In the complex B2B buyer journey, marketers understand that it’s important to reach prospects across multiple channels. We want to be where our audience is, and today, pretty much everyone is everywhere -- social, search, email, events, etc.
However, until now, we haven’t seen much data that specifically supports the down-funnel impact of cross-channel marketing for B2B marketers. So we decided to look at our data to better understand how our leads, opportunities, and customers interact with our marketing channels.
Sales Opportunities vs. Qualified Leads:
Sales opportunities are 5.5x more likely to have engaged with multiple marketing channels compared to qualified leads -- 60% for sales opportunities vs. 11% for qualified leads.
Sales opportunities are 10x more likely to have engaged on both Paid Social and Organic Search compared to qualified leads -- 29% for sales opportunities vs. 2.9% for qualified leads.
Customers vs. Closed-Lost and Open Opportunities:
Customers are 1.3x more likely to have engaged with multiple marketing channels in their buyer journey compared to closed-lost opportunities -- 82% for customers vs. 62% for closed-lost opportunities and 60% for open sales opportunities.
Customers, on average, engaged with 3.2 marketing channels, while the average closed-lost opportunity only engaged with 2.4 marketing channels (excluding Direct, BDR/Sales, and Other).
Customers are 1.4x more likely to have engaged with both Paid Social and Organic Search compared to closed-lost opportunities -- 39% for customers vs. 28% for closed-lost opportunities and 30% for open opportunities.
About 4 in 10 customers engaged with both Paid Social and Organic Search in their buyer journey. The next most frequent channel combination was Organic Search and Paid Search (23%).
Our average customer, since the beginning of 2016, has 20.65 marketing touchpoints in their buyer journey, which is nearly double the amount of touchpoints our average closed-lost opportunity has (11.36 touchpoints). Furthermore, our average open opportunity has 11.64 touchpoints and the average lead has 6.05 touchpoints.
In short, yes, cross-channel marketing does make a significant impact on the B2B buyer journey. When we analyzed the data, we found a correlation between engagement with more marketing channels and successful outcomes. Specifically, we found that for our specific buyer journey, Paid Social and Organic Search was the most successful cross-channel combination, occurring in nearly 40% of our closed-won deals.
About Our Cross-Channel Marketing Analysis
To do this analysis, we used our attribution data that tracks all of our marketing efforts and connects them to prospects throughout each stage of the funnel, all the way down to closed-won customers.
Because we use multi-touch attribution, we are able to track every one of each visitor’s sessions down to their touchpoint positions -- first touch, lead conversion, opportunity creation, closed, or even just a form fill. Essentially, we can see which marketing channel drove each of the touchpoints in their entire journey.
Using this data set that is both broad and deep, we can apply filters to get the exact data that we want.
First, we filtered by stage -- qualified lead, open opportunity, closed-won opportunity, etc. -- to create each report.
Then, to ensure that we are using applicable data, we filtered each report to only look at data from the past six months (January - June 2016). Our marketing has greatly evolved over the years and we want to make sure we are basing our analysis and our following optimizations based on current and relevant data.
Finally, we also wanted to make sure that our data was applicable and actionable for the marketing team. Therefore, we excluded BDR (outbound sales), Direct, and Other from our marketing channels in the analysis.
Now that we had the exact data set that we wanted, with some simple math we are able to then calculate the rate of occurrence of our cross-channel combinations based on the different prospect stages.
With this cross-channel analysis, we have data to support our investments in multiple channels and create buy-in for cross-channel efforts. For example, we now know that Social and Organic Search are a powerful combination. Organic Search is increasingly driven by our content -- blog posts, ebooks, industry pages, etc. The cross-channel data shows that we need to continue to keep our content production and SEO analysis tightly aligned with our paid social strategy.
Conceptually, we always knew that cross-channel marketing was important. Now, we have the data to prove it.
To learn more about attribution and how to connect your marketing efforts to down-funnel metrics like revenue, check out the guide below.