By now, everyone who works in B2B has heard a thing or two about marketing attribution. And every data-driven marketer who works in B2B wants in. Why? To start, attribution helps marketers prove their value within the business. For the first time, marketing teams can point to hard, cold numbers to show how much they’ve contributed to their company’s bottom line. Secondly, it helps everyone from field marketers to VPs by showing point blank what is working and what’s not. There are many other reasons to use attribution, but these alone have saved many a marketer from stress headaches and sleepless nights.
As you might expect, shopping for an attribution platform isn’t quite as simple as, say, shopping for a new pair of shoes or a warmer winter coat. Beyond go-to questions like, Does it come in my size? or, How much does it cost?, there are a few more complicated aspects of this decision-making process that every company should be sure to factor in.
To help you get a head start, we’ve outlined five things you should consider when you’re shopping around for the right marketing attribution platform.
1. What kind of attribution is right for my company?
Attribution is not one-size-fits-all. If you’re a smaller or consumer-focused company, you can probably get away with using a single-touch model—either first (lead source) or last touch. But the more channels you use, products you develop, and offers you produce, the more you’ll need a multi-touch model to help you deal with the complexity. Same goes for the length and complexity of your sales cycle — and if you’re reading this, odds are you’re a B2B marketer with a lengthy sales cycle (102 days, on average) that involves multiple decision makers. The longer and more complex your company’s sales cycle, the more critical multi-touch attribution becomes.
2. How does the platform connect to my CRM and marketing automation system?
You want your data to be as accurate, complete, and current as possible, but keep in mind that absolute data perfection shouldn’t be a requirement. When vetting systems, be sure to ask questions such as: Can I connect my sales and marketing data easily? and How difficult is it to match data elements with less-than-perfect records? To get the most from your purchase, you’ll want an attribution platform that can infer relationships and connect campaigns to people, people to accounts, and accounts to revenue.
3. What do I need to accomplish with my marketing attribution platform?
You want to be able to pull the right reports with whichever platform you choose so that you can make the right decisions for your business. Assess your needs — and the needs of the marketing and management teams at large — and then be sure that before you buy, you vet the system’s ability to help you meet those needs.
4. Does anyone within my organization have the skills to run the system?
The struggle that comes with complicated technological systems and processes is real. If there isn’t anyone on your team — or in your organization as a whole — who’s able to easily implement, configure, and then use whichever attribution system you decide on, you’ll be in a world of time-consuming, brain-bending hurt. Look for a product that comes with thorough setup instructions and professional guidance to get you off the ground, help from experts whenever you need it, and an intuitive UI that won’t hinder even the least technologically savvy of your users.
5. How will the attribution system simplify my processes as a modern marketer?
A system that ends up making your job more complicated — or, maybe worse, doesn’t result in any change at all — obviously isn’t worth the investment. To ensure this doesn’t end being up the case in your case, be sure to give some thought to how the attribution systems your vetting will simplify or otherwise influence your workflows, help you meet your quarterly and yearly goals, and free up more the time and resources you need to confidently tackle your entire to-do list.
It might not be a shiny new pair of Louboutins, but finding the right marketing attribution platform for your team will end up doing much more for you in the long run. Keep these five things in mind as you’re shopping systems, and you’ll equip yourself to make the smart, more data-driven decisions you need to really thrive at work.