If you’re reading this, you’re likely well aware of Marketing’s increased responsibility for today’s B2B sales cycle. As marketers, we know that our prospects prefer to research and evaluate on their own terms, waiting as long as possible to engage with Sales. (I am certainly guilty of that too!) With that in mind, the modern B2B CMO invests heavily in content creation and channels designed to help prospects self-educate until the very end—the point at which they’re ready to discuss pricing. While it wasn’t so long ago that Marketing was primarily a creative function and Sales owned the bottom line, as Marketing’s ownership of the buyers’ journey increases, so does our responsibility to attribute marketing activity to organization-wide objectives.
This shift in accountability has also meant that we’re dealing with larger budgets than ever. If
Marketing is to own more than 75% of the sales cycle, then it makes sense to shift focus (and spend) higher in the funnel. Increased investments, the dominance of trackable, digital marketing tools, and the reliance on marketing to convert pipeline, means CMOs are experiencing more Board-level accountability than ever before.
Data-driven marketing is becoming imperative. No longer simply a theory discussed by bloggers and analysts, this new approach is defined by its focus on employing data to deliver greater value to the business. Accountability, however, is not the only factor driving its adoption. According to Forbes, data-driven marketing leaders are almost three times more likely to have increased revenues. For the data-driven organization, tying campaign spend to revenue becomes a critical requirement.
While marketers are collecting more data, the problem is that most are still unable to use that data to surface visibility into Marketing’s impact on sales. Many marketing technologies (e.g. customer relationship management, marketing automation systems, content curation tools, etc.) offer plenty of TOFu (Top Of Funnel) reporting, yet still provide only simple campaign influence metrics. The status quo is no longer sufficient. Even if CMOs know something about the first touch or last, the majority are blind when it comes to 80% of their sales cycle.
The key to shedding light on this dark spot is multi-touch revenue attribution—the ability to measure and evaluate performance across every touch point in the buying process. Multi-touch attribution is necessary for marketers to calculate true ROI and, in turn, identify what’s working, effectively plan and forecast revenue, and take control of Marketing.