Marketing Attribution is Important For Sales Too!

As any business professional listens to the trends within their market to stay ahead of the curve, they occasionally come across incredible thought leadership that resonates marketing attribution is important to sales tooclearly.  I recently came across this Forbes article that while published in June has for whatever reason just found its way across my desk.  Specifically it focuses on the importance of marketing attribution, as well as some best practices and common pitfalls.  First of all, it is important to be clear in how we define marketing attribution.   Marketing attribution refers to how marketing effects the entire sales cycle, and as such gives us key insight into not only how to optimize the sales cycle, but also our marketing portfolio as a whole.   It allows us to understand not only singular touch points, but instead many marketing touch points.  This visibility in itself is vital to marketing accountability and the need to optimize spending, especially in the enterprise space.

The article also draws attention to marketing attribution’s ugly older brother (or grandfather), which is “last click” or “last touch” attribution.  While once industry standard, this is commonly understood now among the marketing community to be a very limited and archaic way to measure marketing performance.  After all, in an enterprise sales cycle where we have campaigns from multiple channels touching an opportunity it seems absolutely crazy to give a single campaign credit for sourcing that entire opportunity.  The article validates this notion with some very interesting statistics, saying that less that 1 in 10 of marketers consider “last click” attribution to be accurate, but more than 50% still use it because they just haven’t come across a better solution in a tool or vendor that can help provide the 21st century visibility that we crave.  So all to often we are confined to still measuring via this Don Draper metric.   Now I’ll spare you the sales pitch and instead let you find you way to our Campaign attribution page yourselves.  That being said I would like to quickly comment on some of the trends the article identified around this movement to measuring marketing via attribution.

1)  “Success is rapidly accelerating adoption”- I could not agree more.  While attribution is certainly a forward thinking way of measuring marketing’s impact, as more companies change their standard practice and begin to reap the rewards, this will become an industry standard measurement that will force companies to adapt or fail.

2)   “There is no one size fits all model”- Again, I agree.  Organizations all have unique and different business processes that dictate how they will measure marketing’s impact.  Therefore, beware of a tool that offers some “plug and play” option.  You will require a tool that offers some sort of flexibility that can accommodate your unique process, while also providing expertise on how to effectively leverage this tool based on your process.

3)   “Attribution gets political at many organizations”- Any tool that can offer added insight that will allow a company to better understand how their different campaigns and channels affect revenue will in turn affect budget allocation.  And changing this status quo can also redefine which departments are perceived to be most productive.  Therefore, this change will obviously be met with contention from certain personalities/departments in an organization.  While this resistance (and direct or indirect sabotage) may be difficult to overcome, marketing attribution will present a much clearer picture of the impact of different channels and campaigns and allow you to take credit for what’s yours and prove your contribution to revenue!

 

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.