3 Ways to Implement a Marketing Attribution Model

You’re using UTM parameters every time, everywhere!  Google Analytics is collecting the data!  You’ve decided how you’ll model attribution!  Now what?  Depending on your Marketing Ops resources, you’ll use your UTM data to implement a marketing attribution model one of three ways:

  1. Good: create and track events/goals in Google Analytics
  2. Better: pour Leads (and their UTM data) into unique campaigns in Salesforce
  3. Best: create custom attribution using Full Circle Insights/Bizible

>> Related: How to Pick a Marketing Attribution Model <<

1. Good attribution: events/goals in Google Analytics

This is the fastest and easiest way to track how Leads enter the funnel.  You can’t correlate it to MQLs, Opps or Revenue, but it’s better than nothing, and you can do lots of interesting comparisons within Google Analytics.

The Gist
  1. Set up goals/events in GA to fire when forms are filled.
  2. Use GA’s native reporting to drill into which channels and mediums generated the conversions.
Pros
  • GA is free and ubiquitous.  It’s easy to hire contractors or staff with the skillset.
  • You probably already have it!
  • Goals are fast/simple to set up.
  • You can annotate GA as things change and create a richer record/narrative.
Cons
  • This doesn’t track offline conversions (sales calls, sales visits, events, traffic that’s not on your domain).
  • You can only attribute Leads, not Opps or revenue.
  • The data doesn’t live in Salesforce… it’s another place you need to go to do analysis.
  • The GA interface is… intimidating.
Steps to Set Up
  1. Set up GA conversion goals
  2. Measure in GA

2. Better attribution: unique campaigns in Salesforce

By pulling UTM data into Salesforce, you are consolidating the data/analysis (yay!).  And you can easily attribute Opps and revenue.  FWIW, this is the most common way we see B2B companies implement a marketing attribution model.

The Gist
  1. Pass UTM parameters through hidden fields on your forms.
  2. You assign these Leads to a content-and-channel-specific campaign.  An ebook distributed on LinkedIn, and the same ebook distributed by email get two unique Salesforce campaigns.
Pros
  • All the data ends up in Salesforce.
  • This doesn’t require much custom development… simply drop a script and create some fields.
  • You will immediately have last touch attribution reporting–no additional manipulation needed.
  • And you can easily attribute Opps and revenue.
Cons
  • Creating a unique campaign for every combination of content and channel is a lot to set up and keep straight.
Steps to Set Up
  1. How to Capture URL Parameters in Marketo with Cookies
  2. How to Use Process Builder to Stamp UTM Parameters in Salesforce
  3. How to Structure Salesforce Campaigns for Attribution

3. Best attribution: custom attribution (Full Circle Insights/Bizible)

If you’re looking for gorgeous visualizations, pre-conversion influence reports, or to layer in more data sources, it’s time to go custom with a tool like Full Circle Insights or Bizible.  But be sure you’ll get an ROI on the time, focus, and money this project will gobble up.

The Gist
  1. Pass UTM parameters through hidden fields on your forms.
  2. Full Circle Insights/Bizible and similar tools “do the rest”
Pros
  • Your model is completely custom and you can do whatever you want.
  • You can tweak your model without code.
Cons
  • $$$
  • It’s another place you need to go to do analysis.
  • There is a serious learning curve—you need an adept Salesforce admin with months to dedicate to it.
Steps to Set Up
  • Will depend on your provider

 

This is definitely Attribution 401.  If you’re leaning towards attribution software, do you have the talent to manage and interpret the findings? Will your campaigns get so efficient that you’ll get a return on this investment?

 

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