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Prove and ImproveYour
Marketing Impact in 2021
Matt Erstad
Solutions Consultant
Adobe
Speaker
©Copyright Adobe, 2020 2
Matt Erstad
SolutionsConsultant
Adobe
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Marketing attribution moves the needle
© Adobe, 2020 3
of marketing teams
say they are
perceived
as cost centers, not
revenue centers
In uncertain times, marketing and sales teams need to grow revenue
or risk irrelevance
. . . more likely to have a
reputation as a revenue
center, not a cost center
of marketers are unsure
if marketing positively
impacts ROI
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
44% 59%
marketing organizations
with sophisticated
attribution tools are . . .
53.1%
HOWEVER . . .
Sources: Bizible 2018 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, AdRoll survey
Marketing attribution connects
all the dots
© Adobe, 2020 4
1. Marketing activities: all the online and offline marketing
campaigns launched
2. Engagement: the people (prospects, customers, etc.) who
engaged with your efforts
3. Performance outcomes: the results—usually the revenue
or pipeline value, but could be a metric like MQLs, SQLs,
opportunities, etc.
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Attribution systems assess how these three related datasets intersect
Is marketing attribution just like
analytics? Not exactly.
© Adobe, 2020 5
Attribution is for marketing, sales, and the CFO.
• Shows how marketing activities contribute to pipeline
• Shows how marketing activities contribute to revenues
• Allows marketers to quantify the ROI of marketing
investments
Analytics is for marketing.
• Measures how users interact with online properties.
• Offers insights into engagement.
• Does not explain how marketing contributes to
pipeline or revenues.
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Marketing attribution can help you defend your budget.
Challenges—attributing ROI to marketing
© Adobe, 2020 6
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Many businesses are marketing blind.Why is that?
• Marketing performance and sales data are spread across
multiple platforms.
• Spreadsheet-based attribution analysis often fails because it
relies on old data exported piecemeal.
• Marketers assume high levels of engagement automatically
mean lots of leads and revenue.
What metrics matter?
© Adobe, 2020 7
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Different stakeholders may have definitions of success
• Many marketing practitioners look at engagement metrics like
clicks, downloads, sign ups, etc.
• Sales, finance, and leadership care primarily about pipeline,
revenue, and ROI.
• To prove the impact of marketing, marketing should share metrics
that other company stakeholders will understand.
What attribution models work best?
© Adobe, 2020 8
Single-touch models
give 100% of the
revenue credit to one
marketing touchpoint.
Multi-touch models
attempt to divide credit
among all the marketing
activities that happen
during the buyer’s journey.
It all depends on your marketing strategy and what you want to measure
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Pros and cons of single-touch models
© Adobe, 2020 9
Pros
• Easy to implement
• Easy to understand (e.g., first touch or last touch, etc.)
Cons
• Weights a single interaction too heavily and
may undervalue marketing activities from one
or more parts of the funnel
• Doesn’t account for the cumulative effect of
nurture programs
• May not work well for account-based
marketing (ABM) because they only account
for one touch and one person
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Pros and cons of multi-touch models
© Adobe, 2020 10
Pros
• Considers all the marketing channels that lead to
a conversion event
• Addresses the complexity of the B2B sales cycle and
B2B buyers’ groups
• Prevents marketing activities from being devalued
if they didn’t directly drive conversions
Cons
• Inherent in each model are assumptions
about the contribution of marketing
activities that may or may not be accurate
• Weighting can be arbitrary and may not
accurately portray how customers interact
with marketing channels
• The attributed ROI doesn't include
customers who aren't converting through
the channels being analyzed
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Pros and cons of multi-touch models
© Adobe, 2020 11
Pros
• Considers all the marketing channels that lead to
a conversion event
• Addresses the complexity of the B2B sales cycle and
B2B buyers’ groups
• Prevents marketing activities from being devalued
if they didn’t directly drive conversions
Cons
• Inherent in each model are assumptions
about the contribution of marketing
activities that may or may not be accurate
• Weighting can be arbitrary and may not
accurately portray how customers interact
with marketing channels
• The attributed ROI doesn't include
customers who aren't converting through
the channels being analyzed
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
>
© Adobe, 2020 12
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Spreadsheets work for many different jobs—but marketing attribution is
not one of them. Here’s why:
• Spreadsheets are manual and inherently error prone
• Downloading data from multiple sources is very time consuming…
• …which means you probably won’t update your marketing attribution
spreadsheet more than once a quarter or even once a year
• Spreadsheets can sometimes crash due to the sheer volume of data
Why you need automation
Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 13
Two approaches to automating
marketing attribution—
campaign objects and
touchpoints
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Campaign objects
Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 14
• Most commonly used by marketing automation systems
• Each marketing activity you want to measure must be manually
defined as a campaign object.
• Setting up marketing attribution for complex, multi-channel
strategies is very time-consuming.
Best for simple marketing programs that involve one or
two channels
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Pros and cons of campaign objects
© Adobe, 2020 15
Pros
• May be built into your marketing automation system
• Relatively inexpensive
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Cons
• Time-consuming to set up and maintain
• You must define a separate object for each
marketing activity (e.g., if you run two
Twitter ads you must define two campaigns)
• Make it difficult to "drill down" into
channel performance
• Lower ROI than the touchpoints approach
Touchpoints
Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 16
• Touchpoints combine data from online marketing channels,
offline marketing channels and your CRM.
• They can track marketing activities on every channel.
• They can get as granular as you want.
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Best for bigger marketing programs with multiple channels
Pros and cons of touchpoints
© Adobe, 2020 17
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Cons
• Require a marketing attribution platform
• May be more expensive than relying on
your marketing automation system
Pros
• Easy to set up
• Let you "drill down" into the specific activities within a
given channel—like ads or keywords
• Support cross-channel and intra-channel analysis
• Especially helpful if you have complex digital
advertising campaigns
Selling marketing attribution
to the C-suite
© Adobe, 2020 18
With Bizible, marketing proves its value and ROI
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
• Pinpoints which campaigns are heroes or zeroes
(over- or under-performers)
• Know when to dial up, dial down, or double down
• Use insights to optimize campaigns and meet or exceed goals
Forrester found that implementing Bizible brings 734% ROI over
first three years1
1 Please provide citation
Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 19
So how will attribution help with that…
• More analytics – specificallyAttribution Analytics!With more interaction with customers being handled online
it will be easier track and measure those touchpoints with the right solution.
• Attribution ultimately shape what good customer experience looks like online. Previously offline businesses
will need data to understand the propensity of an initial interaction or ”web call”. How does this new dynamic
affect sales and churn behavior. More digital marketing campaigns will be presented alongside the “sales
calls” to support this new dynamic.
• With a potential leaner budget every campaign needs to be scrutinized for effectiveness.With the right
attribution reporting marketing can correctly determine what is and isn’t working.
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
2021 – Continuing the Digital Experience
More and more customer experiences are taking place online or via phone
instead of in person.This will likely continue to the foreseeable future.
However, marketing may have to maximize effort on a more lean budget.
Questions?
© Adobe, 2020 20
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
Thank you
© Adobe, 2020 21
WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION

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Prove and Improve Your Marketing Impact in 2021

  • 1. Prove and ImproveYour Marketing Impact in 2021 Matt Erstad Solutions Consultant Adobe
  • 2. Speaker ©Copyright Adobe, 2020 2 Matt Erstad SolutionsConsultant Adobe WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 3. Marketing attribution moves the needle © Adobe, 2020 3 of marketing teams say they are perceived as cost centers, not revenue centers In uncertain times, marketing and sales teams need to grow revenue or risk irrelevance . . . more likely to have a reputation as a revenue center, not a cost center of marketers are unsure if marketing positively impacts ROI WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION 44% 59% marketing organizations with sophisticated attribution tools are . . . 53.1% HOWEVER . . . Sources: Bizible 2018 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, AdRoll survey
  • 4. Marketing attribution connects all the dots © Adobe, 2020 4 1. Marketing activities: all the online and offline marketing campaigns launched 2. Engagement: the people (prospects, customers, etc.) who engaged with your efforts 3. Performance outcomes: the results—usually the revenue or pipeline value, but could be a metric like MQLs, SQLs, opportunities, etc. WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Attribution systems assess how these three related datasets intersect
  • 5. Is marketing attribution just like analytics? Not exactly. © Adobe, 2020 5 Attribution is for marketing, sales, and the CFO. • Shows how marketing activities contribute to pipeline • Shows how marketing activities contribute to revenues • Allows marketers to quantify the ROI of marketing investments Analytics is for marketing. • Measures how users interact with online properties. • Offers insights into engagement. • Does not explain how marketing contributes to pipeline or revenues. WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Marketing attribution can help you defend your budget.
  • 6. Challenges—attributing ROI to marketing © Adobe, 2020 6 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Many businesses are marketing blind.Why is that? • Marketing performance and sales data are spread across multiple platforms. • Spreadsheet-based attribution analysis often fails because it relies on old data exported piecemeal. • Marketers assume high levels of engagement automatically mean lots of leads and revenue.
  • 7. What metrics matter? © Adobe, 2020 7 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Different stakeholders may have definitions of success • Many marketing practitioners look at engagement metrics like clicks, downloads, sign ups, etc. • Sales, finance, and leadership care primarily about pipeline, revenue, and ROI. • To prove the impact of marketing, marketing should share metrics that other company stakeholders will understand.
  • 8. What attribution models work best? © Adobe, 2020 8 Single-touch models give 100% of the revenue credit to one marketing touchpoint. Multi-touch models attempt to divide credit among all the marketing activities that happen during the buyer’s journey. It all depends on your marketing strategy and what you want to measure WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 9. Pros and cons of single-touch models © Adobe, 2020 9 Pros • Easy to implement • Easy to understand (e.g., first touch or last touch, etc.) Cons • Weights a single interaction too heavily and may undervalue marketing activities from one or more parts of the funnel • Doesn’t account for the cumulative effect of nurture programs • May not work well for account-based marketing (ABM) because they only account for one touch and one person WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 10. Pros and cons of multi-touch models © Adobe, 2020 10 Pros • Considers all the marketing channels that lead to a conversion event • Addresses the complexity of the B2B sales cycle and B2B buyers’ groups • Prevents marketing activities from being devalued if they didn’t directly drive conversions Cons • Inherent in each model are assumptions about the contribution of marketing activities that may or may not be accurate • Weighting can be arbitrary and may not accurately portray how customers interact with marketing channels • The attributed ROI doesn't include customers who aren't converting through the channels being analyzed WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 11. Pros and cons of multi-touch models © Adobe, 2020 11 Pros • Considers all the marketing channels that lead to a conversion event • Addresses the complexity of the B2B sales cycle and B2B buyers’ groups • Prevents marketing activities from being devalued if they didn’t directly drive conversions Cons • Inherent in each model are assumptions about the contribution of marketing activities that may or may not be accurate • Weighting can be arbitrary and may not accurately portray how customers interact with marketing channels • The attributed ROI doesn't include customers who aren't converting through the channels being analyzed WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION >
  • 12. © Adobe, 2020 12 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Spreadsheets work for many different jobs—but marketing attribution is not one of them. Here’s why: • Spreadsheets are manual and inherently error prone • Downloading data from multiple sources is very time consuming… • …which means you probably won’t update your marketing attribution spreadsheet more than once a quarter or even once a year • Spreadsheets can sometimes crash due to the sheer volume of data Why you need automation
  • 13. Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 13 Two approaches to automating marketing attribution— campaign objects and touchpoints WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 14. Campaign objects Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 14 • Most commonly used by marketing automation systems • Each marketing activity you want to measure must be manually defined as a campaign object. • Setting up marketing attribution for complex, multi-channel strategies is very time-consuming. Best for simple marketing programs that involve one or two channels WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 15. Pros and cons of campaign objects © Adobe, 2020 15 Pros • May be built into your marketing automation system • Relatively inexpensive WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Cons • Time-consuming to set up and maintain • You must define a separate object for each marketing activity (e.g., if you run two Twitter ads you must define two campaigns) • Make it difficult to "drill down" into channel performance • Lower ROI than the touchpoints approach
  • 16. Touchpoints Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 16 • Touchpoints combine data from online marketing channels, offline marketing channels and your CRM. • They can track marketing activities on every channel. • They can get as granular as you want. WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Best for bigger marketing programs with multiple channels
  • 17. Pros and cons of touchpoints © Adobe, 2020 17 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION Cons • Require a marketing attribution platform • May be more expensive than relying on your marketing automation system Pros • Easy to set up • Let you "drill down" into the specific activities within a given channel—like ads or keywords • Support cross-channel and intra-channel analysis • Especially helpful if you have complex digital advertising campaigns
  • 18. Selling marketing attribution to the C-suite © Adobe, 2020 18 With Bizible, marketing proves its value and ROI WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION • Pinpoints which campaigns are heroes or zeroes (over- or under-performers) • Know when to dial up, dial down, or double down • Use insights to optimize campaigns and meet or exceed goals Forrester found that implementing Bizible brings 734% ROI over first three years1 1 Please provide citation
  • 19. Copyright © 2020 Adobe. 19 So how will attribution help with that… • More analytics – specificallyAttribution Analytics!With more interaction with customers being handled online it will be easier track and measure those touchpoints with the right solution. • Attribution ultimately shape what good customer experience looks like online. Previously offline businesses will need data to understand the propensity of an initial interaction or ”web call”. How does this new dynamic affect sales and churn behavior. More digital marketing campaigns will be presented alongside the “sales calls” to support this new dynamic. • With a potential leaner budget every campaign needs to be scrutinized for effectiveness.With the right attribution reporting marketing can correctly determine what is and isn’t working. WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION 2021 – Continuing the Digital Experience More and more customer experiences are taking place online or via phone instead of in person.This will likely continue to the foreseeable future. However, marketing may have to maximize effort on a more lean budget.
  • 20. Questions? © Adobe, 2020 20 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION
  • 21. Thank you © Adobe, 2020 21 WEBINAR | MARKETING ATTRIBUTION

Editor's Notes

  1. Marketers have always struggled with justifying budget. Whether its trying to hold onto existing YoY budget – or proposing a set amount for certain campaigns they’re always needing to plead their case. And with the ever expanding channels the customer can be reached it’s a difficult walk on the tight rope. And when there is success there always seems to be a different department that reigns supreme, basks in the glory, and frankly takes all of the credit…Sales. But we all know that isn’t truly the case. At the surface it’s pretty simple – marketing does a ton of work, but they get very little credit. Mainly this perception is simply due to a lack of visibility and tracking for marketing’s efforts, and an inability to make those efforts visible using metrics that answers the most important questions marketing is asked: how are you creating and enhancing our pipeline, and how are you contributing to the bottom line revenue. Often times, marketers themselves aren’t even sure how to answer this to themselves, much less when asked outside. We sometimes work off of assumptions of what’s worked before – or see vanity metrics that don’t always support the overall goal. However, when you have the right data to back up your answers to those questions, the story changes pretty dramatically. And for the better.
  2. And, enter assumption removing, data driven insights that is attribution: the other A word that involves charts, graphs, dashboards and the like. We’ll go into what attribution is and isn’t, and how it compares meaningfully to Pure Analytics, but first the key things to know about attribution is that it’s being able to see everything marketing is doing, online and offline, across all leads and contacts, customers and prospects, opportunities and accounts, and holding each and every one of those engagements and activities accountable to…well, what? Views? Downloads? Shares? Conversions? Clicks? Nope. Again, holding them accountable to metrics that are spoken outside the marketing org in the vernacular of the purse string holders – metrics like pipeline growth and revenue. Aka, the same metrics that makes sales the darlings of the organization. Now, marketing can has revenue and pipeline too. That’s attribution.
  3. But ok, so you may be asking yourself, what’s the difference between attribution and analytics? Is one superior to the other? Does one replace the other? The answer is no, one does not replace nor reign supreme over the other. But, one should never be mistaken for the other. For example, let’s say you are trying to understand how to optimize web traffic and page views on your website. Analytics will tell you that. How is traffic flowing from one page to another, what’s the fallout, stuff like that which conveniently Adobe Analytics is the market leader for solving. But, let’s say your CMO is told that the org needs to slash their budget because, I dunno, a global pandemic hits and there’s tons of uncertainty. Marketing, being marketing and all-too-often the ugly stepchild of the org, is told that only revenue-generating essential activities are going to remain funded. Is your CMO going to be able to answer that question by saying “but wait! Look at all of these page views, or downloads, or content shares, or conversions (whatever that means) that we were able to drive last quarter!” and expect the CFO to understand? Maybe you know the answer to this not-so-rhetorical questions because you’ve been in these not-so-hypothetical shoes yourself. Conversely, what if she instead is able to say “but wait, look how much revenue we drove last quarter. Or, look at how many MQLs we drove, not to mention opportunities we nurtured to closed/won, or generated, or every single other step along the customer journey.” That’s the difference. And this means that you not only get the coveted seat at the revenue table, you can also optimize your efforts according to those KPIs, so every month, quarter, whatever, those KPIs look more and more impressive, and thus marketing looks more and more impressive across every stakeholder and budget controller in the company.
  4. But, being able to pull this off is easier said than done. Or, is it? Well, it depends on how you do it. If you’re here listening to me, then I assume you’re clued into why attribution is important for you to understand, and are starting to weigh your options on how to execute. I’d say that’s where many marketers are today in general, since frankly attribution is a newer kid on the block, not unlike where marketing automation was a decade or so ago, but we’ve heard from our customners is now a need-to-have more than ever before. Or, maybe your team is a bit further along and you’ve started to put together an attribution play, potentially yourselves, using spreadsheets, having to pull in data from multiple silo’d platforms and third party sources, having to join that data to CRM and marketing automation data, then having to report and visualize it somehow, and then (often the hardest part) having to truly believe in the comprehensiveness and integrity of the result of those efforts as the real truth if marketing contribution. That’s the funny thing about attribution calls I’ve been joined. They operate like a therapy session. “Tell me about your attribution strategy” “30 min later and they’re crying on their home office sofas, or are ready to punch a throw pillow.” It’s not only really, really hard to do it yourself, but the results are (at least in my experience in and outside of many companies) ALWAYS dissatisfactory. Either because they feel they can’t track everything marketing is contributing and are getting sold short, or because the metrics they have to resort to are more of those marketing speak vanity metrics around arbitrary engagement that may have no connection to what actually moves a deal through a funnel with revenue as the goal. That whole adage of 50% of the marketing dollars are effective and the other are ineffective, but no one can tell which.
  5. So, just in case you needed another bleak dystopian reality to contend with this year, that’s what we hear marketers are up against. All the worse if they’re trying to expand into channels that are traditionally nightmarish to track using manual objects like campaigns, but that’s another story we’ll get back to. And if that weren’t enough, each persona and specialize in your team may want to consider different metrics relative to their own interests and pay grade. For example, your paid media specialist may want to know what keywords and campaigns are most fruitful to drive MQLs, whereas finance may want to know holistically what is and isn’t producing hard revenue, whereas sales wants to know what’s driving opportunities. Oh, and they all want to see this data in their relative systems of record, which is usually the CRM, or maybe it’s BI too, or maybe somewhere else? So you gotta somehow deliver that as well, otherwise your metrics are no good if the people who need them can’t access them.
  6. Is there relief in sight? Yes. Attribution tools, and speaking of which Adobe happens to have a pretty damn good one, solve this in a variety of different ways with different approaches. I’m guessing that everyone here today is familiar with single-touch models, probably because you get that out of the box with pretty much every marketing automation tool – usually in the flavors of first or last single-touch models that attribute to lead creation or opportunity creation. I’m also guessing that everyone here today isn’t totally happy with that approach, and with good reason, since 100% of the revenue credit for a deal goes to just a single marketing engagement. That’s like thanking your entire professional career on a single course you took in college. Or a personal relationship on a single date. More likely, it was a series of events that took place over an extended period of time across (bringing it back to B2B) a large buying committee of people involved across various inflection points in that deal. That seems like a more reasonable approach, but it does potentially (and I do emphasize potentially) involve a greater degree of effort to track all of those people, engagements, and times. Right?
  7. So, let us unpack some of this. Bringing it bacl to single touch, just to entertain this as a potential viable option for tracking a B2B marketing and sales cycle, it does have certain advantages. It’s easy. Easy to implement, easy to understand, super simple to use. Too simple, in fact, and frankly, pretty misleading, just like saying that in to make a great bottle of wine, you just need some old grapes that have been sitting around for a while. A B2B journey is more like a complex bottle of cabernet, requiring just the right care, touch, ingredients, and handling to bring about the desired result…of a closed won opportunity, ideally celebrated with a complex bottle of wine. And while every deal is indeed unique and will follow its own distinct path to winning, there are patterns and trends that emerge across each step of that journey. Patterns that will allow you to optimize by increasing and decreasing your spend at different points and nurture phases, depending on what needs to happen to move things along. However, you’ll never know this if you’re just looking at the grapes and nothing else.
  8. OK so, out of the dark ages and now into the world of multi-touch. You may as well throw in a greater than sign between the two. [next]
  9. There we go. So, now we are working within a universe that is allowing us to take off our blinders beyond what’s right in front of us, I.e. just what makes a lead or just what makes an opp. Now, assuming you’re using the right attribution approach, you can see everything that happens long before and long after those milestones, and in some cases the first time someone from an account hits your website, even if they don’t fill out a form. As if you can’t tell from my flippancy already, this is what you should be using in a B2B or B2C considered purchase sales process. Singel touch works OK with B2C consumer since they’re quick, transactional, and without much complexity. Like a crisp sparkling water, satisfying and refreshing, though rarely complex (unless you’re talking about topo chico twist of grapefruit, which as an FYI we would have otherwise all been drinking in person at a fancy hotel banquet room right now, hopefully sometime next year). Where was I? B2B marketing and sales cycles are complex, and the require a solution that can wrangle in all of those complexities, and let you understand what’s making an impact and what isn’t, and where it’s making an impact, from start to finish. Only then will you be able to see what’s blowing it out of the water, and what’s a complete and utter waste of your ever-threatened marketing time and budget. But, there are cons too. Or as I prefer to optimistically say, challenges that need to be considered and approached intelligently and proactively. Which are – you gotta understand the different attribution models, and understand why you’re using whichever one you’re using. Some of them frankly don’t make any sense to use, and use rather arbitrary weighting which doesn’t quite foot to reason, so you gotta watch out for that too. But, and this is probably the biggest gotcha, there’s the risk that you’re not actually tracking every engagement across the customer journey, and things that are making an impact, both small and big, are still going unnoticed, and thus underweighted, while other channels are consequently getting overweighted.
  10. OK so, I agree this can seem like a bit of a tease. I would venture to say you may be aware of what you need and where you want to go assuming you’re not already there today, but now the challenge is actually getting there, and doing it right from the beginning so you don’t waste time and money with costly missteps into the wrong attribution solution. Part of doing this right is understanding what really makes attribution work in practice. Yes, you want the data. Yes, you want to see the full customer journey. Yes, you want to have it go broadly as well as deep, so you can make precise adjustments not just channel by channel, but within each channel, for example paid media, knowing what keywords are winning and losing. Great. However, since you’ve gone up an order of magniture or two in the complexity of what you want to track, just think how much work it will be to track all of that – especially if you have to do it manually. And unless you’re a robot, any errors in this will snowball into a cataclysmic data mess that leaves you less than confident of the reports it generates. So, I would go so far as to say that equally important to the data is the way in which it is collected. Manually, via say the campaign object, going into spreadsheets, requiring weeks or months to analyze – or automatically, avoiding all of that mess and headache?
  11. Which is just the right thing to be wondering as we go into some options you have in terms of solving for attribution. Basically, most every attribution tool can be broken down into two categories. Campaign-object-based tracking, and touchpoints. Let’s see what each entails, and what you can expect out of each, as the decision you may here may be the most important one in terms of choosing the right attribution tool for your needs.
  12. OK so campaign objects. In case you’re unfamiliar, and since campaigns are the most ubiquitous term in marketing, we’re talking specifically about the campaign object in your Salesforce of Dynamics CRM. Basically, a container that you can use to capture a static list of leads or contacts who participate in, well, whatever. In this case, a marketing engagement. For example, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is how most of you are doing this today, you may host a webinar and receive a list of attendees who attended that webinar, much like we’re doing to you right now. You take that list of virtual badge scans, and upload them into a campaign in your CRM to track who attended. Pretty easy, and frankly, if that’s the extent of your marketing (i.e. things that are easy to track and upload into campaigns), a campaign-based attribution solution will get you by. And they’re cheap, as they should be. However, let’s say you’re a bit more sophisticated, and you aren’t just hosting one-dimensional yes/no/attended events but say, digital marketing like paid media, paid social, organic, seo, gated/ungated content, outbound bdr/sdr sales, etc. Things that have more than just a single dimension of data like an event or a webinar, and may involve different parameters, UTMs, keywords, dispositions, assets, conversion paths. Sadly, your great hope campaign object has let you down since it can only capture a single dimension of data, once, meaning if you want to be able to not just understand super basic marketing mixes, you’re on the verge of entering child/patrent subcampaign spreadsheet manual tracking hell, which makes cheap suddenly not so cheap anymore. Your time has a cost too, and probably not a cheap one, and I’m sure that price would increase if you were told you had to spend hours per day and weeks at a time living in manual data tracking dystopia versus, say, being able to use high quality, clean data to make heroic marketing decisions. Which is my theory as to what was really going on with this Adobe stock photo that kinda looks like this marker is flipping the bird to someone telling her she has to track everything using the campaign object. Simply, unless you’re just doing events (likely illegally at the moment) or very basic virtual marketing that a campaign obhect was designed to track, the campaign object approach becomes awkward, tedious, not scalable, inaccurate, and costly in many ways very quickly.
  13. Here’s a few bullets, just in case I haven’t sufficiently forewarned you. They’re cheap and simple, though unless you can say the same about your marketing mix, it’s probably not a fit. Oh, and since it’s single dimensional, if anyone ever asks you for more than a channel-by-channel attribution questions, such as what campaigns and versions of ads are working and where they’re working within anything online or on your website, you’re in a tough spot since you can’t drill down into channel performance.
  14. And if this whole presentation has felt pretty dreary so far, that’s because frankly I’d rather you felt the impact of poor attribution during a 30 min webinar than over the year of a poorly choosen attribution vendor contract you’re trying to escape. Unless, again, if you’re using very basic marketing channels that can be tracked using campaign objects, which at this point you can probably bounce out and watch the last 10 min of this later when you start to grow into digital. But, if you’re already there or just starting to dip your toes into digital, I’m going to finally let the clouds part and give you a very viable, very scalable, and very elegant way to get all the data you need, as deeply and drill downey as you want it, without any manual effort which still falls short on results. This is the touchpoint approach. Instead of being reliant on campaigns, everything is pulled in automatically, down to granular asset and channel levels to keywords ROI, with in most cases all of this data being populated in the CRM for ease of reporting. If you’ve got a marketing mix that spans online, offline, and maybe even outbound, a touchpoint gives you a scalable and granular platform to answer pretty much every question you could be asked in terms of what channels and content assets are driving pipeline growth and revenue, down to the n’th degree of detail. And if this data lives in the CRM, all the better since everyone who needs it across the org has access to it, using the reporting tools and chops they already know.
  15. And just as nicely, they’re easy to set up, and they take A LOT less work to maintain and scale than campaign objects. And also unlike touchpoints, they can capture everything important across every channel of your spend, since you don’t have to anticipate every single possible way and channel someone could visit your website or engage with your marketing efforts. And because you can drill down, again, this means you can optimize not just channel by channel, but within each channel so you can understand every parameter, dimension, and optimize for them. Honestly this is where much of the real ROI of using attribution happens, which is being able to make these intra-channel optimizations and decisions, knowing where every dollar should go to drive revenue and pipeline growth, wherever and whenever you need to. But again, this doesn’t make touchpoints right for everyone. It all comes down to what your marketing mix, deal cycles, and overall deal complexity looks like. It also requires investing in an attribution platform since you can’t do this out of the box with marketing automation, which of couse has an associated price tag with it.
  16. Oh and footnote Adobe sells an attribution solution that is touchpoint based, just in case you didn’t already put that together ;) It’s called Bizible, and I’ve gone through two acquisions, pretty much every job title and the better part of a decade working for them, and to this day still continue to extoll the virtues because that’s how much I believe in the results it has provided almost a thousand customers. So, if what we’ve covered here sounds relatable in terms of challenge, and the touchpoint approach sounds like it’s worth considering, I’d be happy to be a part of your conversation since, as you can tell, I rather enjoy the subject. And of course, as you can imagine, many of the conversations I have are about, well, is it worth it? Can we justify the expense for the returns? And I’m here to tell you first that, well, I don’t know. I can take a guess if you’re a B2B organization with a long sales cycles into a buying committee with an omnichannel marketing strategy, and I can plug some numbers into our Forrester Research formula designed to help evaluate the ROI of Bizible to give you some more data and confidence, and I can tell you exactly how customers have transformed their marketing universe across a variety of industries in a way that may just tug at the heartstrings of whoever controls your purse strings, but ultimately it’s a conversation we would need to have first, and of course, a conversation I would love to have.