In the context of B2B marketing, attribution is the process of understanding what actions or engagements with your brand were responsible for driving leads through the sales funnel until closing a deal. Through designing attribution models, marketing and sales can determine what actions are generating business results and make data-driven decisions about where to invest for more effective nurture strategies.
But building an attribution model for today’s buyer journeys is no easy task. Long sales cycles mean it is hard to pinpoint which engagements with your brand are truly impactful. Leads interact with your brand on a variety of channels, and it can be difficult to identify the right dials to tune to drive multiple decision makers down one sales funnel.
At Fjuri, we believe that best-in-class attribution models enrich your understanding of the dynamic behavior of the buyer groups that drive opportunities down the sales funnel. Through adopting a multi-touch attribution model, B2B organizations can put a laser-like focus on the kinds of activities that tie back to revenue. Here are some tips for how to design the right attribution model for your B2B marketing programs.
What Attribution Models Should Tell You
The questions you need to answer through your attribution model will change based on your business objectives. You might be looking for insight on what kinds of programs, as a whole, drive better results from target accounts. You might be looking for info on what activities generate the most engagement or pipeline acceleration. You might be wondering what channels are performing the best among target audiences. Your marketing and sales team need to align on the insight you are hoping to draw from your attribution model so that you can design it appropriately. Regardless of your specific needs, your attribution model should always show you how different actions taken by leads influenced your sales results: Which drove the most impact? Where should you invest more heavily in the future? What activities drive leads to become marketing qualified? What people were involved?
Designing Your Data
Before you can extract actionable insight from attribution models, you must make sure that your organization’s data is being recorded in a way that enables accurate, actionable analysis. Ensure that your data is captured in a way that is:
- Historical: Because deals take time to close, it is important to see how interactions with your brand have changed over time.
- Organized and complete: Data needs to be recorded in a consistent way across the entire team. Naming conventions and data entry need to be uniform.
- Multichannel: Reporting should reveal insight from interaction across all devices and platforms.
- Account-based: Attribution models should provide visibility into how opportunities are engaging with marketing programs, not just leads.
Taking the time to execute this step correctly will save you time and money and enable the most effective and efficient use of your audience data.
Picking the Right Attribution Model for Buyer Group-Based Nurture
Attribution models can generally be broken down into a few categories:
- Single-touch models: Assign credit based on one predetermined touchpoint alone.
- Multi-touch models: Assign credit based on more than one predetermined touchpoint.
Each has its merits, but as B2B marketing best practices recognize the benefits of nurturing buyer groups instead of individuals, multi-touch attribution models are becoming more aligned with Demand Generation best practices. Multi-touch models can take many forms but ultimately enable the fullest picture of buyer groups’ interactions with your brand. Because you can track leads’ engagement with all existing marketing touchpoints across the customer journey, you can form a more accurate assessment of:
- What touch points are engaging target audiences.
- The composition and activity of target account buyer groups.
- Where to invest your marketing budget in the future.
Most importantly, multi-touch models are driving better results than single-touch models: A recent study revealed that 32.9% of multi-touch users generate more than 2x ROI from their marketing activities compared to 21.1% of single-touch users.
Considering the Right Variables for Multi-Touch Models
After settling on a multi-touch attribution model you can select from a number of variables to build the foundations of your campaign. We recommend considering the following three elements when building your attribution model:
- What the touchpoint says about their level of interest: When it comes to demonstrating interest or sales readiness, not all assets are created equal. Clicking on a blog is not the same as filling out a form and downloading a gated asset. Asking for a demo is not the same as clicking on a case study. We recommend weighing each touchpoint differently depending on how “valuable” the activity is.
- Time investment: The more time a lead spends with your brand, the better. Models should reward actions that involved more time investment, whether that investment is required (some activities inherently imply time investment, i.e. an event) or voluntary (i.e. watching just one minute of a video versus watching the entire thing).
- The individual behind the action: Inherent to the concept of buyer groups is the understanding that some individuals are more influential in their companies’ decision-making processes than others. Create a model that weighs activities differently depending on the individual who was behind a given activity, and how influential they are in their buyer group. For more information on building Demand Generation programs around buyer groups, see our blog, 4 Steps to Building a Buyer Group-Based Demand Generation Program.
Building an attribution model that accurately assigns value to different marketing and sales activities is a complex task that requires thoughtfulness and a strategic understanding of your business objectives. With these guiding principles in mind, you can design a model that tells you what you need to know about the health of your Demand Generation program, and where you should invest for the future.