Marketing Attribution: It’s neither simple nor tidy
It’s a question marketers hear often: “Which MarComm tactics and media channels are really driving the purchase?”
Usually there’s no pat answer – especially in the B2B world where the buy cycle is frequently long and complex.
Often, buyers interact with a company and a brand many times and through multiple channels before they make a decision. So the questions marketers should really be asking are:
- How do our prospects buy?
- How can we make their decision process faster, easier … and more likely to result in a sale?
Thought about in this way, marketing attribution is less about which individual “touchpoints” get the credit for a sale … and more about optimizing the entire process from the very start to closing the deal and beyond.
Suppress the urge to focus on “first touch/last touch” attribution because you may miss other important aspects of your prospect’s decision process. Gain insights not by assigning credit for any particular “lead event,” but by understanding how best to:
- Identify lucrative prospects
- Engage with these prospects and build a relationship with them
- Fend off competitors
- Close the sale faster and more efficiently
It’s important to remember that your prospect isn’t a single individual, but rather a group of decision-makers and influencers. You need to figure out how much investment is needed to close business at the “account” level.
Tracking marketing and sales expense by account – and then analyzing the data by product type, industry segment and other variables – is where attribution analysis can really add insight and value.