B2B Marketers Measuring Campaign Influence For A Better View Of Buyer Behavior

As B2B marketers plan next year’s campaigns, it has become common practice to analyze past campaigns to understand which programs, channels and content are driving pipeline and revenue. However, many B2B marketers still struggle with understanding to what extent individual campaigns have influenced overall buying decisions.

Campaign effectiveness has traditionally been measured by looking at the first and last interaction that the lead had with the company before making a buying decision. As B2B marketers move to a more multi-touch approach, often interactions between the first and last touch go unmeasured.

Progressive B2B marketers are taking a more holistic view of which content and campaigns are driving buying decisions.

“The question of ‘how much revenue are you driving’ is often a bad question to ask,” said Full Circle CRM President and CEO Bonnie Crater. “The question isn’t how much revenue you’re driving, it’s how much you’re influencing. Now marketers have to keep in mind that they have to give credit to every single campaign that touched the customer.”

Crater suggests B2B organizations consider a more weighted measurement of campaign influence — creating models with attributes that the company has identified as valuable to the bottom line. “Marketers can then weigh campaigns based off these attributes, allowing them to identify which campaigns are influencing prospects further down the funnel.”

Single-touch helps marketers identify which campaigns — through channels such as webinars, trade shows and content syndication — and programs brought the lead in. Multi-touch tells them which program/s or campaign/s have influenced the lead to move through the pipeline and convert into an opportunity.

At that point, the revenue generated by the opportunity is then attributed to the marketing channel and the respective programs or campaigns. It provides both a number (in terms of leads generated) and a dollar amount (revenue generated) from marketing activities, Crater explained.

A healthy mix of single-touch and multi-touch attribution is incredibly valuable to a marketer, according to Sue Hay, Sr. Best Practices Consultant at BlueBird Strategies. “This allows a marketer to make more educated business decisions as to where their precious budget is spent in order to maximize the return on investment. It’s a huge challenge to monitor and measure attribution manually. Thankfully, there are a number of great tools out there that can help you with it.”

Marketers need to have a good sense of which campaigns are driving revenue, and then analyze data to reinforce their intuition.

“Look at all the models [single, multi, first, last], then analyze it with an even weight given to every touch,” Crater added. “Then use your intuition and knowledge of what is actually valuable to the company. Ultimately, all those can be revealing and help marketers make decisions.”

Each model for measuring campaign influence has its perks; however, marketers cannot rely on a single model and believe that their measurements are as accurate as possible, according to Jim Lenskold, President of The Lenskold Group. “True campaign attribution unfortunately cannot come from basic tracking reports since these are limited to a single attribution. Structured measurement and analysis are required to determine how each specific marketing initiatives in a multi-contact relationship generates a lift in sales and revenue.”

Understanding The Data, And What Proves Value

For a more accurate measurement of campaign influence, a more in-depth data analysis is required to make sure every attribute that the company deems valuable is taken into consideration with each campaign, observers noted.

“Basic results tracking is acceptable for simple comparisons of select outcomes such as response, engagement or new leads,” said Lenskold. “Modeling or market-testing measurements are required to measure incremental contribution and ROI. Modeling can help determine which marketing channels should be increased or decreased.”

A systematic approach is crucial to maximize measurement accuracy, and that structure has to be carried over to the data as well, according to experts.

“There has to be a clear structure around the data set (demographic and behavioral), and marketers have to have a clear strategy for messaging,” said Jenny Vance, President of LeadJen, a B2B lead generation firm. “Need to have a strategy for following up, then who is responsible for following up on those nurtures.”

While analyzing the results of successful campaigns is essential, it is also crucial for marketers to analyze underperforming campaigns.

“It’s important to understand why these prospective buyers are saying ‘no’ to your offerings,” said Vance. “It’s a big gap to fill because then execs talk to lead gen teams looking for what objections are coming up. They share the most recent objection, instead of the most frequent objection. Data quality on the front end of a campaign helps because it makes sure you have clean data so bad decisions aren’t being made.”

While there are tools are available to provide marketers with insights into the influential of each individual campaign, marketers need to keep in touch with their buyers as well.

“The reality is that it’s very hard to understand everything that’s going on in the buyer’s journey,”said Adam von Reyn, Director of Marketing for InsightSquared. “So it’s important to stay front and center of the buyer’s mind at all times with relevant and engaging content so your brand is top-of-mind if and when the services are needed.”

Marketing And Sales Alignment Remains Crucial For Accurate Measurement

Much like other aspects of a B2B company’s daily routine, alignment between the marketing and sales team is important to accurate campaign measurements — as well as overall campaign success. Collaborating with one another further enhances the data set for each campaign, providing more insights into what is working.

“Having a healthy relationship with sales teams is crucial,” said von Reyn. “Good communication leads to qualitative data that can be greatly beneficial to any business decision.Marketing and sales alignment solidifies decisions, while also pulling everything together.”

With insights from both the marketing and sales teams, B2B companies have more information to build their campaigns from. This in turn gives marketers more opportunities to test each campaign thoroughly to understand what is resonating within their target audience.

“Market testing is ideal for measuring the impact of new strategies for integration and multi-contact marketing,” said Lenskold.“Measurements should be designed to assess current marketing effectiveness but explore alternatives to determine what can work more effectively.”