Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

April 12, 2018

How to Leverage Your Tech Stack to Prove B2B Marketing Attribution

Written by: Meryl Kremer  |  Share:

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Evaluating web traffic and funnel metrics in relation to specific inbound marketing campaigns will give you insight into the effectiveness of your strategy — but what if you could assign a dollar value to your marketing efforts? The ability to accurately attribute revenue to different marketing initiatives, assets and channels can revolutionize your inbound strategy and change how your company thinks about their marketing budget. 

With the right HubSpot integrations in your tech stack, it's possible to track closed/won deals back to the beginning to see what marketing touch points a customer engaged with along their buyer's journey and what marketing activities had the greatest impact on revenue.

Begin in HubSpot

Before you look to an integration to extend your reporting capabilities, it's important that your baseline reporting structure is configured to offer clarity and concision within your defined analytical scope. Double-check that your source reporting framework is set up to capture where visitors are funneling to your site from (be it organic search, paid search, email, social, referral, etc.) and that it accounts for all active inbound channels and lead sources. If a signifiant percentage of incoming leads aren't aligning with the channels you've previously identified, then you run the risk of polluting future reporting initiatives with a skewed data sample.

As you update and hone your reporting infrastructure, make sure that your efforts are in sync with long-term analytical objectives. If you're ultimately looking to compare revenue attribution between specific channels rather than by source type alone, then your baseline reporting structure should reflect this desired level of granularity. For example, in order to compare the revenue generated by Facebook versus Twitter, you would need to update your source attribution model to segment inbound social traffic by platform.

Hold on, I'm only worried about marketing vs. sales attribution, not all that hyper-specific channel stuff...

In that case, what you need is a more arial view into how marketing and sales each contribute to your pipeline. You can use a simple reporting framework to group contacts into two additional overhead categories: marketing-sourced and non-marketing-sourced leads. Inbound marketing leads are relayed through your website from various digital channels, so their origin will be automatically logged within your HubSpot portal. Leads that find your brand as a result of outbound outreach efforts must be manually added to your database and accredited a source (ex: trade conference connection, cold call outreach, word of mouth referral, etc.). For any type of reporting that involves outbound-sourced leads, it's vital that your sales reps maintain accurate and up-to-date contact records.

Attribute revenue to specific sources and channels with Salesforce

Using HubSpot's Salesforce integration, you can easily pass contact data from your COS and CRM to Salesforce and assign a revenue value to leads captured by each of your defined sources. Creating this direct feedback loop will save you from manually migrating data between platforms and will allow you to execute real-time reporting as contacts are automatically enrolled into both reporting schemas. Naming conventions for leads, contacts and opportunities differ slightly between HubSpot and Salesforce, so as you set up your reporting loop make sure that your data is funneling into the appropriate fields.

You lost me at naming conventions. What's the deal?

When a contact is migrated from HubSpot to Salesforce, it spawns as a "lead" and only becomes a "contact" after undergoing it's first funnel conversion. Opportunities are then associated with those contacts. In contrast, HubSpot uses the word "contact" to refer to any prospect who's been tagged in their database, regardless of funnel stage. The HubSpot marketing funnel starts instead with a "visitor" who subsequently becomes a lead, MQL, SQL and opportunity before finally converting into a customer. The semantics of each platform are far less important than the relative funnel position that these labels represent. As long as you map to the correct field in each database, your reporting loop will be sound.

Download our CMO's Guide to B2B Marketing Attribution to find a model that  works for you

Okay, then what?

In Salesforce, an opportunity can be assigned a dollar value as it moves through the sales funnel. With this insight, you can determine the net value of all contacts that hail from a particular source. That means you can prove the ROI of your marketing initiatives as a whole and use channel-specific revenue attribution to determine where you should double-down your marketing efforts to see the greatest impact on your bottom line.

You can also look at the relative value of individual contacts by source to determine if one channel is outperforming others in terms of per-customer value (rather than just total revenue generated). If, for example, organic search is contributing higher-value leads than paid ads, then you might want to pivot your strategy and budget to focus more on organic traffic.

So what's the catch?

This model only accounts for a contact's first touch. If you have a longer sales cycle, it's likely that you'll have multiple touch points throughout your funnel that contribute to lead quality, conversion rate, funnel velocity and customer value. If you're interested in understanding how leads are moving down your funnel and knowing what assets are contributing most to customer conversions, then your next step should be integrating with Bizible.

Attribute value to every touch point with Bizible

Bizible adds tracking codes to your site that allow you to capture every touchpoint in a contact's buyer's journey, so you can give credit where it's due. If a contact finds your brand through organic search and then returns to your site for a second time through paid ads before converting on a MOFU content asset, each subsequent touch point will be tracked and attached to the same opportunity.

Using the opportunity values you previously captured in Salesforce, Bizible can take a single customer and identify every touch point they engaged with along their journey. If there's multiple individuals involved in a single deal (a CEO and CFO, for example), Bizible will account for each person's engagement behavior as it relates to a single closed deal. Since you've already assigned a revenue value to each opportunity in Salesforce, Bizible can break that value down by touch point.

This insight will help you determine which assets are performing from a revenue generation standpoint and what funnel stage they are most effective in. Capturing second and third touch points (as opposed to first touch attribution) will also help you determine what marketing assets are enabling conversions at key junctures in your funnel.

The Big Reveal

Revenue attribution is the golden ticket of marketing and sales reporting because it: 1) allows you to prove the ROI of marketing activities and 2) justifies asking for a more substantial marketing budget. No matter how ambitious and granular you'd like to get with your attribution reporting, there's an integration to help get you where you want to be.

This all sounds swell, but I'm not exactly "tech-savvy"...

Never fear, that's where we come in. Our revenue operations team will apply their analytic and tech acumen to configure every aspects of your HubSpot portal and create custom reporting structures that give you maximum visibility where you need it most. We'll work with you to identify growth opportunities and help drive revenue by translating data into actionable marketing strategies. In short, we'll do all the heavy lifting so you can reap the benefits and keep the credit. All you've got to do is ask.

Want some help getting started? Check out our B2B marketing attribution guide below.

CMO guide to B2B attribution modeling

Topics: Featured, Aligning Marketing and Sales, Managing My Technology Stack, Revenue Operations, Marketing Attribution, tech stack

About The Author

Meryl is an internal content marketer specializing in inbound copywriting, PR and influencer marketing.

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