Why I ❤️ Marketing Attribution

May 17, 2019 Maile Johnson

For far too long, businesses have struggled with marketing and approached the process the wrong way, using outdated reporting methods that produced unreliable information. According to DemandGen’s 2018 Marketing Measurement & Attribution Benchmark Survey Report, 52 percent of B2B marketers said they currently report on marketing results manually via Excel! A lack of accurate data, not knowing your ROI and guessing on your budget leads to uninformed decisions, stunted growth, and money blindly thrown away on marketing and sales. But, thanks to our golden age of technology and transparency, we now have a solution for strategic business growth: marketing attribution.

Marketing attribution fills the holes of the past and creates an extremely bright future for businesses everywhere. With marketing attribution, you get to see exactly how much revenue campaigns are generating, helping you decide where to spend your marketing dollars. You’ll get pinpoint data at your fingertips to take your business to the next level. 😍 This is why I love marketing attribution.

To discover this data and make the most out of marketing attribution, you’ll have to decide what metrics to test/measure, what type of attribution works for your organization, and how to best implement this new investment to ensure future success.

Metrics to Measure

Deciding which metrics to use is very important to establishing effective marketing attribution, but it also represents a real challenge. The DemandGen Survey found that 58 percent of B2B organizations rated their current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance as “needs improvement” or worse.

In a recent eBook by LeanData, David Lewis, CEO and founder of DemandGen, weighed in on what metrics he recommends his clients track. He advises them to track funnel metrics, such as the number of inquiries, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales accepted leads, and sales qualified leads. In addition, he suggests measuring campaigns by first finding which ones drive the most net-new leads into the database, and then measuring which campaigns yield the most closed/won business.

An important metric for Roni Menashe, marketing operations manager at Kaltura, is campaign ROI. Menashe says to use attribution to measure money-related metrics, such as campaign ROI, as well as marketing contribution to the revenue pipeline or the percentage of MQLs generated over specific timeframes.

Choosing the Right Attribution Model for Your Business

Eric Wittlake, industry analyst at TOPO, says, “There is no ‘right’ model for a given organization.” This makes deciding which model is right for your business a real challenge.

Here are the three different models, and what they do, according to the eBook:

1. First-touch: 100 percent of credit is given to the first campaign touchpoint.
2. Last-touch: 100 percent of credit is given to the last campaign touchpoint.
3. Multi-touch: Credit is weighted and assigned based on the mix of campaign touchpoints.

Determining which one of these is right for your business comes down to what you value the most, as different models provide different solutions. The first-touch model works well if you are trying to see which campaign will generate the most leads, while the last-touch model is ideal for deciding which campaigns are the best to close leads. Or, if you want a wider look into the parts that best capture leads, how to develop those leads, and see what it takes to best close those leads, the multi-touch model is the one to pursue. This multi-touch model is typically chosen after implementing the first- and last-touch attribution.

At LeanData, we use a multi-touch model, which gives us the ability to see which campaigns and content are helping create pipeline. We’re able to identify what is working and what isn’t, empowering us to make better marketing decisions. Even more, a multi-touch accelerated model tracks touches that occur during an open opportunity until it closes. This helps identify which programs are working to help close the deal.

Ensuring Future Success: How to Implement Marketing Attribution

To ensure sales and marketing data validates the attribution process, Melissa McCready, founder and CEO of Navigate Consulting Group, advises companies to think about the process involved in maintaining the data, manage the data, and then consistently look back at the processes and data points on a regular basis.

To find the data you need, McCready says to pursue revenue KPIs to “drive attribution” and “capture the impact of marketing campaigns.” She also says that these KPIs will change as products and services change, and notes that people often have their marketing attribution system in place, but forget to revisit it down the road.

That’s what leads to poor implementation and halts future growth. Don’t make this mistake!

About the Author

Maile Johnson

Maile is the Senior Director of Demand Generation at LeanData. She loves the art and science of using data, technologies, and operations to deliver incredible customer experiences. When she's not generating demand for LeanData, you can find her either surfing the frigid waters of Half Moon Bay or riding her horse.

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