As Told by the Director of Product Marketing at Marketo

Oh, hi there! Can I ask you something? Promise to answer honestly. I won’t judge.

Do you use attribution to make better decisions about your marketing budget?

YES? Great! Keep reading, and I’ll give you a few new pointers to improve your program.

NO? It’s OK. You’re about to get the scoop on what attribution is, why you need it, and how to do it.

First, an introduction…

I could go on and on about attribution marketing, but I write ID blog articles all the time, so I thought I’d give another modern marketer a turn. Meet Brian Glover, Director of Product Marketing at Marketo — I asked him a bunch of questions on attribution, and here are the best takeaways…

What’s your marketing attribution street cred?

I’m responsible for how we (Marketo) take new products and features to market. And I use attribution reporting every day to help me make confident, fail-proof decisions.

How do you define attribution?

When you get down to it, attribution is just a fancy word for calculating the impact of marketing on downstream business outcomes. Attribution helps you understand the business impacts of your marketing efforts — pipeline, revenue, number of opportunities created and close/won — so you stay aligned with Sales and Product all the way up to the C-Suite and board.

Three reasons why today’s modern marketers should use attribution…Go!

  1. You can make better, data-driven decisions about where to invest your marketing budget.
  2. You can defend your marketing budget, and make the case for added budget.
  3. CEOs and boards realize marketing is measurable now. Don’t wait for them to come to you — you should go them first.

Side Note: I know what you’re thinking. Of course, the guy who lives and breathes marketing attribution is going to say it’s important. So, how important is marketing attribution, really? VERY.

  • 89% of marketers ranked improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact as a top priority.1
  • Most marketers (71.11%) say the biggest challenge in proving the ROI of their marketing efforts is attributing social and content to revenue.2
  • It now takes 52% more touches to close a sale, with those engagements split almost evenly between presales and the actual sales cycle.3

89% of marketers ranked improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact as a top priority.1

What happens if you’re not using attribution?

If you’re not using attribution to guide your marketing initiatives, know…

  • Your competitors are, and they’re gaining more market share because of it.
  • You run the risk of making your team look like it’s something expendable.
  • You’re making it easier for Marketing budget cuts to occur.

What attribution reports are the most important?

The First Touch Attribution Report shows how and when a lead first entered the sales funnel. If you know which channels are driving a lot of leads into the funnel, common sense tells you to allocate more dollars into those channels. But not so fast. A First Touch Report won’t tell you the rest of the other touchpoints that influenced the deal. For example, you many notice trade shows and display ads are putting a lot of leads into your database, but Sales-Qualified-Leads (SQLs) are low. This report alone delivers quantity metrics, not quality.

Enter the Multi-Touchpoint Attribution Report. This reports on all the touchpoints across the buyer’s journey. Multi-touch attribution digs into the campaign and channel level, helping you get a better sense of what methods are helping move people through the funnel better. Then, you use this information to help you decide the best places to invest your marketing dollars to have the biggest impact moving the prospect from opportunity to closed/won.

How do you start with attribution reporting?

Before you do anything, ask yourself a few questions.

  • What outcomes do you want to measure?
    • For example, you may want to measure B2B opportunities generated. To do this, you must look at the pipeline and measure changes from “volume of leads” to “quality of leads.”
  • What are your goals and to who?
    • Your goals depend on the Marketing Department’s responsibilities (i.e. filling the pipeline).
    • The “who” is Sales, CEO, CFO, and the board.
  • What data do I need?
    • Start with metrics you think are meaningful and expand from there — revenue opportunity data, marketing channel data, first step and multi-touch ROI, pipeline, and revenue return.

71% of marketers say the biggest challenge in proving ROI of their marketing efforts is attributing social and content to revenue.2

How does Marketo’s platform help with marketing attribution?

Data is king to attribution reporting. It’s important to get all of it in the right place and that it’s easily accessible. There are some standalone tools that could help, but they tend to be complex. Marketo’s solution makes the data management piece less of a headache.

It’s a multi-channel engagement platform that brings all the data together, so you can see who attended webinars and live events, or who opened emails, and how those actions are moving leads through the funnel.

Marketo’s platform also lets you slice and dice data quickly with filters and visualizations that get you the answers you need.

Any parting words?

Attribution is about making marketing relevant to the rest of the business. Because when you do that, belief in marketing changes. You can use attribution reporting to defend and build a case for investment because leadership has a better understanding of what they can get for their marketing dollars.

Ready to start attributing campaign performance to dollars spent? Contact us, and we’ll show you how.

1 2017 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report,
2 2017 Marketing Leadership Survey: Strategy, Technology, and Data-Driven Management,
3 The New B2B Marketing Reality: More Touches Are Required To Close The Deal,
Nikki Flores

Author Nikki Flores

More posts by Nikki Flores

An avid learner, Nikki possesses an innate ability to transform complex concepts into easily digestible content. With more than a decade of copywriting, strategy, and digital marketing under her belt, Nikki’s developed a passion for connecting the dots between meaningful marketing messages and increased revenue.

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