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Everyone would love to be able to see into the future. This is especially true for management of fast-growing businesses.

Well, as far as I know, nobody has that power, but there is something that can get pretty close, and that is marketing attribution.

Generally, marketing attribution is known for looking back and not into the future. It takes revenue data and marketing data, and gives revenue credit to the marketing touches that led up to the sale.

While that is tremendously valuable in itself, marketing attribution perhaps contributes even more value by helping marketers use the integrated marketing and revenue data to accurately forecast future business outcomes.

forecast

Attribution solutions provide rich customer data that is the foundation for accurate forecasting. Specifically, there are two characteristics that attribution data provides that are necessary for accuracy: 1) data from the first touch to closed-won revenue, and 2) complete multi-touch representation of the customer journey.

Full-Funnel Data vs. Lead Data

Lead data only provides insights into one segment of the marketing funnel. However, without understanding the rate at which they converted to opportunities and customers, there isn't enough visibility to make accurate predictions. Predicting the conversion from sales qualified lead all the way to closed-won based on lead data would be like predicting tomorrow's weather in Seattle by looking at yesterday's weather in Anchorage. There simply isn't enough correlation.

But if you track data through the entire funnel, you're able to make accurate predictions about how future prospects will flow through the entire funnel. When you can see exactly how every previous customer flowed through the funnel, it’s much easier to make predictions about how future customers will, too.