Multi-Channel Marketing and the Zone of InfluenceAugust 26th, 2008 by Chris Herrick
Many customers have asked us to help them better understand the effect marketing messages have on their customer base. Almost everyone we know uses multi-channel marketing in one form or another - whether it’s email and web ads or email, web ads, and direct mail - most companies are using more than one medium to get their message out to new and existing customers. The problem many companies have is determining how and when to target each customer with the appropriate message.
We’ve found the best way to provide insight into determining the appropriate channel for your customers is to map out the “Zone of Influence” for each marketing medium. This is a simple way to break down how much each marketing message affects a customer’s behavior each day, week, month, or year. For instance, emails typically have a shelf life of one week. The two days after an email arrives in a user’s Inbox almost always produce the highest number of orders - this is the peak of our influence zone. Starting on day 3, the influence of our email steadily wanes with each day that passes until, at the end of day 7, our email has little or no influence on the purchasing behavior of our customer. Catalogs have a similar pattern, but over a much broader time period - their influence zone can last anywhere from 8 - 20 weeks depending the products being sold and seasonality.
Once the influence zone has been mapped out for each type of marketing communication, we can then overlay each customer’s purchasing behavior to determine what marketing channel or combination of channels best influence their buying habits. Rendering the results in a graph usually provides a striking visual image that outlines what communication types tend to affect which customers. As an example, a recent project with a multi-channel vendor that markets through catalogs and email blasts clearly shows which customers the vendor should continue to send catalogs to (customers that purchased at the peak points within the catalog zone of influence), which customers would be better marketed to through emails (customers that purchase when the catalog influence was low and the email zone of influence was at its peak), and which customers responded best to a marketing mix (customers that showed a greater likelihood to purchase through email when the catalog influence was also high).
The bottom line is that a thorough “Zone of Influence” analysis can give your marketing managers greater confidence in determining the right combination of marketing messages that incite customers to buy. In addition, factors such as seasonality can give even better insight into how each customer responds to company communications over time - helping companies determine the when as well as the how. Ultimately, it always comes down to cutting costs and increasing revenues - and performing this exercise on your customer and marketing data can help you do both.
Add Personalized Product Recommendations to Your eCommerce Site
Istobe is a powerful recommendation engine that makes it easy to add recommendations to your eCommerce site. How powerful? Shoppers who click on Istobe recommendations spend 20-50% more than the average visitor.