There’s no debating the B2B buyer journey is long and complex. They often last multiple quarters, and involve dozens of touchpoints and a handful of contacts. Last summer we analyzed our buyer journey and found that our average customer had 20.65 touchpoints before closing.
As an increasing number of marketers are focused on improving the customer journey, it’s important that they can see the full picture. From a data perspective, that means having access to the data on each of the touchpoints in the journey, from the very first anonymous visit to becoming a closed-won customer—full funnel visibility.For example, what channel and subchannel did they come from? What ad did they click on? Did they fill out a form? Did they transition buyer stages?
If marketers can use this data to optimize each interaction by offering the right content to the right people at the right time, they’ll generate more customers and more revenue.
Full funnel visibility enables marketers to increase their impact on revenue.
Without Full Funnel Visibility
If you only have visibility into a single marketing touch, your ability to accurately measure the buyer journey, and then optimize it, is severely limited.
Let’s say this is the actual buyer journey:
Even in this simplified example (only 9 touchpoints), if you only can see one of those interactions, you’re missing 89% of the buyer journey. It doesn’t take a data scientist to know that optimizing your marketing using only 11% of the available data isn’t smart. The math is increasingly troublesome for organizations with longer customer journeys. We average 20+ touchpoints in our customer journey. Using a single touch model would mean we are missing 95% of the customer journey. The more touchpoints you have, the more important it is to have full funnel visibility in your data.
Here’s what the visibility of a lead creation touch attribution model looks like, for example:
Not only are you missing a huge percentage of the buyer journey by only having visibility into a single touch, due to model bias, the error will be magnified. When your visibility is limited to the lead creation touch, you’ll overestimate the impact of your marketing targeted at that particular stage and completely ignore the rest of your marketing. Because you won’t be able to see the impact of your marketing at the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel, you’ll stop doing marketing aimed at attracting new visitors, you’ll stop doing marketing designed to nurture leads into opportunities, and you won’t do any marketing post-opportunity stage. As the old business adage goes, what gets measured, gets managed.
Single Touch Data vs. Full Funnel Data
Here’s a look at our data from our top 5 channels, year-to-date, with two different models. The columns in blue represent the data if we only have visibility into the lead creation touchpoint. The columns in red represent the data if we have visibility into the full funnel, using a Full Path model. As you can see, the data varies quite a bit.
Single touch is the extreme. But what about marketing organizations that have visibility through to the opportunity stage? While that’s certainly a step in the right direction, without visibility into how marketing is impacting the buyer journey post-opportunity stage, the marketing team will never do important bottom of the funnel activities like field marketing or sales dinners, which can dramatically improve win rates and deal velocity.
Budget Allocation Decisions
Full funnel visibility isn’t just a nice-to-have; it results in meaningful, transformative change.
If you were to use the data discussed earlier to make budget allocation decisions for the next period, you’d move money to the higher performing channels, the ones with a greater contribution to revenue. If we only had visibility into the lead creation touch (blue columns), we’d put more of our budget into Channel A, which seems like the highest performing channel.
But when we look at the data with full funnel visibility (red columns), we see that Channel A is actually the fourth highest performing channel. Instead, we can see that Channel D is the highest performing channel and we’d want to shift money there.
The difference in data—having full funnel visibility—makes a real, consequential difference.
How Do You Get It?
So, what do you need to get full funnel visibility? There are three primary components: multi-touch, omni-channel, and account-based attribution.
Second, it requires omni-channel attribution—the ability to track and measure offline and digital channels the same way. Even if you track every digital touchpoint, you’ll still be missing key parts of the buyer journey if you omit offline interactions like conferences, field marketing, and direct mail.
Finally, it requires account-based attribution—the ability to coalesce the touchpoints of multiple individual contacts from the same company into a single account journey. Unlike B2C buyers, a B2B “buyer” is typically multiple people working together who can ultimately only become one customer. Therefore, it makes sense to measure them as a single entity taking a single journey.
With these three components, marketers can gain full funnel visibility.
- To improve the customer journey, you need to be able to see the full picture
- The longer your customer journey, the more you need full funnel visibility in your attribution data
- Full funnel visibility enables marketers to do post-opportunity stage marketing
- Full funnel visibility results in smarter budget allocation decisions
- To get full funnel visibility, your attribution needs to be multi-touch, omni-channel, and account-based
At Bizible, we call full funnel marketing Pipeline Marketing. When marketers can see the full picture, how their actions at the top of the funnel impact the bottom of the funnel, they can optimize for revenue and make a bigger impact in their organization. Check out our guide to Pipeline Marketing below: