According to the State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2015, less than half of CMOs believe that their team is using the correct attribution model. This means that less than half of these marketing leaders are actually confident that their team is accurately attributing marketing activities to revenue.
Usually, this is due to the fact that their marketing org continues to use single-touch attribution models. These are models that give 100% of the credit for customer revenue to a single marketing touchpoint along a 3-6 month buying journey. Understandably, this isn’t the ideal way to assess marketing’s contribution to the bottom line — far too many touchpoints go unnoticed.
Established B2B marketing orgs use anywhere between 5-10 channels, and occasionally upwards of 15 channels, across both online and offline platforms. It’s critical for attribution models to properly weigh all the touchpoints that belong to each channel and assign the correct amount of credit to the most important ones.
The 2015 report also concluded that 1 out of 4 B2B marketers don’t know which attribution model they’re using, or they’re not using attribution to gauge marketing’s impact on revenue.
How does a marketing leader know when their organization is ready to adopt a multi-touch attribution model across their marketing org? What sorts of situations, problems, or goals reveal that it’s time to move forward with a more sophisticated attribution solution?
1. You want to accurately connect marketing to revenue
Some marketing teams are fine to stay where they’re at — reporting on top-of-funnel metrics, CTA click rates, pageviews, lead volume, and other traditional metrics. However, for those B2B marketing teams who are ready to focus on conversions further down the funnel (and the revenue that results from those conversions) attribution is an indispensable asset.
If you’ve transitioned to a revenue-focused mindset, then multi-touch attribution will help inform your strategy with down-funnel insights — such as which keywords, ebooks, articles, and emails generate the most opportunities and customer conversions.
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2. Your marketing org uses 5+ marketing channels
Essentially, if your marketing org is doing more than email, organic, direct, and events, you would greatly benefit from multi-touch attribution. Since the model assigns the revenue credit given to all the touchpoints along an account’s buying journey, every channel will be represented in the mix.
15 Popular Marketing Channels:
- Paid social (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Paid search (AdWords, Bing ads, etc.)
- Display (Google Display Network, Adroll, etc.)
- Trade shows / conferences
- Direct mail
- Field marketing
If you’re using more than four of the channels listed above, then multi-touch attribution will help you determine the respective ROI of those channels. Single-touch attribution with a fewer number of channels could prove workable, though it still won’t be nearly as accurate as multi-touch attribution. However, once you’ve moved past five or so channels, multi-touch will equitably represent each channel’s effectiveness through the funnel.
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3. Your team needs omnichannel tracking that isn’t siloed by platform
Metrics provided by individual platforms are siloed — they work within themselves but never reach outside themselves to compare, contrast, or syndicate data from other programs. Their data is reported independently of the other data in the mix.
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Marketing automation programs (MAPs), ad networks, paid social, paid search, outbound efforts, etc. are all measured based on their isolated metrics that each one collects.
This easily results in inaccurate lead counts because leads are double-counted across platforms. As a result, marketers also risk reporting inaccurate cost-per-lead numbers because their data sources aren’t integrated.
Omnichannel tracking creates that “single source of truth” that spans all platforms. This means that conversions and leads aren’t double-counted, and data hygiene is far easier to achieve.
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4. You invest in paid media (search, social, display, retargeting, etc.)
Investments in paid media can yield huge returns, but only if you know which keywords, ads, and campaigns result in down-funnel opportunity conversions.
In our use of multi-touch attribution on the Bizible team, there have been numerous instances across multiple channels where we discovered that an ad, a campaign, or an ebook generated less leads but proportionately more opportunities.
Connecting top-of-funnel activities to down-funnel metrics helps to optimize a marketing campaign, which we dive into deeper in the next point.
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5. Your team needs more granular metrics in order to optimize
There’s a difference between optimization and just “trying something new.” Optimization requires knowledge of the past, used to gauge whether the “new” attempt is actually better. To know whether or not a strategy is improving — there has to be proof in the data that the new strategy is comparatively superior to a previous alternative.
Forming this historical basis requires granular tracking methods and equally granular metrics. Multi-touch attribution through an advanced attribution solution provides both of these benefits. It reveals the standard for improvement, and it also shows historic “wins” that inform the optimization process.
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6. You care about accurately measuring the impact of offline channels
Are you doing direct mailers, conferences, trade shows, industry events, or field marketing? Are you ready to see how the sales team’s outbound activities line up next to your marketing strategy? If so, you’re ready for multi-touch attribution — a model that will assign revenue credit to any and all marketing activities. Offline touchpoints are integrated into the mix of digital touchpoints in a seamless fashion, because all data is synthesized and consolidated within the CRM.
Campaigns created inside salesforce based on offline activities are pulled into the touchpoint records that form an account’s buying journey.
As a B2B marketing leader, if you’ve identified with any of these readiness factors, then multi-touch attribution would prove useful to your org. It keeps your people informed, and they can strategically craft their campaigns based on integrated, accurate, historic data that reveals the past and shows how to optimize for the future.
CMO’s Organizational Readiness Indicators for Multi-Touch Attribution