B2B Marketing Blog

5 Lies You've Been Told About B2B Marketing Attribution

By Alexis Getscher
Oct 20, 2015
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Usually at company-wide meetings each team will discuss its accomplishments, tying them back to profit for the business. Then it’s the marketing team’s turn and uhh they had 15 “likes” on Facebook or 1000 page views for the month. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What if I told you, there’s software that can do the work for you and make you a star at company meetings? Marketers can tie their efforts back to revenue and it’s done through attribution.

Attribution

Many people hear the word “attribution” and think of complicated data and analysis. If you weren’t a math or psychology major, it can send you running the other way. However, there are many myths surrounding the concept and we’re here to tell you-- you’re behind the curve if you believe them.

Attribution is something every company should implement. Here’s a list of some of the most common misconceptions.

Lie #1: It’s too Early for Attribution

A common phrase is that a company is “too new,” or “doesn’t have enough data,” to need attribution software. The more data you have, the more predictive value attribution will provide, but if you’re putting any effort into marketing then you should be tracking those channels back to revenue for the company. Attribution shows which marketing efforts provide the most ROI. It helps you track leads through the entire funnel and attributes revenue to each of the touchpoints that led to turning your prospect into a customer.

Think of attribution software like insurance. You don’t wait to get into a car accident before you insure your car and you don’t wait until a burglar robs you of your money and belongings before you get home insurance.

A lack of marketing attribution means your company is being robbed of money. It can never be implemented too early-- only too late.  

   

Lie #2: Attribution is Not a “Must Have”

Many think of attribution as “good to have” and not a “must have.” From an optimization standpoint, it is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Attribution shows you the channels that have the biggest impact on the bottom line. When you know which channels are working and which aren’t, you know where to spend money and where to cut costs.

The longer you wait to implement attribution, the longer you delay accurate measurement and the more money you waste.

According to Bizible’s 2015 State of Pipeline Marketing report, 24 percent of marketers don’t have an attribution model in place. The flip side of that number means that almost 75 percent DO. Which means your competitors are ahead of you.

Adding to the necessity, 60 percent of marketers who don’t use attribution, a CRM and automation, do not know their marketing ROI. Why would you continue to put money toward something you don’t know is providing you any value?

Lie #3: My Marketing Automation Does the Same Thing as Attribution

The main thing automation and attribution have in common is that they both start with the letter “A.” That’s about where the similarities end.

Marketing Stack

As Lauren Frye wrote in a recent blog post regarding the two concepts, automation can tell you which marketing campaigns brought leads in, but marketers are still left asking questions like, "How many of those leads became customers? And which channels, which keywords, which content, which landing pages, which blog posts, and which display ads were instrumental in moving them through the funnel?".

Automation streamlines marketing processes by making it easy to manage email lists, social posts and landing pages. Attribution gives revenue credit to each of those processes so you can see which are providing the most ROI.

To get the most value out of your marketing, the “A Team” should work in unison.

Lie #4: Only Digital Channels Can be Measured

Connecting online and offline channels is possible and should absolutely be done if you want a true, full-funnel view. With omni-channel marketing attribution, marketers are able to see every part of a customer’s journey from keywords to conferences.

Imagine a lead visits your booth at a conference and views a demo. Later that week, they check out the about page on your website, visit the pricing page, then give your sales team a call. Without insights into the offline interactions, it’s easy for an attribution report to turn out lopsided. It would assign too much revenue credit to the website and none to the touchpoint that made the initial impact. In reality, it was the conference that first introduced the lead to your company and product.

Not accounting for the offline touchpoints leaves a big piece of the puzzle untracked.

Lie #5: I Can Do it Myself

Sure, you can grab data from Google Analytics and Salesforce and try to manually attribute revenue to each of the customer’s touchpoints. If you’re a really small company, it might not even take you all day. But B2B sales cycles are long and a lead will probably have tons of touches before they’re ready to buy.

Couldn’t your time be better spent? And what about those days you’re tired and all the lines on the excel spreadsheet blur together and you input the wrong information? Using software for attribution provides accuracy and allows marketers to put their time toward more productive endeavors.

In today’s competitive business atmosphere, there’s nothing more valuable than understanding your customers and meeting their needs. Attribution allows marketers to see the channels that provide the most value, which in turn means those channels can be optimized to provide the best experience for your customers. And happy, converting customers are the foundation of a great company.

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