August 4, 2014
On average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel to the time they become a closed/won customer, a study by the Aberdeen Group revealed. To truly understand the effectiveness of our marketing efforts in moving the customer through the funnel, we must identify the campaigns that played the most influential role in generating that business.
The first step for marketers to identify high-performing programs is to use campaigns within your CRM. The massive amount of data available here gives you the ability to start tracking metrics such as campaign ROI and engagement trends, thereby laying the groundwork for understanding which campaigns influence revenue throughout the entire customer lifecycle funnel (across sales and marketing). You can maximize the return on your marketing budget by investing more in the campaigns that work, and go back to the drawing board with key learns and insight into your other programs to ensure that you are spending your budget effectively and efficiently.
In order to generate critical marketing insights, you must first track campaign attribution — in other words, correlating the pipeline or revenue amount associated with each opportunity to your campaigns — in your CRM. This is important because it provides data into which marketing programs drive revenue across your different market segments or industry verticals.
Once you begin tracking attribution, the next step is to understand campaign influence. According to salesforce.com, “campaign influence tracks pipeline and revenue for multiple campaigns and ties all campaigns of a contact role to that opportunity for pipeline and ROI reporting.” To get the best understanding of campaign performance, you should track campaign attribution and influence in Salesforce, but create your own models that reflect your unique business processes.
Let’s dive into some of these different models in a little more detail:
Single Touch Attribution
Many companies track campaign attribution as a single touch (usually first or last touch) because that is the default tracking model for most marketing automation or CRM systems. First and last touch attribution metrics may make sense for certain businesses. For example, in a B2C selling environment, the first touch campaign could be a transactional sale, which also makes it the last touch. Likewise, in smaller B2B companies with short sales cycles, or very few marketing campaigns, the first touch campaign may in fact deserve all the revenue credit.
However, for many B2B organizations with longer and more complex sales cycles, it makes sense to move from single-touch attribution to multi-touch attribution, because prospects rarely interact with just one campaign. Multi-touch attribution provides more insight into campaign performance, because it shows revenue and ROI metrics for every campaign that played a role in creating and closing an opportunity. The primary limitation with most multi-touch attribution models is that they spread the revenue associated with an opportunity evenly across every campaign touch. Evenly spread multi-touch attribution models are a great way to get a baseline on your campaign performance, but in order to generate true insights, you need to take it one step further with weighted campaign influence.
Weighted Campaign Influence
Each type of campaign has a different associated cost — emails don’t cost as much as webcasts or trade shows, for example. Moreover, the effort and level of engagement is not the same across all campaigns. So the campaign influence models you create should reflect how this occurs in your business, in order to allow differentiation between the campaigns that decision makers respond to, and the campaigns that drive more responses from people with no say in the purchasing budget.
When you have a multi-touch demand generation cycle, but aren’t sure which campaigns drive the most business, weighted campaign influence can provide more insight. Inherently, we know that all campaigns aren’t created equal, but now you can finally see it. The example below is a look into all the marketing touchpoints across a single opportunity in Salesforce, but tracked across three different models to illustrate the difference in revenue attribution using single touch, multi-touch even spread, and weighted campaign influence models.
This screenshot shows 3 different attribution models side by side so you can see the difference revenue attribution.
- In the single touch model, Forbes Ad - D gets all the credit because it is the primary campaign touch.
- The even spread, multi-touch model provides equal revenue association across all campaign touches.
- The weighted, multi-touch model takes into account that the primary campaign (Forbes Ad - D) deserves more credit than some other campaigns, but also recognizes that the Business Week Ad deserves credit as well because the contact role associated with it is a marketing executive. Moreover, the Summer 2013 Telemarketing campaign gets the least amount of revenue credited to it because it only resulted in a voicemail (which was not even a response).
The bottom line is that to effectively understand the results of your marketing efforts, you need to track them as campaigns in Salesforce. Once you establish a baseline campaign attribution model — be it single touch, or even spread multi-touch — you should begin tracking weighted campaign influence to start generating some real insights into campaign performance. From there, you can start optimizing your marketing mix and generating more revenue for your company by spending your marketing budget more wisely.
Reflect on how you are measuring campaign performance. Do you track it in your CRM? Are you using single touch or multi-touch attribution models? Do you know which campaigns influence revenue? Can you gain necessary insights into your campaign performance to confidently plan out next quarter’s marketing budget? If you are only using single touch models, try using a multi-touch even spread model to see what insights you can generate. If you already do that, then take a look at what you can learn from tracking weighted campaign influence. The insights you gain may change the way you think about your marketing programs.