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In today’s digital world, the B2B buyer journey is increasingly complex, with a growing list of channels and touchpoints to track and measure. Not only is the path to purchase more complex, but the expectation for a seamless, personalized customer experience is at an all-time high. With more on the line for your business, marketing attribution has never been more important for identifying and optimizing the channels that are tied to marketing success and revenue generation.
To share insights with fellow marketers on this topic, I led a webinar alongside our VP of Marketing, Courtney Beasley, at CallRail’s “Treasure Hunt: Mapping buyer journeys from clicks to conversion” to discuss the importance of understanding the buyer journey and how to develop a solid marketing attribution strategy that’s right for your company. Below are some key takeaways from the discussion.
The buyer journey is the path buyers take to reach different stages of the marketing funnel, from awareness to purchase and renewal. Understanding your buyer journey will provide clarity on how your audiences, including both prospects and customers, interact and build a relationship with your brand over time. Mastering the buyer journey is essential for developing a marketing strategy that effectively guides prospects through the funnel to increase conversions and yield a positive ROI from your various activities.
There are three main reasons why understanding the buyer journey is important for marketers:
While understanding the buyer journey is essential to building a strong marketing strategy, keeping track of the path your customers take across channels is an ongoing process that requires careful measurement. Enter marketing attribution.
96% of marketers agree with this statement: “Attribution is critical to informing and optimizing my marketing decisions.” Sophisticated marketers use multi-touch attribution to look at each touchpoint in order to generate a clear map to conversion. Multi-touch attribution allows you to track every single touchpoint, both online and offline, that a prospect has with your brand so you can get a holistic view of how your channels are working together to drive conversions.
Relying on insights from your attribution software can also help guide decisions on which channels need to be optimized or adjusted to improve performance. This allows you to focus on the channels that are driving value to maximize ROI and drive down marketing acquisition cost overtime, ultimately improving efficiency.
Developing the right marketing attribution strategy for your B2B company is an ongoing process that takes patience and constant iteration based on data and results. Here are a few steps you can take to get started.
The first step toward building and improving on a strong attribution strategy is to use your personas to learn about the buyer journey specific to your company. Developing buyer personas is a great way to ensure that your content and channels address your audience’s pain points and will keep them engaged throughout the sales cycle. To develop your personas, take a look at your existing customer base and identify the patterns to help you understand your audience better. What are their pain points? Whose buy-in do they need to move the purchase process forward? What types of content do they consume? You can also survey or interview your current clients to have them answer these questions for you.
While you may think you know your buyer like the back of your hand, formalizing your personas in writing is a helpful way to align your entire team on your customer profile.
What gets measured gets managed. As you begin developing your attribution strategy, check the data you already have via your CRM, Google Analytics, marketing automation platform or attribution modeling software (or all of the above) to measure the success of each of your marketing channels and identify where there might be gaps in your data. While it’s important to discover the key attribution data points relevant to your unique business goals, below are a few to consider:
Auditing your tech gives you an understanding of the data you already have from your tools and the data you need to discover. Assess whether you have the martech tools or platforms in place that target and collect data at each stage of the funnel, from lead generation to acquisition. Keep in mind that if you want to be able to get a holistic view of all your marketing activities, integration of and communication between systems is a necessity. Be sure to audit your integrations to assess whether your multi-channel data is flowing seamlessly from one end of the funnel to the next, all while being tracked along the way.
Once you identify the areas where new tools can help you fill in data gaps in your marketing attribution strategy, implement new martech to facilitate, monitor and track both the performance of your campaigns and success of individual channels. Beta testing can help you understand if a solution is going to be useful for your company in the long-run, so make sure to test new tech and optimize each tool before scaling. Implementation can be a beast to take on, so take the time to look at all your options and test your tools before you roll them out fully.
Constant iteration is a crucial component of effective marketing attribution and should always be considered when implementing new tools and running marketing campaigns. Continue to identify areas where you should leverage more data, and reassess or optimize your toolkit over time accordingly. Additionally, rely on your data to iterate your campaigns as necessary to help move your customers through the marketing funnel. Remember to keep the customer at the forefront of your mind and be prepared to shift gears quickly based on your data to see impactful results.
Leveraging marketing attribution to understand your buyer journey will allow you to be more purposeful and efficient in your future marketing efforts. However, marketing attribution is a long-game that takes constant iteration and improvement. Contact our marketing automation consultants today to learn more about how Walker Sands can help set your organization up for success.