What CMOS Should Know About Marketing Attribution

January 22, 2016 James Thomas

What CMOS Should Know About Marketing AttributionMarketing attribution is a complicated process. Many B2B marketers are in a constant struggle to completely understand attribution and choose the correct model for their company.

We know a lot of CMOs who are working hard to perfect their attribution model. If you’re in that boat too, take heart! With better attribution, you’ll find big benefits: being able to justify your spend, understand the path to purchase and optimize your marketing performance.

We’ve been thinking a lot lately about attribution — which models work, which don’t, and how technology like ours can help. The articles below provide tips for choosing an attribution model and achieving success using marketing attribution.

Connect Analytics to Decision-Makers’ Questions

“In a recent survey of senior marketing executives, only 10% of respondents said their organizations were very effective at applying analytics-generated insights about customer behavior. In our experience, companies often address this problem by trying to analyze ever greater data sets in an effort to uncover a killer insight. Or they look for a tool that can solve every problem. But the core issue is that many analytics efforts remain disconnected from key decision makers. What tends to happen is that a small set of brilliant data scientists off in an isolated environment create impressive models that no one without a PhD in analytics can understand or use. To add real value, marketing analytics solutions have to answer the questions on the minds of important decision makers and be part of their day-to-day work. And what decision makers want is a full and clear picture of what’s going on so they can make better decisions.” – Forbes

Consider an“Ensemble” Approach

“The reality is, there is no one right model. Each algorithm has pros and cons, and every application, whether it’s answering a business question or measuring marketing efficiency, is different. Banking on a single algorithm can be inaccurate and limiting. The most effective solution to solving the attribution conundrum comes from leaders in predictive modeling. Rather than rely on a single algorithm to measure attribution, marketers can take an ‘ensemble’ approach that uses multiple algorithms. By blending results from several models, the ensemble framework achieves higher accuracy than any single model on its own.” – CMO

Plan Attribution to Include Offline Behaviors

“Perhaps the largest gap in current attribution and marketing mix models is the failure to incorporate offline behavior – including phone calls and in-store visits – into the model. The more expensive or complex the buying decision is, the more likely it is that the consumer will, at some point, pick up the phone or head to a retail store location. This is also true for many B2B purchases, where leads, or orders, or sales are more often the result of a phone call than from an online lead form…‘Marketers are spending billions of dollars in digital campaigns but cannot answer how much of their marketing efforts are resulting in $1 trillion sales over inbound phone calls. This is a critical blind spot marketers want visibility into to truly assess and improve ROI of their marketing efforts,” said Raman’.” – ClickZ

Understand Multi-Channel Value with Multi-Touch Attribution

“B2B sales cycles are long, so what if a prospect initially came in through paid search, left your site and didn’t visit again for another 30 days? Or 90 days? How long is too long to attribute credit to an early source and determine that it had a legitimate effect on the prospect’s purchase? The moment a lead converts is a valuable touch, but focusing solely on this channel undervalues all of the research B2B buyers do before, and after, filling out a form. First touch, lead conversion touch, and last touch all provide useful information into the B2B buyer’s journey, which is why the most accurate model for B2B marketers is a multi-touch attribution model. Multi-touch considers and assigns revenue value to the multiple channels that influence a buyer’s journey.” – Business2Community

Use Attribution to Quantify Branding Impact Too

Brand marketers need to evaluate visitors based on behaviors that indicate their level of consideration. For example, visits that involve a subscription to a newsletter or loyalty program—or anything else that requires submitting an email for future contact—can be considered high-value site engagements and serve as strong markers of consideration. Once an engagement metric has been determined, attribution can provide insight into how investments made across branding tactics (like online display, video ads, and non-branded paid search) stack up against each other based on their ability to drive highly qualified prospects. Marketers then can better allocate budget.” – MarketingProfs

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