Understanding Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution, at its simplest, is about connecting historical customer data: from marketing, sales and in some degree, customer succes. By connecting all the dots — where also deals close and revenue metrics are held — the marketing team no longer has to guess their revenue impact. Nor have the sales team have to guess what the quality of the leads are. Every deal can be tied back to specific marketing, sales and even customer success actions.

Without proper attribution, marketers are forced to using marketing metrics that serve as proxies for or leading indicators of revenue (visitors, leads, conversions, etc.). They can then guess that some percentage of visitors turn into leads and another percentage of leads turn into warm leads, and on and on to make a guess at how much revenue the marketing team is driving. More than just lacking precision with these estimates, not all leads are of equal quality — attracting a few high quality leads is more valuable than attracting many low quality leads.

The higher in the funnel the metrics are, the less they tell you about quality, which makes using proxy metrics for revenue not very actionable.

In the 2018 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, only 2 in 10 CMOs reported using [the right] attribution model and only 24.1% say they are using attribution to give credit where it’s due. How can a CMO drive and optimize for revenue in a meaningful way when they are not using any attribution solution?

On the other hand, with the right B2B marketing attribution, marketers receive credit and can optimize based on actual full-funnel performance data. Revenue accountability and full-funnel transparency results in more efficient marketing content, audience targeting, channel decisions, budget allocation, etc. — all from a revenue producing perspective.
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