Finding out where your leads came from is one of the most successful ways to measure marketing effectiveness. Not to mention that it’s an integral part of budget allocation. However, what most marketers don’t realize is that it can be an extremely cumbersome task for many organizations. To put it plainly, multi-touch marketing attribution should be at the top of your marketing wishlist if it isn’t already a priority for your company. For those that have already invested in creating a complete picture of their customer journey, it’s time to prove that ROI across all channels (and programs if you’re in Marketo!)
Our goal is to cover the many reasons why attribution falls flat on its face for many groups for the purpose of helping you avoid the pitfalls of attributing that last lead you generated. Here are the top things you should dodge at all costs.
Avoiding the Hard Stuff
Yeah, attribution is hard, we’ll be the first to admit. The single biggest mistake marketers make when they track down attribution is that they avoid looking at the difficult data. But, we all know vanity metrics like email opens are not the way to track, let alone qualify, your leads. You need the big picture, look beyond the easy metrics that look appealing at first and second glance. It’s time to jump into the deep end of marketing touchpoints (we promise there are a lot of SQLs here.)
Once you take a look at the “hardcore metrics,” you can then start building your lead qualification and attribution process. What are your marketing goals? Your sales goals? How does the data support those goals? Once you’ve re-aligned sales and marketing focuses, you’ll be able to create a set of best practices that you can both agree upon as “lead attribution” factors. While Marketing should tackle this effort first, you’ll have to talk about how qualified the prospects currently being sent to the sales floor are. Informing the hard data with a sales approach is difficult, but a big miss if you’re not already there.
Treating a Conversion like a Data Point
While quantitative data is great, it can’t really explain all of the nuances of the SQL. You need qualitative data. Yeah, you can do surveys, listen to recorded calls and run social media listening on your brand to get this data, but nobody knows the customer more than the sales team.
Think of it this way: of the 13 leads you sent to sales, you might know how many converted, but do you know why? What eventually brought them to you over the competitors? Did they sound (or look) put out by certain hurdles they had to jump to get to your product? That’s the stuff that truly takes you from seeing the conversion, to knowing the conversion.
Using the Wrong Tools
It can really come down to this. Your time invested in a more robust tool will translate better than no time spent with a “simple tool.” We know, having team bandwidth to learn a nuanced CRM is tough, but it is worth the time. We’ve seen it time and time again. Maybe you’ve got the right tool, but the wrong knowledge. Yes, we’ve also seen that time and time again. What it boils down to is that using the wrong tool has a cost.
No matter where you are in your lead attribution modeling, there’s always something to learn from whatever tool you’re working with. If you use a more robust tool like Marketo or Salesforce, working with a qualified expert can help ensure you’re getting the most out of it or simply get more out of it. While there are many ways to accomplish a task, only one of those is truly going to check all your attribution boxes in the long run, so use the right tools for the task.
Not Visualizing the Journey
Does your sales team know what a lead has to go through before falling into their hands? This is probably one of the least communicated gaps between sales and marketing. We mentioned getting aligned, but sometimes ensuring everyone is familiar with the customer journey can help ensure that alignment will be joyously met.
Marketing attribution has various touchpoints, like first and last, but you’ve gotta be aware of everything in between. Ensure that everyone’s got a journey map – no matter what department they’re in, they all need to know where and how people became their customers.
Skipping the Money Talk
When you’re speaking to sales, you’ve gotta keep the money top of mind. Prove your worth. What is the dollar value of your attribution? Tell them how much a lead cost and what it costs to lose a lead. They want to understand the end impact on revenue, so if you can put the pieces together, you’ll be able to bring them data that translates to dollars.
We always recommend marketing-sales alignment because it’s important to know how each team can have an impact on overall growth. Not to mention, both parties will love putting together their dreaded quarterly business reviews.