For any business to be successful with using data and metrics to guide decision making, the key is to think about and plan for all the challenges you might face as you scale your business and your operations. While marketing attribution is a leading force in data-driven decision making, digital marketing managers need to be proactive about putting a strategy in place first; if you do, you’re more likely to build a sustainable, profitable business in the months and years ahead. If you don’t, you’re left with a host of metrics which don’t connect the dots back to revenue.
Understanding how to read marketing metrics and formulate a strategy around the story the data tells requires a big picture approach to multiple channels, and is an invaluable skill.
While discovering which channels drive revenue isn’t rocket science, putting the right process in place to drive conversions from a sea of prospective leads is worth it’s weight in gold.
Instead of focusing on what makes content popular and attention-grabbing, rockstar marketers focus on what makes content personal and conversation-worthy. In other words, businesses need to start at the very beginning, by fully understanding their customer’s journey, and further that the journey is not linear. This can be done through proper attribution; in other words, by properly evaluating all the digital touchpoint metrics. As the behaviors of consumers are measured and aggregated, marketers can better allocate budget resources and adjust efforts based on hard numbers instead of making inferences.
Marketing Attribution Defined
Marketing attribution is simply the relationship between marketing data and sales data. It is the process of determining which marketing efforts are succeeding in driving revenue. With modern digital, it’s not enough to simply look at your Google Analytics account. Rockstar marketers use industry leading marketing automation tools to evaluate which marketing touchpoints have direct value in driving sales for your business. With its ability to produce hard numbers from a variety of channels, attribution is an important and useful tool when it comes to digital marketing. Studies show, however, that while as many as 63% of marketers state marketing automation is a growing priority for their business, 67% of them are still using outdated, single-touch forms of measurement. It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses have lists of 30,000 to 50,000 subscribers, who are really prospective buyers of their product or service, but they’re not engaged. In other words, at one time these contacts raised their hand and showed interest in your brand; they never made a purchase, so they are a prime segment of untapped potential, yet the company’s email open rate is less than 20%. There is a huge opportunity for business owners in terms of implementing the best digital strategy to significantly boost this previously untapped revenue stream. The ROI is profound, and those who know how to do it are blowing their competition out of the water.
The true value of marketing attribution comes in learning more about your customer’s path to purchase. Consumers are interacting with your brand across multiple channels. As new channels continue to develop and old ones overlap, marketing attribution provides valuable insight into which channels are serving as key touchpoints for your brand. Understand the correlation between those key touchpoints, and success is sure to follow. Proper strategy and implementation is the big picture way of looking at all channels, measuring the engagement, and tying the information together to produce more revenue streams.
63% of marketers acknowledge that marketing attribution is a growing priority for their marketing goals. So why are so many marketers still using old-school methods of measurement with a narrow focus on single-touchpoints? Most marketers cite leadership, or lack there of, as a major barrier when it comes to moving forward with a strategy. When moving to a multi-touch approach, a successful leader is one who sees the big picture and who can break down silos. Marketing attribution requires a holistic approach to evaluating how well your marketing channels are working together. A defined leader is someone with authority to lead the effort and with the authority to make decisions. An analytics director, digital marketing manager, CMO, CFO, or even CEO are types of positions where you would need buy in. No matter the size and scope of your business, successful marketing demands strong knowledge. If you are a marketing director and you need some guidance with the implementation, (in other words, tying all the pieces together) talk to me! I am affiliated with a creative team of designers, developers, and marketers that can help put you on the path to success for growing and scaling your business.
The Right Strategy
As with any strategy, measurement and analytics have the potential to become overwhelming. In today’s fast-paced marketing world, channels, tools, and software change rapidly. Not only does strategic planning and evaluating marketing attribution metrics require a time commitment, it also requires staying on top of the latest technologies. One of the worst things a marketer can do is let the overwhelming feeling win. Chances are most businesses are already doing some type of marketing, here are some suggestions for taking your strategy to the next level:
Engage with a professional creative agency who can help you refine your goals and suggest the best course of implementation to attain those goals.
Begin with a small campaign to test efforts and results before tackling a larger marketing initiative.
Research tools and software recommended by your agency to ensure they are top notch, and that they fit the scope of your business goals.
The most important part of the process in selecting which tactics you’ll use to carry out your strategy is discovering what will work best to align your sales and marketing teams within your company.
Knowing Your Customer
This sounds like an easy one but if the entire point is to drive revenue using digital marketing, learning more about your customer’s journey might be in order. Understanding to how best target your customer’s demographics, geographies, and psychographics becomes even better defined with marketing attribution in place. Call it whatever you like, segmentation, bucketing….what we are talking about here is strategically developing personalized messages and ads to your specific audience. This becomes even easier with more specific data.
Marketing attribution is all about gathering data and connecting that data to revenue. Mining the data for the most useful information is crucial for success. For example, examining your customers in relation to their type of interaction with your brand or comparing specifics of campaign elements in different markets are ways of taking a hard look at the data. Concentrate your data mining efforts by focusing only on data that provides valuable insight into customers and conversion rates.
The Bottom Line
No matter the tactic used in marketing your brand, the bottom line is a financial one. Even nonprofit corporations want to see a rise in monetary donations. For-profit corporations and small businesses expect a return on investment. Marketing attribution is a powerful tool in producing tangible, hard numbers. Measurement, when it comes to marketing, is sometimes a slippery slope with ever-changing channels and shifts in customer preferences. Using a well defined system for marketing attribution offers a concrete grip on this slippery slope, providing marketers with a foundation for connecting the dots between marketing efforts and sales revenues.
One of the best investments in establishing a marketing strategy first and foremost is your time. The marketing director, CMO, or whomever holds the primary role in your company has to be able to dedicate time to working collaboratively with the agency you hire to evaluate existing methodologies and use them as a foundation. Assemble the best people for the job. Don’t make the mistake of defining a “sales and marketing director”. That may have worked well in 1980, but today Sales Teams and Marketing Teams need both guidance and alignment. Sales and Marketing inform one another, but they are not one and the same. Delegate responsibilities, establish a meeting/reporting schedule, and most importantly, define the leader. Streamlining your process in the beginning saves time and reduces stress as duties and expectations are set.
No matter the tactic used in marketing your brand, the bottom line is a financial one. Even non-profit corporations want to see a rise in monetary donations. For-profit corporations and small businesses expect a return on investment. The best marketing strategy thinks outside the box. Aim to look beyond each digital channel to really understand marketing attribution in your particular niche, then focus on the bigger picture as you create multiple touchpoints for your brand across multiple channels. The bottom line is that rockstar marketers know that modern metrics guide decision making. If you would like some help connecting the dots of your digital strategy and how to make the most of your data-driven analytics, contact me today!