There’s no doubt that revenue attribution is a hot topic these days. Countless blog posts and articles discussing the value of multi-touch attribution can be found on the websites of all the major players in marketing tech—especially those selling marketing automation. Most MAS systems have built in analytics, and promise a lot. We’ve found that while they are useful in some scenarios, they often fall short when it comes to tying spend to revenue. In this post, we’ll examine how Marketo approaches attribution in detail.

How Marketo Approaches Attribution

Marketo customers have the ability to purchase the Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics (RCA) module at additional cost. RCA does, indeed, purport to provide ROI analysis for marketing programs, and includes views dedicated to multi-touch attribution. Unfortunately, architectural limitations leave Marketo unable to tie ROI reporting and campaign influence patterns together.

Marketo RCA and Multi-Touch AttributionMarketo’s Program Analyzer is their tool for reporting on ROI. While the graphics are more attractive than what Salesforce offers in their Campaign ROI reports, the insights are only slightly better. The axes are selectable with the drop downs on the right.

For a deep dive into Marketo RCA and Multi-Touch Attribution, check out our eBook.

It’s a good start, at describing ROI, but the data offered here is fairly limited and doesn’t provide insight into velocity. Like Salesforce, Marketo RCA is dependent on properly associated contact roles, a challenge for many organizations. Most sales reps will attach a single contact (if any) to an opportunity and move on. In reality, there are usually numerous stakeholders influencing any considerable B2B purchase decision. Given the complexity of most enterprise sales, there may be influencers engaging with your content who are completely unknown to the account rep. On average, we see 4-5 people involved in a B2B buying cycle, with only 1 contact role is attached to the opportunity. This means that more than 80% of marketing influencers are not being attributed to a sale. Without properly associated contact roles,  your chances of full attribution are minimal.

Furthermore, while it’s certainly valuable to understand how past campaigns have performed, Marketo is not able to report beyond historical data or predict how campaigns will continue to perform over time.

Marketo RCA and Multi-Touch AttributionTo more carefully analyze the buyers’ journey, Marketo offers their Opportunity Influence Analyzer, allowing users to see individual campaigns that have touched an opportunity. Sadly, it’s little more than a prettier visualization of Salesforce’s Campaign Influence report. While you can overlay several opportunities to help you eyeball patterns, there is no aggregate reporting available. For example, you would not be able to pull all the closed/won reports for EMEA mid-market business. Opportunity Influence Analyzer offers only a one-opportunity-at-a-time view and does not include ROI measurements.

The ability to report on how all campaigns (or cohorts) are influencing all pipeline is the critical missing component from Marketo’s RCA. Because of its dependency on properly associated contact roles, RCA is unable to show marketer how collective campaigns are influencing revenue, and therefore cannot guide decisions.

“In an environment where the focus for companies is mostly on driving growth, the ultimate criterion for marketing effectiveness is how your marketing programs are influencing pipeline and revenue. Paradoxically, many Marketo users don’t set themselves up initially to be able to report on this.”

— Kashmira Bakshi, Principal at ROI Targets and Former Sr. Manager, Professional Services at Marketo

For a deep dive into Marketo RCA and Multi-Touch Attribution, check out our eBook.

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