Four Key Steps to Marketing Attribution for Growth-Stage Companies

by Sara Klaus
With so many different marketing channels these days, it can be challenging to pinpoint which marketing efforts are driving revenue for your business. This is where marketing attribution comes in. Marketing attribution is the practice of assigning credit to different marketing channels and tactics based on their contribution to the customer journey. 

Full-funnel attribution, as the name suggests, considers the full customer journey, giving rev ops a high-level look at how effective their marketing efforts are at driving revenue. With these types of insights, you can then make informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget and resources. 

There are four key steps to identifying full-cycle attribution. These steps include:
  1. Defining the full customer journey
  2. Collecting data
  3. Analyzing the data
  4. Implementing attribution tracking

Defining the full customer journey 

The first step to identifying full-cycle attribution is to define the full customer journey. This involves mapping out the various touchpoints that customers have with your brand, from initial awareness to purchase and beyond. By understanding the customer journey, you can identify which marketing and sales efforts are most effective at different stages.

In order to capture actionable data, you then need to think about the full customer journey in terms of your sales process. For my clients, we achieve this in HubSpot with a contact’s Lead Status, which our processes live and die by. This is what our Lead Status options typically look like:
  • New Lead
  • MQL
  • Meeting Booked
  • SQL
  • Customer
  • Lost
  • Churn
  • Nurture for Later

Implementing attribution tracking

The next step is to implement attribution tracking. This involves setting up systems to collect and analyze data on the customer journey in real-time. Of course, we do all of this in HubSpot, namely by using the contact’s Lead Status as the foundational datapoint. 

And we don’t just track what a contact’s Lead Status is—we also track when a lead moves to a different deal stage, as well as the time in between stages. In other words, we know exactly how long a lead spends at each point in the customer journey/the sales process.

Collecting data

The next step is to collect data on the touchpoints. Although it can be tempting to pull in anything and everything, the key here is to zero in on what actually moves the needle.

Key Reports
An inside look at some of our key reports.

That’s why for our clients, we track four key data points to generate pipeline:

  • Lead Source: Where the lead actually came from. This could be from a purchased list, LinkedIn Navigator, Google Ad, etc.
  • MQL Conversions: The names of all the content pieces that the contact has engaged with.
  • MQL Source: The actual conversion source that turned the lead into a MQL. For example, did the lead open an email newsletter that linked to a gated white paper? This MQL source might be “Demand Gen” or “Email Marketing.” Did the lead click on a LinkedIn ad that linked to a gated white paper? That MQL source might be “Paid Social.”
  • Deal Source: The touchpoint that caused the lead to book a meeting. Did sales prospect them using HubSpot Sales Sequences? This Deal Source might be “Sales Sequence.” Did another client refer you to them? That Deal Source might be “Client Referral.”

Analyzing the data

The next step is to analyze the data you have collected. This involves looking for patterns and trends that can help you understand which marketing and sales efforts are most effective at different stages of the customer journey. By analyzing the data, you can identify which touchpoints are most important for driving revenue and where there may be opportunities for improvement.

This is when we may make recommendations to push harder on certain prospects, campaigns, or channels while pulling back on others. You should also evaluate this data up against sales cycle times and the number of sales activities to determine what is truly your lowest hanging fruit. This will allow you to quickly maximize the return on your top funnel investments.

What does this look like?

“Most of our late-stage pipeline has come from webinar downloads and Google Ads. The webinar downloads convert within 6 days after receiving a follow up sequence immediately after the download, but the Google Ads leads take closer to 27 days to convert to a meeting on our books. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into attending events, but we’re converting those leads to meetings at the lowest rate among our Lead Sources.” 

Closing Thoughts

In short, tracking marketing attribution is essential for growth-stage companies. It provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and helps you make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources. By investing in a program (or partnership) that enables you with attribution tracking, you can drive more revenue for your business and achieve long-term success.

Need help? Get in touch with our team