Revenue attribution connects two different data sets (marketing and sales) to determine exactly which forms of marketing are resulting in revenue downstream. In this article, we walk you through revenue attribution so that you can effectively connect the dots between marketing-generated leads and sales revenue.
Let us hazard a guess.
You’re a marketer and at some point in your career, your boss and/or client has asked you:
“How much revenue are these marketing campaigns generating for my business?”
Marketers are being held increasingly accountable for the need to connect their efforts with revenue growth.
Simple lead generation is not enough.
Marketer’s are tasked to drive leads and revenue, but don’t always get the credit for it.
You’ve likely heard talk regarding the attribution of revenue, and may even feel you’re fairly well-versed in the subject.
But, how much do you really know about revenue attribution and how are you tracking it?
What is revenue attribution?
Revenue attribution is the process of matching revenue from customers to a specific marketing output. Understanding revenue attribution means you can prove your ROI, optimise your work (and budgets), plus see all the relevant data where you need it.
Why is revenue attribution more useful than conversion tracking?
Conversion tracking is the means of tracking specific actions on a website. These can include:
- Form submissions
- Content download
- Live chat
- Newsletter subscriptions
However, you can create tailored conversions to suit your needs.
You can set goals up in Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager, and then when that action is completed, it will count a conversion.
Attribution, however, tracks specific marketing actions taking place, at the point where they generate revenue, and how much revenue they create.
Attribution tracks every single touchpoint a user has with your website. It follows them from the first time they visit your website to the point at which they purchase a product or service.
Depending on your attribution model, a proportionate amount of revenue is attributed to every marketing effort leading to those engagements.
Using revenue attribution for tracking offline marketing
In an ideal world, you should use the same metrics to track every marketing effort you make.
When you hold your online and offline marketing efforts to different standards, you will never be able to effectively optimise your marketing budget. How can you, when you don’t have a clear picture of which marketing is generating more revenue? And when your sales data is kept in silo from marketing, how can you ever see beyond your conversions?
Well, by using revenue attribution you can:
- Measure each marketing campaign by the same metrics
- Track online and offline conversions and how much revenue they generate
- See channel agnostic attribution
Types of revenue attribution models
While it’s important to be consistent in the manner of revenue attribution you use across your channels, there are several different forms, ranging from simple, single-factor to more advanced models.
The latter may incorporate highly complex logic and algorithms. Finding the right one for your business is essential to getting the most out of your reporting.
Read our blog on first-click and last-click attribution, or find out more about multi-touch attribution models.
The importance of sales data to revenue attribution
B2B companies have long since separated out marketing and sales activities. Marketing teams focussed on generating leads. Sales teams would then step in and convert those leads into customers.
The problem with this is that optimising your marketing for a higher volume of leads doesn’t necessarily result in more high-quality leads. While your marketing team might be seeing a lot of clicks, those click-to-calls might have been closed as quickly as they were opened. Or the user might have called but been a low-quality lead.
As such, sharing data between marketing and sales is essential. Aim for using the same goals and metrics, with revenue as the primary objective in order to optimise your whole process.
That’s where the closed-loop framework comes in.
The closed-loop framework is an approach to marketing measurement that focuses on revenue and connects marketing with sales data – the easy way.
Marketing and sales data is connected so closed revenue is automatically matched to the corresponding marketing activity.
This allows marketers to optimise and measure campaigns by revenue growth, and not just by how many goals they’ve seen in Google Analytics.
Choosing revenue attribution model
So what do you need to consider when selecting an attribution model? Well firstly, find one to fit your existing marketing stacks, such as your CRM and automation platform.
This is the key to unlocking the data you need to attribute revenue back to your most valuable marketing activities.
When choosing between first, last and multi-touch, think of your budgets. If you choose certain models, then you will be assigning all revenue to just one channel. This can cause upstream channels to suffer due to the (often inaccurate) perception that they aren’t effective.
Multi-channel methods of attribution enable you to see the value over all your channels, which can ensure budgets are allocated more fairly.
Ready to try out a revenue attribution solution? Ruler Analytics can help to close the gap between your sales and marketing data so you can prove your ROI, optimise your campaigns, and budget, and see all your data where you need it most.