The Growing Role Of Salesforce In The Marketing Attribution Ecosystem

Bonnie Crater Thinks That a Marketing-Centric Solution Doesn’t Show the Whole Revenue Picture (Inclusive of Sales) and Doesn’t Drive Alignment Within the Greater Organization

Last month, Marketo acquired Bizible in an effort to get their customers better insights into their marketing funnel. But, Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights, says it’s not going to cut it.

Why?

Bonnie feels that marketers still won’t be able to see all the data they need to garner actionable insights.

Bonnie added that sales and marketing MUST be tied together in order to accurately see how marketing efforts are driving revenue and lead generation. That’s why she believes all marketing ROI measurement platforms need to be built in Salesforce—so that they can leverage Salesforce’s gold mine of data to stay in the know on how marketing efforts are moving the needle.

We sat down with Bonnie to better understand her views on Marketo-Bizible integration and the next most disruptive force in the salestech industry- GDPR compliance, AI and machine learning for sales and marketing and her product roadmap for 2018 and beyond.

Salesforce
Bonnie Crater, President and CEO, Full Circle Insights

How would Digital Source Tracker improve marketing and sales ROIs? How do you measure the performance of Digital Source Tracker?

Digital Source Tracker adds an additional capability to the Full Circle product suite offering a more complete picture of the customer journey that may start with digital engagements, including anonymous touches, from online campaigns. This will help marketers better allocate marketing spend.

What do you make of the present marketing attribution vista – the challenges and the available solutions?

At the moment Full Circle Insights is the only B2B marketing attribution and funnel metrics solution that is native to Salesforce and works with all the major Marketing Automation Platforms – enabling true marketing and sales alignment around a single source of truth. Other attribution solutions on the market have recently been acquired by marketing-centric vendors vying for the “single source of truth” moniker.  The challenge is that a marketing-centric solution doesn’t show the whole revenue picture (inclusive of sales) and doesn’t drive alignment within the greater organization.

What is your take on the recent Marketo acquisition of Bizible? How much impact will it have on attribution and ROIs?

Right now there is a war for the system of record and islands of information are being created by single-sided martech solutions.

I see this as Marketo firing a shot over Salesforce’s bow. A true system of record needs to include the whole marketing and sales equation.  Without both sides, you only have half the picture. With all marketing data stored alongside sales data inside the CRM system, organizations can choose the optimal set of marketing campaigns and sales activities to achieve company goals.

How do you solve the primary challenges of your customers?

The primary challenge our customers have is that they need to understand how marketing campaigns are affecting revenue but their Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) never matches what’s inside Salesforce. Full Circle Insights takes information from the MAP and measures marketing performance within the CRM.  This allows for marketing and sales alignment around a single data set.

How do you prepare for the post-GDPR disruptions? What resources are you leveraging/ referencing to gain better insight on GDPR?

As a native Salesforce application, we are in a very strong position vis-à-vis non-native applications with respect to GDPR. For Full Circle Insights and our customers, we are leveraging the Individual Objective technology inside Salesforce that allows us to remove personal information across the Salesforce platform, including native applications like ours. Similarly, we’re also able to take advantage of the technology that will also allow us to anonymize personal information so that there is still the ability to track historical campaign information and attribution without tying back to an individual and their personal information.

What does your Product Road Map for 2018-2020 look like? Which new marketing technologies are you keenly following?

We preach the philosophy of empowering marketing to drive revenue growth, and as it becomes more obvious that marketing performance is measured by sales outcomes and the demonstration of direct correlation between marketing activities and pipeline/revenue dollars, we get more excited about how much our product roadmap aligns with the direction of performance-driven marketing.

It’s important to understand that marketers need to gain trust from the sales department. Namely, the marketing activities and campaigns are leading to revenue outcomes.

Today, more and more marketers agree that the measurement of various areas of funnel outcomes help shine a light on the effectiveness of marketing. That transparency and unearthing of insights from data help marketing gain trust from sales. These various areas of funnel outcomes become KPIs of marketing effectiveness, and not only do they include revenue attribution to campaigns, they include initial and intermediate success metrics through each stage of the funnel (for example, the conversion and velocity metrics of the marketing-to-sales handoff as a KPI of marketing lead quality and validation of a marketing’s qualification process).

Full Circle Insights will continue to invest in its product that enhances the Salesforce model to capture the data that enables those metrics. For example, we will invest in enhancements that enable lift analyses across marketing and sales activities and across funnel stages.

We will invest in “net new data”, as more data from more sources help create a clearer picture of marketing performance and how to drive revenue. The recently announced Digital Source Tracker adds anonymous digital touches to better understand the source of leads and opportunities, therefore providing an understanding of which digital channels (or campaigns, sites, content delivered, etc.) are most effective.

Full Circle Insights products will begin driving more of the insights layer. Today, we drive the data layer and we enhance your insights layer via reporting packages we create. All of the data, reporting, and insights utilize Salesforce and its reporting model. As Salesforce customers move to Lightning, we can foresee customers looking to greater analytics and more powerful reporting.

From “more powerful reporting”, customers will transition to the obvious “what does this report tell me, can you please inform me of what I’m looking at and how to act?”

In order to drive more of the insights layer (on top of our excellence today around the data layer), Full Circle Insights products will incorporate more analytics and more reporting output in order to help marketers drive conclusions and actions from data. This comes in the form of more advanced charts, guiding customers by being instructive about what they’re looking at on the screen (and how to interpret), and even providing recommendations.

Regarding exciting technologies that we’re watching… Einstein and AI:

These two things are exciting. Einstein will continue to ingest new data and be smarter about what it’s ingesting. Piles of words and events/behaviors will be captured, and Einstein will better cluster or understand how to associate those into concepts. This leads to an ability to predict outcomes and prescribe actions for marketers and sales professionals. While we are still a long way from having a machine run marketing and sales, we are excited about the potential for us to get smarter about what works and what doesn’t.

Where do you see AI and ML taking marketing and sales in terms of data and insights?

The B2B customer journey is complex and as marketers, we are challenged with a wealth of data and how to best use it in order to engage prospects. It can be hard to tease out signals versus noise. The promise of AI for marketers is to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time and across the right channel. Full Circle Insights enables better data and better insights that can feed and better inform AI for a more accurate end result.

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Sudipto Ghosh is a technology research specialist who brings 9 years of professional blogging and technical writing experience to Martech Series editorial team. The original version of this article can be found here.