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Pipeline Marketing Blog

Why Every Marketing Strategy Needs To Include Attribution

By Andrew Nguyen
Dec 30, 2015

Why is it so difficult to grow a business quickly? Surely bringing a new product or feature to market and generating demand has been done before in your industry. You have a talented team with experience and technical know-how, a loyal customer base, and you’ve developed economies of scale if you’re a manufacturer.

And yet there is a road block that inevitably makes it difficult to generate demand and close deals.

You can size the market, do interviews and focus groups, and run the business analytics but the remaining piece of the puzzle is execution.

Executing your go-to-market strategy correctly is the final step, and yet it’s where there is the most uncertainty.

Like football, you can plan all you want. But you can only predict what your opponent will do, you can only react to injuries or mistakes, and you can only react (make adjustments) during half-time. And even after half-time your adjustments may not be enough to get the win.

Execution for marketing and sales is game time. You only have a set amount of time and resources at your disposal, and you must react to new information.

Executing correctly is what makes growth difficult. But there are a number of b2b marketing strategies that put marketers in a position to win when it matters most, such as a focus on precision and accuracy in data analytics.

Precision In Your B2B Marketing Strategy and Execution

A heavy emphasis on precision answers a question that marketers don’t want to get wrong early on in their marketing strategy: How do you know the things you know? What was your process for getting the analytics and data you use for decision making?

Let’s use Bizible as an example. As a growing company we care a lot about establishing a process in our marketing strategy before anything else. We want to execute on tactics such as content marketing, paid search, and account-based marketing to produce repeatable results.

We want to first understand certain rates, like how online ads create X amount of pipeline per dollar invested, our content gets X number of shares of views per post, or our lead nurturing flows convert X percent of leads into sales opportunities.

If every month these numbers were all over the place, like a marksman whose bullets are scattered about the target, we’d be worried. Forget a great conversion rate or share count, it could all be a fluke. We want precision first. We can work on optimizing and improving with time.

How Marketing Attribution Improves Precision

When marketers go to execute their marketing strategies they need a way to measure their customers’ journeys with precision.

Separate channels, separate marketing platforms and separate campaigns means the business of being precise in measuring the customer journey is difficult. But without precision, marketers can’t react correctly when they see, what they think, is a signal.

They may think they see a signal that says, our go to market strategy is working, we are getting a lot of demand through this marketing strategy. However, those signals early on could be noise or a fluke.


Build Your B2B Marketing Strategy With The Future In Mind

At Bizible we started with attribution in mind from the beginning so that we could create a repeatable process for tracking and creating analytics. We wanted to measure every touch point exactly the same, no matter which marketing platforms or channels we decide to invest in later. The customer journey may change, but how we measure it will not.

Without an attribution solution that tracks and measures the customer journey through every key touch point, we would have to modify or continue to build on our tracking and analytics process piecemeal as we mature, and add more technologies and channels.

For your marketing strategy, attribution is one of the tracking and analytics components that ensures precision when cleaning and compiling your marketing data.  

Think about it. Would you listen to a marketing manager who says she is getting repeatable returns from a channel and tactic over the course of 6 months, or another marketing manager who says he had stellar results after one week?

Accuracy Enables Setting The Best Targets For Your Marketing Strategy

A leader cannot steer resources in the best direction without accurate information.

Similar to a military radar team who is confident in what they see, if your marketing team is confident in their target numbers they can make the necessary adjustments to their content or budget to reach it.

If you tell your team, we want to hit 300 sales qualified opportunities this month from X channel, BUT we aren’t sure how obtainable those numbers are. This is different from saying, we want to hit 300 sales qualified opportunities this month from X channel, based on our current trends, pipeline and attribution data, we’re confident we need to invest 10K over 2 months. That provides direction and confidence.

Precision, as discussed in the beginning of post, sets marketers up for accurate targets. With accurate targets marketers gain a full understanding of the adjustments they need to make to hit the target.

This is why attribution data is a prescription, not just a performance report.

The benefit of attribution once you’ve gotten a precise reporting process established is being able to make decisions with accurate data collected over time. You are confident that by month six of your marketing campaign you can successful set and hit a target by month twelve.

How Does Attribution Work?

Attribution solutions do this by housing all your marketing data in one place, then attaching them to lead profiles and then aligning each lead’s touch point data in correct time-ordered sequence. You can be confident that a lead or opportunity did in fact come from X campaign or channel, that their journey included engagement with your most important touch points, and that their journey from anonymous visitor to sales closes took X months.

Without attribution marketers cannot collect this information accurately. They would be piecing together a puzzle of data from disparate marketing platforms. And without accuracy you are not confident in the targets you set for your marketing team. That is bad pipeline marketing. 

Join us next time when we dive deeper to discuss how attribution improves accountability and actionability in your marketing org.
B2B Marketing Attribution 101  An intro guide to attribution for revenue-driven B2B marketers  Download Now


Topics: CMO, marketing strategy

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