B2B marketing operations professionals have successfully staked a claim as marketing automation data process experts. Taking the next step, many have created a sales and marketing data foundation by connecting their marketing automation data to the CRM. But even if you’ve set up a great marketing automation platform like Marketo and a solid CRM system like Salesforce, there’s still work to be done.
In this article in DemandGen Report, Christine Nurnberger, CMO of Bottomline Technologies said that her “‘Holy Grail’ is to get a complete understanding of how far her marketing dollar stretches, as well as have a holistic view of customers at every touch point.”
She goes on to comment on the announcement of Google Analytics 360, which aims to bring more marketing channel information into the fold (such as building out audience segments that work across Google’s ad networks) at an enterprise level, that what “[she wishes] they would do is talk more about the integration between this set of solutions and marketing automation or sales force automation.” While it’s a step in the right direction, “it doesn’t then connect the dots back into Marketo or Salesforce.com for that true 360-[degree] view of the customer.”
As is true with many B2B marketing orgs, she has marketing automation and sales force automation, but she is still missing an integral piece of the data core.
I don’t think she’s the only one who has this need. Marketers have always wanted to close the loop and prove -- with data -- that their marketing efforts are producing revenue. And, they want to do it with a solution that fits into their existing sales and marketing technology infrastructure.
In the article, she nicely summed up her ideal benefit from marketing technology with two connected wishes:
“Have a holistic view of customers at every touchpoint” -- this is the ability to answer the following types of questions:
What marketing channel did the person come from when they made their first visit?
What did they do when they visited the website?
What content did they view or download?
What finally got them to schedule a demo?
What got them to become a customer?
“To get a complete understanding of how far her marketing dollar stretches” -- this is essentially marketing ROI. When she spends a dollar on marketing, how much revenue will come back?
What she’s missing is a multi-touch attribution solution -- something that plugs into both the marketing automation platform (e.g. Marketo) and the CRM (e.g. Salesforce) -- and connects marketing to revenue. That’s the only way to truly see how far your marketing dollar stretches, and to see how the money spent and effort expended is impacting customers at each touchpoint. (See how to implement multi-touch attribution into your Marketo organization.)
As you can see, when buyers move down the purchasing path, there’s a lot of data being transferred around, ripe to be turned into insights. It’s the job of marketing operations to make sure that the data is available to make this possible.
Holistic View of Customers At Every Touchpoint
Data from each of these stages is essential to having the full view of the buyers at every touchpoint. As stated before, starting with what channel the person came from when they made their first visit, to what they did when they visited your website, all the way down to what finally got them to schedule a demo and eventually become a customer -- these are key things to know.
Because when you know what pages they looked at when they visited your website, you can then place them in the most effective retargeting campaign. When you know what content they’ve already downloaded, you can determine what the next content offer should be to keep them engaged and moving down the funnel. And finally, when you have this full view, your sales reps can tailor their conversation to have the most helpful and powerful discussion possible.
Marketers, if they want to effectively impact revenue and make their marketing dollars go far, have to get each of these stages right. That requires the right intelligence, and therefore, the right data, at each stage.
But marketing channel data alone isn’t going to give them that data. Neither is the data from marketing automation. And neither will the CRM. Nurnburger, and many CMOs like her, have each of these, and are still left wanting for more. Each of these systems have their own data, but it requires another piece of the puzzle to bring them all together for the highly coveted 360 view -- and that’s multi-channel, multi-touch attribution.
Understand How Far Each Marketing Dollar Stretches
When you look at the diagram, you see that attribution is the only technology that connects to each and every one of the other pieces in the marketing data core -- from each and every marketing channel all the way down to the CRM. Because a good attribution solution integrates with the technologies at every stage of the buyer journey all the way to revenue, it has all the data necessary to accurately determine the amount of impact each engagement had in dollar terms.
Without attribution, marketers have various parts of the puzzle, but because there are missing pieces, they aren’t able to put it all together. And if you’ve ever done a puzzle, you know that puzzles without all the pieces are the absolute worst. It just doesn’t feel right.