Every marketing department needs to understand what’s working and what’s not. That simple question is referred to as marketing attribution. What actions in marketing are driving revenue in the business? To what actions, can we attribute credit? Once we understand these actions, we’ll do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
Putting aside for a moment the complexities around actually achieving marketing attribution (we’ve written a series of how to articles to create attribution in Salesforce, in Marketo and in Bizible), the point of attribution should not be boiled down to simply proving the marketing department has “done stuff”. Instead, the insights marketing attribution brings to the surface must be used to inform and adjust the overall marketing strategy.
Refocus on Actual Strategy
Every high-powered marketing executive, or anyone aiming to one day be labeled as such, claims they focus on “the strategic vision”. “Strategy” seems to be this illusive act that everyone wants to do, but so few really do consistently. To help put a visual behind “strategy”, we’ve recently released the framework we’ve used to empower thousands of marketing teams.
We call it the Catalyst Marketing Framework. Let’s use this framework, and specifically the Strategy portion, as a guide to understand how attribution can inform strategy.
Objectives and KPIs
If we’re honest with one another, sometimes the goals and KPIs we set are kind of a shot in the dark. Good marketers will often riff off of past metrics when setting new goals, and decent marketers might set them based on industry standards. But neither of these approaches is going to serve you optimally. We need something better: KPIs and objectives based on marketing attribution.
Start by reviewing your marketing attribution to date, in order to understand exactly how your programs and tactics have performed – as well as how they’ve resulted in revenue. By doing so, you can more effectively understand whether your set objectives are attainable. This will also give you the insights you need to set appropriate leading and lagging KPIs, which have shown to lead to the realization of those objectives.
ICP and Account Segmentation
When a comprehensive attribution model is in place, your organization can use the data to better understand the different outcomes broken down by segment. This will give your team an account-level understanding of acquisition cost and lifecycle length, helping you make smarter marketing decisions. With this information in hand, you’ll better understand which segments provide the most value to your organization and have the lowest acquisition cost, helping substantiate your ICP.
Like ICP and account segmentation, the development or optimization of buyer personas can benefit greatly from attribution model data. Each of your personas likely has its own unique journey experience and series of touch points and attribution data can teach you how each one can be improved. Not only will knowing which marketing activities influenced which results inform you about what makes for an optimal journey for each persona, but it will also help you understand how to drive greater volume and velocity from prospect to close.
Once you’ve used attribution data to inform your objectives, KPIs, ICP, account segmentation and buyer personas, you’ll be in a strong position to craft an optimal go-to-market strategy. The beauty of relying on your attribution model is that it gives you performance insight at the channel level, so you can be exacting in the strategic choices you make at this point. The data insights you’ll get will empower you to develop a go-to-market strategy that optimally covers your markets, accounts and buyers with the channels that will most effectively and efficiently translate to revenue generation. And that’s what we’re really all after, isn’t it?
So while many marketers tend to think of marketing attribution as a way of looking backward and reviewing performance, it’s much more than that. The insights you gather from your attribution model should inform every high-level strategy and tactical blueprint you create, helping your business move toward the revenue goals you’ve been envisioning. I’d love to know; how will you start using attribution data to fuel your forward-looking strategy?
LeadMD has helped 1,000’s of organizations incorporate marketing attribution into their marketing strategy – no matter your technology or industry. If you’d like to explore how LeadMD could help your organization solve this challenge, please get in touch with us and we’ll connect you with one of the marketing attribution experts on our team.
Meet JT Bricker
As a strategic marketing leader, J.T. leads teams in helping clients design and execute actionable marketing and sales strategies and impactful execution that drive revenue growth and profitability. He works closely with organizations to develop a strategically grounded approach to marketing and sales with a blend of strategy, analytics, technology and creative to achieve growth objectives. J.T. works with the LeadMD team in advising clients on best practices in revenue growth strategies, strategic sales and marketing alignment, account-based strategies, demand generation, marketing technology, marketing operations, analytics and sales management. Prior to joining LeadMD, J.T. held a variety of marketing leadership and strategic consulting roles including management consultant, marketing operations, pricing and offer management, demand generation and analytics in multiple enterprise organizations.