across channels and you can then link the reporting information from each of the channels together and start doing some very useful cross channel comparison and reporting.  

Or, say you send out a catalogue to a population, it is then easy to measure the increase in website visits and conversions from that same population within a time scale (say, seven days or less).

Back to Macy’s – let’s say you are working the business plan and budget for online marketing there this coming year.  How relevant is it to know the leverage of the online side of the business to the in store? It’s huge right! ‘Nuff said…

The bottom line in multichannel marketing measurement is that it is fast becoming a critical piece of business knowledge you must have. It is not hard to do if you have the right technology in place and if you plan ahead with multichannel in mind. Your web analytics service, with the ability to load in data from the other channels (or download good detail individual user behaviour), is a critical part of the solution.

“This is my personal blog.  The views expressed here are my own and do not represent those of my employer, Coremetrics.”