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7 Pitfalls to Avoid for B2B Marketing Attribution

As marketing methods and practices become more and more complex, measuring the whole process is more important than ever. B2B marketing attribution does precisely that.

Marketing attribution is a practice designed to evaluate the marketing touchpoints along the buying/selling cycle, determine which channels and content had the most significant impact, and lead to the best conversion results. As 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition to a data-driven selling approach by 2025, correct B2B marketing attribution will become more critical.

This post will explain the importance of B2B marketing attribution and provide tools to handle some of its significant challenges. We’ll also give you essential tips on avoiding the seven most common pitfalls in the marketing attribution process. 

What is B2B marketing attribution?

B2B marketing attribution concerns marketing attribution in business-to-business, the marketing and selling of products or services to other businesses.

Marketing attribution is a mechanism designed to determine the effectiveness of marketing touchpoints such as reading a post on a blog, social media activity, or even person-to-person calls. Attribution is determined by measuring how each touchpoint brought the desired outcome, which in most cases is a conversion. 

Marketing attribution allows marketers to measure and understand the impact of marketing channels and enhance their marketing campaigns’ cost-effectiveness. In essence, marketing attribution helps you understand what event or combination of events got the optimal desired outcome. 

Buyer's Journey

Why is correct B2B marketing attribution important? 

B2B is usually related to large transactions, so optimizing the practice of B2B marketing attribution is particularly important. As more and more B2B companies use a growing number of marketing channels, the value of B2B marketing attribution rises accordingly. It’s essential to help businesses establish their most effective marketing channels to focus their resources accordingly.

A survey by IDG Connect found that a rapidly growing number of marketing channels, measurement systems, and processes across a variety of separated tools, teams, and services, make it difficult for marketers to comprehend actual performance metrics across and between all channels effectively. 78% of surveyed companies are committed to deploying cross-channel attribution. Moreover, it found that:

  • Most marketers use six or more different tools to collect performance data.
  • 59% said that accurate data collection and its centralization is their biggest challenge.
  • The main obstacles to greater adoption of cross-channel attribution are:
    • Cost justification (70%)
    • Lack of appropriate skills on the marketing team (56%)
    • Integration with existing measurement systems (48%)
  • Marketers are looking for attribution systems that are easy to implement and also use and provide actionable intelligence.

These results convey why B2B marketing attribution is so significant. They also show why B2B sellers would be wise to incorporate a powerful attribution-powered personalization platform like Trendemon, which allows all teams to use correct B2B marketing attribution reporting.

What challenges occur in B2B marketing attribution?

Managing B2B marketing attribution can be challenging for many reasons. These include: 

  • Time – Purchasing cycle can be very long, from several months to several years.
  • Complexity – a typical B2B sale process comprises multiple:
    • Individuals and teams on your organization’s side.
    • Touchpoints of all kinds are spread across many channels.
    • Individuals and teams on your customer’s side.
  • Data issues – It can be difficult to make sense of all the data coming from multiple sources over a long period and eventually create an accurate, cohesive picture. 

Another major challenge derives from anonymity and what is called the dark funnel. Most people visiting your website from identified companies will stay completely anonymous. Many customer activities surrounding the purchase process, such as emails, meetings, and messaging, are hidden.

webcoming about sales touchpoint

7 Pitfalls to Avoid for B2B Marketing Attribution

Here are seven common mistakes to avoid in B2B marketing attribution, and some tips for doing it right.

1. Not Properly Attributing What Website Content Leads to Conversions

The importance of high-quality content that attracts customers is obvious. However, one of the greatest dangers is developing high-quality content without knowing which exact content component leads to the desired results. 

When we look at conversion rates across all content assets, we must determine which topics or subtopics attracted the highest conversions. It is necessary to understand precisely what specific type of content or subject was most impactful. For this purpose, it is essential to use smart technological tools.

Tools and techniques like heatmaps should pinpoint the specific content topic across your content assets. They help you recognize what content holds the greatest interest for your relevant audience and increased conversion rates. 

Conversions should not be attributed to general areas like a specific website page. You need to try and pinpoint which particular subject within the page is the one that leads to the most conversions. Then you will know what kind of content you should continue to create to enrich your content assets.

2. Using the Wrong Attribution Model

It is vital to use the attribution model best suited for your goals. Marketing attribution models should always match and fully synchronize with your marketing strategy. If your goal is to bring new people into the funnel, nurture contacts across the entire sales cycle, or penetrate a new industry, you should use the best-suited model for achieving these goals. 

Attribution Model

3. The Use of Incomplete Data

The result you get from the best attribution models and tools is as good as the data they use, in both quality and quantity. Using only part of the relevant data in your reporting can bring you to the wrong conclusions and lead you to the wrong path to optimization. 

Be sure to examine the data in its entirety to achieve the best and most comprehensive picture, allowing for the most precise optimization.

4. Forgetting that Attribution Reporting Is Not the End Goal

Because marketing attribution reporting is the key to success in the work of marketing professionals, the marketing department often forgets that they are a means to an end, not the end goal. They focus all their effort on marketing attribution and lose sight of other essential tools such as funnel reporting and media mix modeling.

Keep in mind each tool’s importance and uniqueness in creating and maintaining an effective and optimized revenue engine.

5. Not Understanding the Difference Between Attribution Modeling and Marketing Mix Modeling

Marketing attribution deals with the customer journey to conversion. The customer engaged a touchpoint, which led him to purchase the product or service. 

Marketing mix modeling (MMM) is a top-down approach used to assess how best to allocate resources between channels on a macro level.

Using both attribution and MMM allows you to make the best decisions regarding planning and optimization. But using only one or the other, or an unorganized blend, will give you inaccurate and incomplete results.

Marketing Mix Modeling

6. Lack of Coordination and Collaboration

Attribution reporting is a highly complex process involving almost all parts of the marketing and sales cycle – people, technologies, and methods. To achieve the best results, you should aspire for the highest level of synchronization, coordination, and collaboration between all relevant teams, such as marketing, sales, and IT. 

This same collaborative principle also applies to systems such as content management (CMS), marketing automation (MA/ERM/CRM), and sales automation.

7. Creating the Right Automation Strategy

Instead of wasting time creating multiple campaigns and manually coordinating between them, use proven powerful tools that can automatically present the best performing offer for engagement and conversion to the relevant audience.

How to Manage B2B Marketing Attribution the Right Way

Measuring data properly and correctly is crucial for proper management, improvement, and optimization, especially in the intricate B2B world. If you can’t effectively measure B2B marketing attribution, your marketing efforts will invariably suffer. Using smart tools like Trendemon in the attribution process increases your marketing ROI.
Proper B2B marketing attribution, especially for content assets that are touchpoints in the buyer journey, is essential for success. To manage your marketing attribution time and cost-effectively, sign up for a free demo of Trendemon and get started today.