The Holy Grail of Marketing Automation

Move beyond lead-source to brand-interaction attribution.
Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer

Technology marketers have been early adopters of marketing automation, but true end-to-end integration from initial touchpoint to closed-won remains elusive.

Following a few tips based on our research-based insights, however, can improve the odds in your favor.

‘Lead source’ shouldn’t be a single field.

Reconfiguring your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) to use activity notes to capture brand interactions is the key to success. When a marketing-qualified lead moves to sales-qualified, it typically gets assigned a “lead source” which fails to capture or attribute value across the multiple brand interactions online and offline.

There is a better way. Consider creating an activity type for brand interaction with subtypes for all of your marketing and sales touchpoints. This should be coordinated so your CRM fields will reflect your UTM Codes. This will help keep your data compatible across platforms including Google Analytics.

15% of business marketers rank lead-conversion touch as their primary lead source attribution.

Develop a baseline attribution model.

This is the tricky part, but it’s the place to start. First, take all of your closed-won accounts for the last year and augment the current data you have on file to create a full picture of all the touchpoints of both marketing and sales, such as:

  • trade shows
  • display ads
  • paid search
  • retargeting
  • emails
  • website visits
  • content interactions
  • social interactions
  • sales meetings
  • phone calls
  • direct mail

Next, bring sales and marketing leaders together to determine an initial starting point for assigning value. The easiest way to do this is to assign value based on key goals for the organization.

    ✓ If new leads are the organizational focus, then maybe attribute up to 40% of value to tactics that originate a lead.
    ✓ your organization has plenty of leads but needs to improve qualifying, then shift the model in favor of tactics which qualify the lead prior to promotion to a marketing-qualified lead.

You need an Ad Server.

Most technology marketers use five to six vendor platforms from Google’s suite of tools to various email marketing platforms. Each of the links in all of these systems needs to go through a central ad server.

The value here is the path-to-conversion reports that will give you all of the digital touchpoints for each lead in the order they take place. This is the digital gold mine that will really transform your digital marketing efforts.

This is the digital gold mine that will really transform your digital marketing efforts.Move beyond the click.

While the measurement of success for mediums such as Google is click-based, these platforms rarely create the intent to buy or perform the desired action. They just help users find what they are already seeking. A variety of prior marketing touchpoints have already created interest and desire.

Search ads for example simply offer “an assist” by helping potential prospects take the final step before completing your call to action. So, the dirty little secret is that most digital-media spend doesn’t actually create net-new prospects. It just pays companies for helping people find you.

Retargeting ads shown to prospects who have already visited your website, for example, are a great strategy for staying top of mind. But 80% of the actions that come from retargeting would have happened anyway. Keep this in mind as you shape your baseline attribution model.

Manually augment the data

We all know that the biggest challenge is managing the data. And with business-to-business technology sales having higher value and lower volume, you’ll get the best platform by adding human intelligence to the equation and augmenting your data.

✓ For marketing data, that might mean manually adding brand interactions from path-to-conversion reports.

✓ For sales data, it might be just ensuring administrative support is available for the sales team to ensure that the full picture of activities is captured in the CRM.

 Armed with true end-to-end data, the one-to-one magic of marketing automation can truly come to life.

Need fresh thinking?

At LAVIDGE, we know successfully pulling together so many moving parts can be a challenge. We have experience at doing just that, and we're confident we can do the same for you.

Ready for a one-on-one discussion? Give us a call at 480.998.2600 or send email to info@lavidge.com.

B2B marketers reveal favorite attribution models

 

Courtesy of eMarketer, here’s a look at the most popular attribution models among B2B marketers.

Methodology: Data is from the November 2016 Bizible, Heinz Marketing, Radius, ReachForce and Uberflip report titled "State of Pipeline Marketing 2016." 363 marketers from a variety of industries were surveyed during October 5-28, 2016. Respondents were from B2B companies (90.0%), B2C companies (9.7%), nonprofits (2.2%) and other (1.6%). Some respondents indicated that they were from both B2B and B2C companies and therefore the sum of percentages is greater than 100. 78.7% of respondents were from the US, with the rest in Asia (6.1%), Canada (3.6%), Europe (9.9%) and other (1.7%). Respondents identified their job level as owner/executive/C-level (28.7%), senior manager/director (39.2%), intermediate/manager (29%) and entry level (3.2%). Respondents identified the number of employees at their company as 1-49 (35.1%), 50-99 (11.3%), 100-199 (17.2%), 200-999 (19.4%), 1,000-4,999 (9.1%) and more than 5,000 (7.8%). Respondents identified their company's annual revenues as less than $1 million (18.7%), $1 million-$9.9 million (25.0%), $10 million-$99 million (34.2%), $100 million-$499 million (8.8%) and more than $500 million (13.4%). Bizible is a marketing analytics and attribution software provider. Heinz Marketing is a B2B marketing and sales acceleration company. Radius is a B2B predictive marketing software company. ReachForce is a provider of B2B marketing data quality management services. Uberflip is a content marketing company.

 

 

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