As a B2B marketer, if you aren’t doing any type of multi-touch attribution modeling currently, it’s akin to driving down the road blindfolded. You may or may not be on the right path, but there’s little way to know for sure (until you crash into a tree or the rumble strip). With your data in one place and a multi-touch attribution modeling and reporting solution on top of it, you can begin to see what is happening and make adjustments over time. There are a lot of adjustments that may need to be made (steering, acceleration/breaking, engine repairs, etc) based on the circumstances and environment.
First Step: De-Siloing Sales and Marketing Data
The first step in doing true multi-touch attribution to determine what marketing activities are truly driving sales and pushing prospects along the funnel is to get all of your sales and marketing data in one place in order to report on it. Salesforce.com is a great place to do this. It’s the de facto industry standard for CRM. A secondary benefit is that sales lives in Salesforce, and reps should be able to see key activities their contacts/prospects are taking. This informs their sales calls (i.e. calling John Smith, he just read a white paper on xyz topic last week); and also gives reps and sales leaders greater visibility into what marketing is doing to push leads along the funnel and support sales efforts.
Management also uses and trusts Salesforce.com reporting over most any other data source. Opportunity data is the lifeblood of a sales organization and it lies within Salesforce. It’s closest to the customers and should be married with data from Marketing Automation platforms like Eloqua, Marketo, and Pardot.
Next Step: Report on the Data
Multi-touch attribution reporting tools like AttributeApp allow marketers to drill into data, create different views/filters, and customize based on their specific customer and prospect research and buying behavior.
Setting up customizable Multi-Touch Attribution models and analyzing the variables typically opens up lots of questions and theories that can lead to actionable insights for data driven marketers:
- Are there certain assets/marketing activities that are more impactful at certain opportunity stages?
- What marketing tactics are best at moving deals from MQL to SQL, from SAL to Closed-Won, etc.
- Do some assets/activities yield better results in specific regions? Times of year? Product lines?
- What are trends over time for assets/activities/campaigns, etc?
Last Step: Improve Data Over Time to Drive Marketing Data Driven Thinking
Put the reporting solution in place first, and then work on your data quality issues. Data cleansing and processes are always going to be a work in progress and never 100% perfect. Easy to use, relatively inexpensive must-touch attribution reporting allows visibility and guides as you refine any underlying data quality issues.
Multi-touch attribution isn’t “set it and forget it” – it’s a constantly changing, shifting process, just like marketing itself. Getting started or advancing along the road to true data driven thinking can yield huge benefits for B2B marketers.