3 Marketing Attribution Models to Help Drive High ROI in 2020

By Tara Petre 4 min read

So, your live event is canceled and your demand generation plans have hit a wall. To make things worse, you didn’t start off with a Plan B. How do you identify the right marketing channels to get the most out of your digital marketing campaign? What you need is an effective cross-channel attribution model. In this blog post, we will explore 3 marketing attribution models to help drive high ROI in 2020.

If you’re like most B2B marketers in 2020, you’re likely making some unexpected shifts to your channel investment strategy. Live events, field events, and tradeshows alike are seeing huge waves of cancellations, and it’s leaving a lot of marketing budget on the table.

If you’re like most of us, you’re also probably getting spammed all day every day by companies telling you to make the shift to digital and channel your marketing investments towards digital channels, without much other direction, other than to give them that extra budget you’re sitting on. (Thanks for that valuable insight, company I’ve never heard of, or given my information to!)

Lastly, if you’re like most B2B marketers in this wild time, you’re probably wishing you were as certain of anything relating to your marketing spend and media mix just half as much as you are about whether or not Carole Baskin killed her husband. (I’m not saying she did it or didn’t do it, I’m just saying that I have strong feelings)

So how do you reevaluate your budget allocations, recalibrate your marketing efforts, and reinvest to generate the highest possible return on investment before that budget is off the table? Here we’ll break down the three ways you should be evaluating your remaining channels to identify your best bets across customer touchpoints.

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First-Touch Attribution

First touch analytics, when backed by clean and reliable data, will tell you where to invest, when it comes to generating the leads most likely to turn into an opportunity or closed-won deal.

So how do you analyze first touch attribution? It all starts with consistently populated source data. To make the translation from analytics to investment less cryptic, your source values should align with your channels. You’ll also need integration between your marketing automation & CRM systems to ensure you can connect that source data (on the lead or the contact) with that opportunity information.

If you’re not checking all those prerequisite boxes, fear not, this is usually something that can be cleaned up retroactively, so you’ll be on your way to first touch reporting in no-time.

Last-Touch Attribution

Last touch analytics, when aligned to agreed-upon lifecycle stages, will tell you where to invest in the customer journey, when it comes to pushing leads ‘over the edge’ and into a high-value stage. Use this attribution methodology when you’re trying to unclog your funnel and increase your conversion rate from one stage to the next.

So how do you analyze last touch attribution? This methodology requires you have a defined ‘success’ or ‘response’ within each channel in your marketing automation platform. You’ll also need to make sure the marketing team is well aligned with your sales team on your lifecycle stage definitions to make sure everyone is speaking the same language.

By tracking the last successful interaction prior to a prospect moving into the next high-value stage of your lifecycle, you’ll be able to identify the top trends. From there, you can target leads stuck in the previous funnel stage, using strategies that have proven successful in increasing conversions for other prospects who have since moved further down the funnel.

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Multi-Touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution reporting is the holy grail of attribution reporting for B2B marketers. There are many different weighting methodologies out there, but the principle remains the same. Multi-touch attribution allows you to identify the channels and campaigns most often associated with open opportunities and closed-won deals. Using an unweighted approach, you can divide the value of the opportunity or closed-won deal by the channels and campaigns that generated successful interactions.

This methodology requires operational excellence and builds upon many of the prerequisites we reviewed in relation to first-touch and last-touch attribution reports. While a lifecycle isn’t a direct dependency, you’ll want to be integrated with your CRM, and properly identifying the statuses that indicate a response so that this attribution credit can be distributed accurately.

Wrapping up

As you’ve probably noticed by now, there are a few different ways to identify your next best bets for channel investment. Each methodology answers a different question and plays a key role in your marketing mix. By combining the three, you’ll be able to answer all those questions about what worked, what didn’t, and what your new multi-channel strategy looks like. Because let’s be honest, unlike Joe Exotic, most of us do not go to work every day prepared to die in a tiger cage.

Want to talk B2B Marketing, Attribution, or Tiger King?

Drop me a note at Tara Petre or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Tara Petre

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Tara Petre