Marketing attribution: the quest for information and data that allows marketers to pinpoint the assisting marketing messages, formats, and channels that lead a purchasing customer to their buying decision.
To optimize your marketing investment to get the best return possible, attribution is a priority. It’s the ability to analyze the data you have to differentiate how marketing techniques affect the sales cycle, which allows you to choose how to optimize across silos to improve the end result: your bottom line.
This is no longer a growing trend among marketers and executive teams; marketing attribution is becoming the expected standard in the field.
Interestingly, the concept of attribution has undergone a much needed change in recent years. Previously, attribution was done based almost solely on last click, which gives “credit” only to the last page, channel, or CTA the viewer experienced prior to the conversion step. Today, however, multi-touch attribution is becoming the norm and is much more feasible. This method of attribution takes each touchpoint prior to conversion into account in the attribution process, giving weight to each one. This allows CMOs and other marketing leaders to truly optimize their marketing investments.
To effectively attribute marketing results in your company, follow these steps:
1. Establish Benchmarks for Key Metrics.
The key metrics are the ones that truly matter – the ones that your company’s executive team is watching most closely. They don’t include things like engagement rate, click through rate, or social media views; these are useful only to measure the effectiveness of the channel or format you’re using. Instead, the key metrics are those that directly impact your bottom line: website visitors, website visitor growth rate, conversion rate, lead quality ratio, and close ratio. Impacting any of these metrics positively causes growth to your profits:
- Increasing website visitors increases the number of people likely to convert and close.
- Increasing conversion rate increases the number of leads to nurture and close.
- Increasing lead quality raises the number of leads given to your sales team and able to close.
- Increasing close ratio of leads directly and positively impacts bottom line.
2. Make Sure Everything Is Measurable from Start to Finish.
If you’re not able to measure the impact that a specific budget line item has on your overall results, please check out our ebook on this subject: The Insider’s Guide to B2B Inbound Marketing. Each time you spend money on a marketing technique, whether it’s content marketing, social media, pay per click via social media or search engines, or outbound tactics like billboards or trade shows, you should be able to measure the following: visitors gained, contacts gained, leads converted, and the quality of those leads.
3. Track and Analyze Results – and Adjust Accordingly.
Look at the results of your marketing efforts each week and month. Each tactic only matters if it impacts a key metric positively. Double down on those that have the most positive impact on the bottom line, and consider replacing or eliminating those that have little or no impact. The numbers don’t lie.
Analytics and marketing attribution work hand-in-hand to enable marketing leaders to make better investment decisions. As Think With Google states, “Analytics help you understand your customers' experience. Attribution informs your marketing mix.” Insight into attribution will help you excel.