Have you ever wondered whether your marketing efforts were making a difference? I have. I write a newsletter 6-8 times a year, and I’m questioning if this is a good use of my time. Are my efforts moving the needle, so that prospects and clients are meaningfully engaging with TopLine Results?
This is where marketing attribution reports can provide significant insight. Attribution reports show which marketing campaigns were the most (or least) successful in moving prospects along the buyer’s journey, moving from a lead to a contact to a customer. Marketing attribution evaluates various marketing touchpoints and helps determine which messages and channels had the greatest impact on the prospect’s (or contact’s) decision to take the next desired step.
Most companies today use multi-channel strategies to generate leads and nurture business. This may take the form of email campaigns, social posts, newsletters, web pages, events (such as webinars and trade shows), advertising, etc. Each of these has its own “art and science” when you consider key words, links, backlinks, tagging, metadata, and more! It’s enough to make your head spin unless you are a marketing nerd (like some of our TopLine team members!)
When we work with clients, we like to start with questions like, “What are you trying to accomplish?” or, “What do you want to know / understand?” These basic questions will guide you to make the right choices about which marketing attribution reports and analytics dashboards are needed. Once you know the type of reports and dashboards you want, you can determine what data you need to capture and record.
We recommend starting with something simple before getting too crazy complex. For example, if you only want to know how marketing helped close deals, then you probably want to focus marketing attribution reports on your Won Opportunities in CRM. You can look at specific deals to see which touchpoints, messages and channels helped the most. You can also aggregate your won deals to see trends, such as how many email touches on average were part of the nurturing before the deal was closed? Or how many closed won opportunities included attendance at an event? Once you know the answers to these kinds of questions, you can make better investments – putting more time and energy into the marketing efforts that provide the best return.
Reports and dashboards that focus on marketing attribution for won opportunities are possible in most CRMs and marketing automation platforms. To make this work effectively, you must have:
- A solid idea of what you want to report and analyze
- Good, clean data
- The right data, for the report desired
- Seamless integration between your marketing automation platform and your CRM
And you may need to have some guidance from someone who’s got experience, like the marketing team at TopLine. A little guidance can go a long way in helping you set-up your first report and understand the data it provides. Once you’ve been coached on the best way to get organized and how to avoid the “gotchas”, you can build marketing attribution reports on your own and go as deep as you want.
There are many benefits to these kinds of metrics! A good marketing attribution analysis will help organizations:
- Increase their ROI
- Optimize their marketing spend
- Improve personalization
- And more!
There are lots of marketing attribution models. Some give more weight to a first interaction vs. a last interaction. Some get even more complex with various linear and u-shaped models. The best model will vary by business and marketing plan, so it’s ideal to have an experienced marketer help guide you along the path.
Back to where I started this blog … with the help of my marketing team, I’ve learned that my newsletter is making an impact, so I will keep writing it because I know it is making a positive difference. I have the data I need to feel confident that my efforts are worth the time and energy.
If you’d like assistance with gleaning insights and measurable impact from your organization’s marketing investments, then reach out to the TopLine team to start exploring the possibilities. You can contact us here or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Check out our services and team. We will be delighted to help!
Additional resources for learning more and marketing attribution reporting: