The results of doing ABM from traditional demand generation tactics have made a great deal of difference in the B2B space – and for the better. But we’ve progressed considerably in our marketing journey and the B2B customer journey has only gotten more intricate as we move forward. There are more channels available (both online and offline) for engagement, similarly more devices to engage on, making it overwhelming or near impossible for marketers to keep track of their customer journey. This is where account based marketing attribution can help. Doing account based marketing without attribution is like taking aim without a definite goal that you can’t validate. It’s just not accurate if you don’t have the right data attribution for your ABM. The key is to see that today’s buyer is never a single person/individual who progresses along your funnel, but a set of decision makers, with different pain points that we group into accounts. And marketers can’t be efficient if they’re tracking ‘leads’ instead of tracking accounts through the funnel.
Why Is Account Based Attribution Important?
Account based attribution is a technique for organizing data. It’s about tying your efforts directly to revenue so you can optimize for the right outcome. Tweet This! In most B2B organizations, the marketing team and the sales team have their separate data, and the two rarely overlap. But that needs to change. Your marketing team should care about the sales data as it holds the ultimate key for success – revenue. You want to be able to grow your pipeline marketing, which is to expand all the stages of the funnel, instead of focusing on just one stage of it. By using multi-touch/full-path attribution analysis to measure the ROI of their efforts, ABM practitioners can make better decisions regarding their budget allocations.
With rife competition and tight budgets, marketers are required to demonstrate measurable results i.e. data to show that marketing is doing its job and getting better each day. In this article, we bring you 5 reasons why your ABM efforts will fall flat on its face without the help of attribution.
1. Tracking Marketing’s Nurturing and Sales Enablement Efforts
The reason why full-path attribution is considered a holy grail for ABM is because marketers focus more on the bottom of the funnel. Marketing closely observes and cares about which opportunities will convert into customers, spending a huge amount of time and investments in sales enablement tactics to close them. By adopting full-path attribution, ABMers have the power to see clearly into the final stage of the funnel, that the W-shaped multi-touch attribution can’t provide.
Full-path attribution is the next stop for marketers in their B2B martech efforts. Where multi-touch tracks the first-touch, the lead-conversion, and the opportunity-creation touchpoints across a buyer’s journey, full-path attribution helps marketers understand exactly which touchpoints of the bottom funnel are most effective in converting opportunities to customers. Oftentimes, the portion from “opportunity” to “closing the customer” is laden with an unclear series of content downloads, outbound calls, nurturing emails, sales collaterals, and in-person demos. Adopting a full-path attribution can help lift that fog and clear out the confusion.
2. Omnichannel Attribution Makes a Heck of a Difference
The existence of a multitude of marketing channels (both online and offline) calls for an omnichannel attribution so we can determine the impact of every customer interaction from search keywords to conference booth demos. Nowadays, marketing automation, offline marketing, and simplistic forms of attribution like web analytics just won’t cut it. Chew on this – how are you supposed to allocate marketing budgets without an accurate comparison between online channels and offline channels like conferences? You may be working twice as hard and investing more revenue at conferences than at AdWords; without omnichannel attribution, you’d never know. Omnichannel attribution allows marketers to see and assess their efforts from a single, unified lens – kind of the same way their target audience would experience it. According to Engagio, “advanced attribution solutions allow offline touchpoints to just as easily be tracked and attributed revenue credit by integrating with the CRM, where offline marketing reports are uploaded”.
3. Optimizing Paid Media and Budget Allocation for Campaigns and Channels
The primary benefit of attribution is that it connects everything back to revenue and profit; it’s much easier to determine what functions are performing well and which areas need more improvement. Paid media consisting of paid social posts, display advertising, and PPC campaigns tend to have a strong impact on the top of the funnel. Hence, it’s important that you have an attribution solution to track that anonymous first interaction. For example, a prospect comes to your website, reads an article or two, and leaves without filing up a form. They return later via one of your display ads and sign up for the upcoming webinar. Typically, the display ad would get the credit without tracking the anonymous first touch. However, in reality, it was the promoted social post that initially brought the prospect to your site. Unlocking this information will show you which paid media campaigns are driving the most leads and help you track which of those leads are converting. Most importantly, it’ll help you optimize your spend. Similarly, the same should be done for campaigns and channels. If you’re investing in new channels and want to see what’s working, B2B marketing attribution should be your answer. Whether you’re running a direct mail campaign or outbound calling, or have increased your spend on LinkedIn, attributing these activities to revenue will clear out a lot around the desired outcomes. Account journeys and attribution to prove value and ROI are very important aspects that complete an ABM stack. Hence, remember to focus only on account-specific attribution and metrics, instead of lead-based ABM analytics.
4. Communication and Alignment Between Teams
According to the State of Pipeline Marketing report, 86.7% of marketers with a multi-touch attribution model in place said that they have a well-aligned relationship with their sales team. With the help of attribution, marketing teams can determine which of their pieces are having a direct impact on the bottom line. Sales and marketing teams should work together to create and distribute the most impactful content that doesn’t rely on guesswork and ties the focus directly to their ROI. It’s a win-win for both the sales and marketing teams to work together in order to move leads through the funnel towards opportunities and then eventually customers. Furthermore, attribution makes it possible for everyone on board to speak the same language. Instead of reporting on page views and social shares, marketing team, just like the sales team, can now report on revenue numbers.
5. You Can Identify the Real Cost per Lead
Wouldn’t it be nicer to know that you weren’t just wasting your money on something unfruitful? With account based attribution, marketing teams can determine the channels that provide the highest-quality leads, also revealing the cost per lead (CPL) limit for those channels. Marketers typically set a single CPL limit but leads coming in from certain channels have a chance of converting at a higher rate and thus require a higher limit. One size doesn’t fit all. Using a single limit for all channels will cause you to spend too much money on low quality leads and not optimize enough in areas with high revenue potential.
TOPO’s account based technology report rates account based marketing metrics and attribution to be the 2nd most important ABM category after Account Data. Attribution ties sales and marketing efforts with the desired outcomes. For example, a team won’t operate efficiently if the CMO optimizes for one metric and her team optimizes for another. Do a quick audit of your marketing metrics and find out the areas where your colleagues are responsible. From there you can determine whether to move on to an advanced attribution solution. Not only does it align the sales and marketing function but the adoption of account based attribution helps align the marketing team itself.