Campaign Influence: 5 Key Comments on Nick Petri’s Post

Nick Petri of Openview Venture Partners wrote a nice blog which on first blush I didn’t think I was going to like.  Maybe it was the negative headline “When Sales and Campaign InfluenceMarketing Attribution Goes Wrong” that got me going negative on the article.  But actually he makes a lot of good point points which I agree with.  Here’s our review of his top 5 points from our Salesforce Marketing perspective:

1.      “…organizations are finding that once immeasurable marketing campaigns or activities can now be optimized and compared against one another.”  Yes, this is true!  Sirius Decisions says that 67% of the customer journey is digital.  That means that Salesforce marketing users can measure a lot more than they used to.

2.      “…However, the expectation that every action can and must be quantified by the sales it generates can be unrealistic and detrimental.”  Yes! Not every campaign is designed as a marketing metrics driven event.  Campaigns to promote brand awareness can be very beneficial to a business but not every press release read or advertisement view can be connected to a Salesforce lead.

3.      “…Early-pipeline sales and marketing activities should be evaluated critically, but if they’re fulfilling a business need, they shouldn’t be held to an impossible standard of revenue attribution.”  Well yes and no. Each campaign in a B2B marketing campaign should be treated as part of the customer journey.  Campaigns early in the sales cycle help customers educate themselves so they can evaluate different vendors and get a sense of what products may fit their needs.  A white paper or a demo view can be a very valuable part of the customer journey.  However, I agree with Nick that some of this type of content is not effective as gated content (with a required form fill).  Instead, companies may be better off making this content more freely available without a prospect having to identify themselves.  This all said, most companies are not able to measure a good portion of the customer journey and campaign influence measurement is often problematic.

4.      “…Only one player will be attributed with the game-winning touchdown, but many other events were just as crucial in leading to the win.”  Yes!
I call this event the “tipping point” and the marketing campaign is referred to as the “tipping point campaign.”   The tipping point campaign is the campaign that drives marketing to pass a lead to sales. When we built Full Circle Insights, we decided that we needed to track every campaign touch and highlight the First Touch, Last Touch, and the Tipping Point Campaign.  This allows Salesforce marketing users to track what campaigns work early in the sales cycle, in the middle of the sales cycle and late in the sales cycle.

5.      “…Before you pull the plug on a marketing activity that isn’t leading directly to revenues, consider whether the ROI isn’t there, or whether you just can’t measure it.”  This is a super important point. If you can’t measure campaign influence, you won’t know whether the marketing activity is contributing to revenue.  We’ve recently worked with a sales leader who wanted marketing to support and fund a particular industry event.  In his experience, the event was effective where he met with many customers and prospects and it aided in his sales.  But that event never showed up on any of the campaign effectiveness reports so it was considered a “dud”. Of course, that was because the event wasn’t properly tracked.  When this customer implemented Full Circle Insights, they were able to track every campaign and see the influence of every response and interaction.  When they did this the customer was surprised that tradeshows were a key part of the customer journey – matching the instinct of their key sales leader.

Nick and I agree on one thing – marketing metrics and measuring marketing impact on revenue is important.  Maybe we just say it a little differently. Your comments welcome.

Bonnie Crater

About Bonnie Crater

Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie's real love is marketing operations -- measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.