B2B Marketing Blog

5 Reasons B2B CMOs Should be Focused on Marketing Attribution

By Alexis Getscher
Aug 13, 2015
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Every web visit is a conversation and attribution is the transcript. This transcript allows CMOs and marketers to make decisions based on the whole picture/conversation. 

Gone are the days where anonymous users visit your website without saying hello and leave without saying goodbye. Technology today means that everything is trackable. 

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1. It's Achievable

With attribution, it’s possible for the marketing team to have accurate and detailed information just like the sales team. Having that information helps marketers understand which channels to optimize to grow the company. And, as a marketer, why wouldn’t you be doing absolutely everything possible to grow the business?

Attribution accurately shows who came to your website, if they’ve visited before, where they came from, and what they looked at while on the site.

In the past, a marketers job was only to focus on lead generation. If a ton of people visit your website, a ton of people will likely buy your product. However. this thinking is incorrect. Or rather, not complete. It doesn’t matter if a ton of people visit your website if they aren’t qualified leads with high potential to turn into customers and grow the business.

The marketing and sales teams should both be focused on revenue, and generating leads that don't convert does nothing for the bottom line. 

2. It's Transparent

Transparency with attribution means that marketers can see the whole funnel. This is extremely important because, according to a survey done by CEB, buyers are at a minimum 57 percent of the way through the buying process before they engage a sales rep. Some even reported being 70 percent complete with their decision-making process before contact with a supplier.

What information did they intake to make their decision? Where did it come from and what helped them narrow down their choices? It’s too risky to let a potential customer wander the internet and make up its mind about your company, without having an influence over that decision.

To do this, it’s necessary for marketing to reach potential customers as early as possible in their product research.

You can control the content that the potential buyer sees by making sure it shows up first in keyword search results. You can place ads in the right places so they are seen and clicked. A CMO knows these choices are influencing buyer decisions because the data from attribution is proof.

3. It's Accountable

Attribution allows the marketing team to report on the numbers that matter. It gives a CMO insight into the business-relevant metrics like revenue instead of just focusing on lead generation.

Rather than guessing on which marketing efforts are doing well, with attribution, decisions can be made based on actual numbers. Data will tell you how many people read the most-recent blog post, or clicked the link posted on Facebook. It also shows how long a lead spent on your website and what pages they visited in the process. Attribution holds each team accountable and shows the CMO the channels that should be optimized.

If the content team is killing it, maybe more money should be spent in that department by ramping up production or hiring another writer. Or, if an ad is placed on a partner site and it’s driving qualified leads, as a CMO you know to to renew your ad contract.

On the other hand, if you’re spending marketing dollars in an area that isn’t providing enough qualified leads, you know that funding can be redistributed to other areas to better maximize ROI.

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4. It's Productive

When a business is first developing, the customer base is small so it’s easy to guess where leads came from-- the one advertisement that ran during the month or the blog article posted on LinkedIn.

But, as additional marketing tactics are implemented and the business grows, it continually becomes more difficult to track which marketing campaigns brought in which leads. Also, once the business has an established name, the sheer volume of leads makes it almost impossible to manually track where each originated.

This is where automated attribution comes in.

Attribution will track all of this data for you and input it nicely into your CRM, saving the marketing team time and money. A CMO can easily see which campaign brought in the most qualified leads and the journey each person took through the funnel.

5. It Enables Growth

As Lisa Shephard states, the sales process is like a Pinball machine. With so many touch points the process is becoming more complicated and harder to understand.

But with attribution, a marketer can see into the funnel at which channels the visitor hit along their journey and which campaigns pushed them through to the next stage. This visibility is invaluable.

Recognizing trends within the market is a great way to drive qualified leads. Maybe you get more people searching for your product in December around the holidays, or in August during the back to school shuffle, or in January when the fiscal year starts fresh. Whatever it is, attribution will make the trend clear and you’re able to optimize it for seasonality. It will also show you what time of the day, or day of the week, is best to post content on your blog and social media channels.

If a CMO knows which keyword, advertisement, or blog post is bringing in high volumes of website traffic, they are able to effectively optimize that channel. Receiving more qualified leads to your site creates more opportunities, which translates into more customers, and more revenue for the company.

Informed decisions are the best decisions and attribution provides the wealth of knowledge necessary to grow a business.

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