What is Marketing Attribution & Why Should Your Team Use It with Marketing Automation?

Marketers are always debating and pitting against each other over the implementation of marketing attribution and marketing automation platforms. However, little they do know that both the platforms can be used in unison to obtain the best performance of their marketing campaigns. Contrary to the common myth, marketing attribution and marketing automation are not the same. Instead they do not substitute each other, but can be used together effectively. So, how these two are different from each other?

Differences between marketing attribution and marketing automation

Marketing automation, is a marketing platform that increases opportunity user experience in their marketing campaigns, by enabling them to schedule, automate and send It allows marketers to ensure timely delivery of emails with all the elements including CTA, forms, landing pages and other content elements.

On the other hand, marketing attribution is a process which allows marketers monitor, make reports and evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. This process incorporates all marketing and advertising campaigns including all online and offline campaigns such as offline events and conferences. Attribution tracks targeted prospect through diverse phases, right from lead generation, to opportunity creation, and conversion of leads. The attribution model also draws marketers’ attention to bits of the entire marketing strategy contributed the most in revenue generation.

Major difference between these two is that while marketing attribution collects and collates data based on which marketers can optimize and make required changes to their campaigns to generate more qualified leads, more conversions, and closing more opportunities. Whereas marketing automation, on the other hand, presents a platform to enable the marketers do the implementation part of the campaign by letting its users streamline, schedule, and sync campaigns across multiple channels to ensure seamless execution. Simply put, your marketing automation platform states the number of leads generated through a precise number of channels – you need marketing attribution to emphasize the specific number of those leads that were actually converted using specific number of channels, type of content, blogs, specific set of keywords, forms, landing pages, ads and other assets. Moreover, marketing attribution can also guide your offline events and conferences and measure effectiveness of those marketing approaches.

Marketing teams need to focus on both marketing attribution and marketing automation since the latter helps reps automate and to lay the groundwork of marketing campaigns that are planned based on the data collected by marketing attribution platforms.

How marketing attribution & marketing automation can be used in unison?

There are seven types of marketing attribution models that are largely divided between single-touch and multi-touch models. 7 models of marketing attribution are –

Single-touch models
  1. First-touch
  2. Last-touch
Multi-Touch models
  1. Linear
  2. Time-Decay
  3. U-Shaped
  4. W-Shaped
  5. Custom

Since a marketing automation platform fetches information on leads, when to target those prospects and lay the groundwork of the strategies on automating those activities, you need marketing attribution to provide multi-dimensional data points on your campaign. For example, if you need to dig out data on whether the latest newsletter email marketing campaign has generated more qualified webinar attendance – then you can leverage marketing attribution platform to know how the newsletter campaign performed. In generating better qualified leads, the campaign –

  1. used webinar as the offer
  2. specific name of the webinar that was used as the offer
  3. date on which the campaign
  4. information of the attendees
  5. the channel which was used for the newsletter campaign

and many more. The marketing attribution also guides on the marketing budget used on a particular campaign with specific amount details on how much it cost the team. Marketers can also collect data on particular technique used in the campaign that worked a great deal in generating revenues and how it has made use of the content.

Do you need technical assistance on how to combine marketing attribution and marketing automation in your marketing campaign to drive better results and revenue growth? It’s super easy and quick. Simply get in touch with our Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or chat with them via your preferred social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

5 Best Practices All Marketing Automation Administrators Should Follow

Novice marketing automation users feel overwhelmed with plenty of features and tools of Marketo available at their fingertips to automate their entire marketing process. However, most of them start marketing automation without adequate preparation on how to deal in stream of changes that occur and needed to make the most of the marketing process on Marketo platform.

Hence, we have mapped the 5 best practices for new marketing automation administrators to help them manage and make the most the automation platforms after marketing automation implementation took place successfully.

Step 1: first of all, consider your marketing Data

Data is the cornerstone of the functioning of CRM system and marketing automation platform on which your marketing process is built upon. That’s why it is imperative to pay heed to the insights which these platforms, programs and processes are based upon. In addition, maintaining good data health and periodical data quality report in every month is a good practice to identify progress, gaps and scope of improvements in your marketing process. Marketers must also make sure they have set of rules for maintaining data for their data management team and practice those rules rigorously.

Step 2: Alignment between teams is a key

Although the name implies, marketing automation needs a close-knit collaboration of diverse teams involved in generating leads, managing customer relations and conversations, and converting leads – that’s why these automation platforms include multiple functionalities from marketing to sales to coordinate and collect data from different teams. Marketers can collect input from sales reps as well as they need buy-in from reps and other teams handling customers. Companies beginning with their marketing automation process, migration or implementation, need to touch base with the key player from each department and take account of and incorporate their experience while planning for the system.

Step 3: Create Visualization of your marketing process

As a marketer, one needs to create the visuals of the entire marketing plan of the process for other team members to comprehend what marketers have in mind. Moreover, marketers also need a complete diagram of plans and activities planned to remind them when they themselves might forget any step of actions and the rationales behind some actions. That’s why a detailed diagram or a visual board is a must to communicate with and presenting a clear picture before all the departments involved in the automation process. Create a process chart to discuss all the marketing actions and scopes of improvements – this will also bring marketers faster approvals from leadership teams. Make sure you have meticulously incorporated everything from statuses of current processes, desired marketing goals and objectives, a viable plan to attain the goal and detailed mapping of workflows of all departments and teams. If you want to make use of marketing automation as a medium of change, then a thorough planning of all the goals, touchpoints, actions and metrics must be planned well in advance and mapped scrupulously.

So, start working on creating your marketing whiteboard exercise before you jump into the actions with all the steps to success planned at your fingertip.

Step 4: Be well-aware of the automation systems

Marketing automation administrators must be well-aware of the automation and CRM platforms they are working with. However, that’s not enough. Marketers must be informed and knowledgeable about the marketing automation platform you are using whether Marketo or any other. The marketing automation administrator needs to know the automation system and instances from inside out. In addition, marketing automation admins should also be well-acquainted deeply with the CRM which is synced to the marketing automation platform and how it functions, impacts the corporate websites, blogs, landing pages and your products or services so that administrators can train other people and teams on how to articulate and explain the solutions intended to sell to the targeted accounts or market. Even though all the products, solutions or services cannot be implemented on the marketing automation platform or CRM platform, the administrator and the teams must be well-versed about those to connect with the customers and prospects.

Step 5: marketing automation administrators must play the role of teachers and custodians

That’s right and the role of the marketing automation administrator will also be as critical as those of server-side or database administrator or a CRM administrator. They will also take up all the key responsibilities of the automation system similar to what a CRM or database administrator engage in their roles. They will need to become the guardian of the functional marketing automation system as well as they need to monitor the system on regular basis. They should also play the role of a efficient gatekeeper to protect and control the access other marketers, sales reps, customer relation team players or other people involved in the marketing automation process. While allowing fellow or reps of other departments to the process, administrator also needs to be their teacher and guardian as to train them to enable them to start working on the platform as well as be attentive of their activities, progress and flaws by closely watching over their use of the system.

Admins also need to ensure they nurture and enhance their skills, how they can get more efficient with the system and perform their bits on the system well without causing any errors or issues to the platform or the process. They also take up critical responsibilities in maintaining seamless workflows and managing data points. All the changes that are made to the marketing automation system need to be monitored, recorded, and communicated with other staffs, teams and departments, clients and people who need to be reported of all those changes.

Do you find these tips on how to prep up for the role of marketing automation administrators useful? What are the best practices do you follow in your organization to get the automation started under the supervision of a marketing automation admin? We are keen to learn and share your tips with the world – drop your words of wisdom in the comments section below.  Or else, do you need professional assistance to set up, migrate or implement marketing automation or need to set up training sessions for administrators in your organization, just pick your phone now and type in “(408) 502 6765” to talk to our friendly Marketo specialists. And yes, you can also find us and chat with us via social channel Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – let’s catch up soon.

Marketing or Sales – How to Evaluate & Ascertain Who Gets the Credit for Your ROI

Marketing automation platforms are designed to build, nurture, monitor and score leads from the CRM system synced to the automation platform. That’s how these platforms enable marketers to track and score their leads to measure marketing interactions occurred for pushing those to the sales pipeline. However, sales and marketing teams need to be perfectly aligned in order to accurately assign leads as sales opportunities. That’s where marketers can take advantage of such automation platforms to associate leads to sales opportunities in their CRM platform. Marketo automation software features a prominent module called ‘Revenue Cycle Analytics’ which comes handy for this – marketers can use ‘Attribution Settings’ dialog box to place the pipeline. And within the span of 24 hours, as stated in the dialog box, changes in pipeline get affected as instructed through the dialog box.  In this case, marketers have three options when the sales team is not aligned and is not able to use the process. Marketers can make choices between –

  1. The default choice or ‘Explicit: only contacts with roles’
  2. Implicit: all contacts regardless of role’.
  3. Or choose ‘Hybrid: Contacts with roles if available. If none available, use all contacts in account’

Now the question is – what these choices mean for your program and how to make the right selection – here we have decoded these three choices.

‘Explicit: only contacts with roles’

This option is selected by default in the Marketo attribution settings and it is also recommended by the marketing automation platform. With this option selected, the marketing automation software will focus specifically on those contacts that are synced with the sales opportunity which was either generated or closed. In addition, it also assigns the value of sales opportunities those leads that have a vital role in creation of the sales opportunity.

While choosing this option, you need to remember that your marketing and sales teams must be coordinated to work closely so that the association of the opportunity with the contacts need to be enforced and the leads that are associated with must be assigned a role.

‘Implicit: all contacts regardless of role’

This implicit option is more a workaround choice in Marketo wherein the platform will focus on all the contacts listed under account. This list of contacts also comprises of those contacts having a role assigned, regardless of the fact that the sales opportunity got generated or closed.

The Implicit setting will dilute the values of marketing interactions. Marketo considers different marketing activities which contacts have engaged and interacted with as well as programs that obtained the name of contacts, programs that attained success. Based on these data points, Marketo attributes value to the opportunities created while contacts interacted with initiatives.

‘Hybrid: Contacts with roles if available. If none available, use all contacts in account’

This is another workaround attribution setting in Marketo that enables the platform to limit to those contacts that are associated with the sales opportunity. It also checks whether any other contact id is also associated with the opportunity. If no other contacts are associated with the opportunity, then the marketing automation software will include all the contacts within the particular account.

In this case, marketers need to remember that this setting can mitigate the value of marketing activities performed on those contacts and trigger inconsistent attribution to those contacts.

Attributing opportunities to contacts is one of the most crucial step of the Marketo RCE setup. And many marketers face a hard time in attributing account contacts to sales using the right kind of attribution settings. That’s why we recommend marketers to undergo thorough training on Marketo with emphasis on attribution, sales and managing users and changes before they start using attribution settings. If you need to make a selection in the short term, we recommend opting for the ‘Explicit: only contacts with roles’ setting to extend credits to marketers for the sales opportunity so that all contacts of an account will be considered for sales pipeline opportunities.

Do you need to set up Marketo training sessions in your organizations to improve efficiency of marketers and sales reps handling the software or in case you need professional Marketo assistance for implementing, optimizing or migrating Marketo, then get in touch with our Marketo Certified Experts at (408) 502 6765 or simply join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

7 Failsafe Strategies for Seamless Marketing Automation Migration

First thing first – have you taken the calculated decision to take the plunge from your existing marketing automation suite? Then, here are some more pointers you need to add to that checklist and consider to strategize seamless marketing automation migration.

Migrating your marketing campaigns including the entire marketing database, intelligence and assets may seem daunting; however, the switch to a new platform becomes inevitable for many reasons. Cost effectiveness, better integration, modification or addition of marketing goals, plans or channels are major deciding factors in determining the switch and selection of the platform. Here we have compiled 10 points that will guide you to foolproof strategies to keep your migration process aligned to your business goals and in smooth transition.

1. Ask questions to evaluate vendors

You have already performed thorough research, calculations and considerations before deciding upon marketing automation platform. So, here is the next step – start talking and asking questions to marketing automation platform vendors to tally the features offered that align with your goals, campaign necessities, and other requirements. Here we have rounded up 12 questions to ask software vendors to help you in your decision making. Make sure to ask them all the same questions to get a detailed comparative view of shortlisted automation platforms.

 
1)   How is the CRM integration – does it support data flow both ways?
2)   Does it support additional tech integration?
3)   How does data transfer take place to and from the marketing automation system
4)   How does the reporting module work? Does it support custom reports export?
5)   How does the software measure campaign performance and success?
6)   What will be the benefits from migrating to this new system from our old platform?
7)   What will be the costs of migration and total use of the automation platform?
8)   How is the technical and customer support of this marketing automation platform?
9)   How do you add new users and assign roles and permission – how is the ease of use of it?
10)   How time consuming is it to set up and migrate to the new automation platform?
11)  Is the platform capable of managing complete buying journey – or does it only records lifecycles of leads and prospects?
12) Can your automation system offer support for mobile marketing efforts?

2.  Keep your business processes updated

 

The span of time spent in marketing automation migration is a good window of opportunity to assess your current marketing initiatives and practices and ponder upon the scope of improvement of your marketing efforts and processes. We recommend that our clients perform a thorough audit of their marketing processes to evaluate what is working and what needs fine tuning and improvements    before the migration process commences. Also, focus on the sales processes, leads lifecycle, pitches, messages, frequency, channels, and other methodologies to standardize best practices. 

3.  Start with migrating the data and insights  

Organizations that are using CRMs like Salesforce are recommended to begin migrating with the CRM data first and foremost to prevent any unforeseen risks of losses in opportunity or revenue generation. Another reason why transition of data to the CRM is favored as it also aid in preserving the valuable insights gathered on contacts, leads, client accounts, marketing campaigns, opportunities created and other intelligence. One of the best methods is to record and import these data points straight to the new marketing automation system and Salesforce CRM. And one approach that companies should avoid while migrating data is to import contact records first into the CRM or the marketing automation system as campaign and revenue data related to those people will not be added. For example, if a company has six renewal opportunities and three won deals which total the value of  $400,000, then, the company could lose that intelligence by performing a straight import and ruin the opportunities for sales professionals who are who is handling tho9se opportunities. Here is a list of items businesses should import one by one while marketing automation migration:

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Leads
  • Products
  • Campaigns
  • Pricebooks
  • Contracts
  • Cases
  • Opportunities
  • Solutions

 

4.  Get ready for extra efforts during merging

Communicating and engaging with people and customers through multiple marketing automation platforms can be dreadful, but such extra efforts are necessary to maintain the engagement rates during migration process. Instead of hurrying the migration and merging process to limit communication process from a single platform, companies move and import data and all components carefully and continue communicating with the prospects and customers throughout the process, from multiple platforms and keep them engaged. Companies should adopt a short-term engagement plan which will take in multiple marketing automation platforms and the CRM in the interim of the migration and adhere to it to prevent risking loss of communication, engagement and potential opportunities in the meanwhile. For example, companies emailing to contacts after the acquisition using two, existing and new automation platforms have to incur additional and often hefty, amount of works, time and costs to consistently shift unsubscribe data from existing to new software. But, this consistency will also ensure marketers that unsubscribed contacts are suppressed from receiving messages again from new systems. At the same times, companies can maintain engagement and relationship with potential prospects and avoid losing opportunities.

5.  Perform comprehensive data audits

One of the biggest parts of marketing automation migration is managing diverse data points. Data produces intelligence that are crucial in every marketing activity and strategy from email communications, customer and prospect engagement, report generation, dashboard, creation and managing opportunities, and other aspects of the business. That’s why it is important to get your data straight and in order before you start with migration process and during the migration.

Here we recommend evaluating data health of your organization by asking these following questions -

  • What steps or actions have you taken to keep your data clean before migration?  You do not want to bring bad data to the new platform. The format of first name should accept values such as “GYKLSWA”, “abc@hgtres.com.” and country values should be consistent such as “USA” or “US”
  • Do you need to move any field – have you mapped those fields during migration? Do you want to map similar fields during merging systems such as, “LeadSource” or “Lead Source”?
  • Do your data points require normalization?  Are your industry field values consistent within two marketing automation systems?
  • Have you considered screening and cleaning duplicate values? Can you ensure that the new data set will merge with correct data points on the new platform?
  • Are the data and records on the Salesforce assigned to the right sales reps?
  • Does your database contain correct unsubscribe and subscription data?
  • Are records in your database syncing seamlessly between the CRM and the marketing automation platform before or during migration?
  • Are all the assets including landing pages, email, forms are able to gather data consistently?

 

6. Consider performance related implications

When your company is dealing with large data points during migration, the marketing performance is likely to get affected a bit. Marketers should ponder and reconsider the impact on both the automation system and marketing efforts during the migration. Organizations deciding marketing strategies on real-time sales data, email messages, need to plan these processes being slowed down. Companies need to adopt plans and set milestones during migration process to alleviate potential performance disruption, manage massive amount of data processing, monitor and track progresses of these milestones during the weekend.

7. Deal with existing marketing intelligence

After your organization has planned to migrate all the data points to a new marketing automation platform, marketers should pay close attention to the marketing intelligence. All your historic marketing intelligence contains valuable insights including website visits, bounce rates, campaign interactions, unsubscribe, link clicks, replies, and other marketing engagement – every company phasing through migration processes needs to keep track of these historic intelligence that are contained in the CRM system. For example, your company has multiple different Google PPC campaigns running in existing system. You can bundle those in a single Google PPC campaign and treat older assets for historic tracking or you may also consider keeping multiple campaigns by backfilling membership to the members’ original engagement. Both the methods have their merits and demerits which you need to consider before you partake during the marketing automation migration.

In addition to these, marketers and companies should get prepared for a multitude of issues: delays in workflow and unwarranted workflow and performance challenges. With that in mind, prep your team well in advance with the guide, solutions, knowledge base and training that will help you curtail probable and unforeseen hiccups, data loss or performance hindrances to perform seamless marketing automation migration.

3 Reasons Marketers Should Focus on Deeper Email Marketing Metrics beyond Open and Clicks

One of the most imprudent decisions email marketers make is relying heavily (or even worse, solely) upon email opens and click rate and skipping deeper parameters that measure ROI. Though open and click metrics are vital parameters to maintain email deliverability, marketers need to look beyond these metrics and take a holistic view on all the metrics and parameters to fathom how campaigns are performing from delivery, visibility, spam complaints, devices being used, revenue per subscribers, email read time, subscriber lifetime and unsubscribe rate, email conversion and many more. Lack of wider perspectives hinders marketers from monitoring, measuring and evaluating effectiveness of email campaigns accurately.

There are several reasons marketers need to widen from vain email metrics to be able to take well-informed decisions to understand how their email subscribers are behaving, their email usage, actions taken, scope of opportunities, sales and many others.

Not worth if it’s not the North Star

One of the most failsafe tricks to select the right set of KPIs for an email campaign is that the chosen metrics should be able to guide marketers in which way to steer their campaigns like a ‘North Star’.  The metrics should be closely tied to the campaign goals and budget, and marketers should not be stuck with other metrics that hardly indicate if emails are meeting the goals. Ideally marketers and brands should evaluate if they are using too many or useless KPIs or if they are goal oriented. The more you focus on all those opens and clicks related metrics, bigger the risks of them fixated on wrong KPIs.

 Over emphasis on vain metrics

We recommend our clients and marketers not stressing on surface or vain metrics such as email opens, web traffic, and email clicks etc., while there are deeper metrics that bind subscription, email content consumption, sales conversions etc. Some companies may claim they do not wish to measure sales or ROI of their email campaigns, however, they do not need to measure ROI or other deeper metrics, why should they focus on clicks or other metrics? Surface metrics often distract marketers from overseeing their actual business and marketing goals and keeping them away from their subscribers’ preferences, uses, actions, experience or their satisfactions. That’s why measuring success of email subject lines by open rates would be an unwise metric decision, since the aim of subject lines is not limited to just getting emails opened, but to engage the right segment of prospects and customers who are interested or willing to spend time in your information or make purchases. Thus, the right audience will be the segment that will be converted and take the intended actions that emails ask or guide them to do. Hence, associating subject line success with the conversions will lead email campaigns toward success and help alleviate bounce rates that clickbait subject lines are most likely to produce.

Inadequate funnel visibility

One of the most prominent research findings from 2018 State of Email Analytics report concluded that funnel visibility into campaign performance starts plummeting after focusing too much on metrics like email opens and email clicks. If the performance starts diminishing after measuring campaigns by some metrics, then how come those metrics become email marketing KPIs? Hence, selecting the right set of metrics which are able to deep scan your email campaigns and can tell the value per subscriber, spam complaint rates, unsubscribe rate, hard bounce and soft bounce rates, new subscriber acquisition, acquisition cost, sales conversion data,  overall email revenue etc. These metrics are usually the ones that brands target to track their next six months or 12 months email campaign performance.

So, are you selecting the right set of email metrics that your email marketing campaigns were actually designed to perform and achieve? Want to know if your email marketing campaigns are aligned to the right side of metrics? We are here to clear the air and make you focus and steer toward the email marketing success. Your small comment below is all we need and to start discussing 1:1. Just write down your email metric dilemma and we will take over from there.