To make better decisions, marketers need accurate visibility into campaigns that influence pipeline and revenue. However, most marketers rely on an oversimplified approach to do so.

Though the B2B marketing and sales funnel typically includes multiple touches, many marketing teams use single-touch attribution methods. Those methods only acknowledge the first- or last-touch campaign when determining revenue credit and calculating ROI.

Moreover, marketers use single attribution because it's the default model in most CRM systems and marketing automation tools.

Another attribution model, however, is becoming more popular among marketers: a multi-touch even-spread model.

In the multi-touch model, every campaign touch is captured, and each campaign gets equal revenue credit on an opportunity. For example, a whitepaper download that a prospect didn't read gets the same revenue credit as a webinar a prospect attended. This method does provide more insight than a single-touch model, however, because every campaign that played a role in creating the opportunity gets some credit.

Analysis of the first and last touches is important, and depending on your unique business processes, one or the other may carry greater weight... but understand that using a single-touch attribution model that gives all the revenue credit to one of these touches and disregards every other campaign touch is inaccurate.

So, using a multi-touch even-spread model doesn't paint the whole picture either.

The Power of Weighted Campaign Influence

To capture how campaigns impact revenue, marketers must move toward a more accurate approach using weighted campaign influence. Rather than giving all the revenue credit to one campaign or spreading it evenly among every campaign, weighted campaign influence lets marketers analyze their business practices and set weights for campaign touches based on different criteria.

For example, campaign weighting can be based on the titles of who interacts with the campaigns (e.g., a response from a CMO has a higher weight than a response from a marketing intern), different campaign types (e.g., webinars vs. events), or when the response to the campaign happened (first touch, last touch, etc.).

When crafting weighted campaign influence models, configure a model with the attribution methodologies currently in use.

Marketers should build a first- or last-touch model and a multi-touch even-spread model to use as a baseline for their measurements. Create one or two weighted models, and start weighting revenue attribution to campaigns by their unique criteria.

This approach will show a great side-by-side comparison of the old methods and how much more insight is gained using weighted campaign influence models. Marketers can link all campaigns within an opportunity to revenue and also identify which campaigns played a larger role in creating that opportunity. Marketers then can repeat the successful one to drive more revenue for their company.

Common Practices

Here are common practices of using the weighted campaign influence methodology to build out models.

First touch may be important for young companies with small marketing databases, where getting a new lead into the sales funnel is highly valued to drive new business.

In addition, when a company's sales cycle is short, it makes sense to weight the first-touch campaign more heavily.

Moreover, a company might weight the last-touch campaign more heavily when the sales cycle is longer because that could be an indication of sales readiness. Marketers may consider this touch a "top of mind" campaign—meaning that since it is the most recent touch, the subject matter of this campaign was more important to converting a marketing lead into a sales opportunity.

The Tipping Point Campaign

Another interesting piece of data to review is which campaign drives the engagement of the sales team. At Full Circle, we refer to this campaign as the "tipping point campaign."

The tipping point is the marketing campaign that causes an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) to break a score threshold in Salesforce and then drives the marketing team to pass the lead to sales so they can engage with the lead.

Marketers may want to assign a heavier weight to a tipping point campaign because it drives that lead to the next stage in the marketing and sales funnel.

* * *

Every business has different processes, which is why marketers need to gain visibility into every campaign that touches opportunities and to understand how much those campaigns influence the associated pipeline and revenue.

With good campaign influence information, marketers can plan with confidence and optimize their marketing mix to drive more revenue.

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Marketers Need a Better Approach to Campaign Performance Metrics

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image of Bonnie Crater

Bonnie Crater is a co-founder and the president and CEO of Full Circle Insights, which delivers sales and marketing performance management solutions to optimize a company's marketing mix and drive more revenue.

LinkedIn: Bonnie Crater

Twitter: @BonnieCrater