Making the Case for Campaign Influence Internally, Part 1

Changes in reporting methodologies are sometimes difficult conversations to broach – because this effectively redefines the ways your organization reports and subsequently changes the way people are measured, it can be met with some resistance.   That said, change is inevitable and needs to be embraced as we gain access to new and more accurate technology.  Campaign Influence is certainly in this group as it is the most forward thinking way of understanding campaign performance because it is finally inclusive of every campaign that touches an opportunity prior to the close (instead of campaign attribution that seeks to give full credit to a single campaign that touches an opportunity).

In order to begin to socialize these ideas internally, it is first important to understand the pros and cons of the attribution model you are currently leveraging inside of Salesforce.  These common attribution models include:

First-campaign touch:  The “first touch” methodology gives all credit to the very first (earliest) campaign touch on the opportunity.  This is often an appropriate model for less mature organizations that are more focused on what campaign sourced the deal OR for companies with shorter sales cycles.  The shorter the sales cycle, the more critical this first touch becomes.  That said, the first touch is still giving total credit to a single campaign touch and therefore is not inclusive of all the other campaign touches that followed.  This becomes increasingly critical with longer sales cycles as more and more campaigns touch the opportunity prior to close and therefore have bearing to influence the deal.

Last-campaign touch: The “last touch” methodology gives all credit to the most recent campaign prior to opportunity creation.  While this may be more appropriate for companies with longer sales cycle because it more heavily weights that most recent touch, there is a significant limitation here.  This model denotes credit regardless of whether or not the person actually responded to the campaign.  For example, this touch could be an email campaign that in fact bounced off the recipient and is therefore something they never saw or responded to.  That said, because it is the most recent campaign on the opportunity, standard Salesforce is still designating all the credit to that most recent campaign touch.  This obviously creates some inaccuracies in our campaign performance reporting because after all, in some cases the campaign receiving all the credit on the opportunity is a campaign that the person never even responded to.

While these attribution methodologies have some good use cases and are appropriate in certain situations, it is also important to understand their limitations and how that can affect our reporting capabilities.  After all, regardless how we designate credit with our attribution model, we are still crediting only a single campaign and are therefore ignoring all the other campaigns that have touched said opportunity.  The fist step in socializing and making a case for Campaign Influence internally is awareness around the limitations that these singular attribution models present.  Standby month for more on how to make the case for Campaign Influence at your organization.

Jay Jennison

About Jay Jennison

Jay works as a Corporate Accounts manager at Full Circle Insights and previously worked within the corporate sales division at Salesforce.com. He attended Duke University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and Markets and Management and focused the subject of his Master’s thesis on developmental strategy for third-world economies.