Multi-touch revenue attribution involves organizing, collecting and cataloguing all of the interactions that occur as someone decides to make a purchase with your company.
The process helps businesses understand how their marketing is contributing to the company’s bottom line, giving marketers the credit they deserve for their efforts.
While tracking marketing attribution is a useful, worthwhile practice, it is difficult. Finding a software that can facilitate attribution reporting can be even harder. Here at New Breed, this is a struggle we’ve dealt with in the past. Now, we’ve finally found a solution, and we want to share it with you.
New Breed’s History with Multi-Touch Revenue Attribution
When I started at New Breed about three years ago, one of the things that we set out to do was not just measure how well our marketing team was contributing to New Breed’s revenue but how well each individual on our marketing team was contributing to revenue.
In order to do that, we figured we would at least need to answer three basic questions:
- What content types do our customers engage with?
- How are they finding that content?
- When are they engaging with that content?
We knew we needed to understand what was providing the most value to people as they decided to choose New Breed and where those decisions were occurring along their buyer’s journey.
Beyond that, we wanted to have a logical structure for our marketing team so it was clear which team member should get credit based on the channel a touchpoint came through.
With that in mind, we created the following structure. Currently, our marketing team consists of a content specialist who owns our blog. Additionally, she contributes to a lot of our website pages and supports with email and social media. Next, we have a social media specialist who owns social media. She also supports with our blog and email strategy. Finally, we have a search specialist who owns both our organic and paid channels and supports with the blog.
With this arrangement, our content specialist gets credit if someone comes into our funnel and views one of the posts she’s written or if someone interacts and engages with some of the other content that she’s created on our website.
If someone clicks on one of our social posts and engages with the content we’re promoting there, our social specialist gets credit. If someone interacts with one of her blogs or emails, she also gets credit for that.
Finally, if someone originally enters our funnel from either organic or paid search, the two channels our search specialist is managing, he’ll get credit for those.
With our marketing team members’ roles clearly outlined, we had a process and we had the right people in place to measure each individual on our team according to the revenue that they were driving for our business, but we were still missing a critical piece of the puzzle. We needed a platform to track all of this information.
Prior to 2019, our software stack featured several platforms in an attempt to track revenue attribution. We had HubSpot where we were running most of our marketing and even a lot of our sales acceleration efforts. We were using Salesforce to manage our deals. Additionally, we were using a multi-touch attribution tool, Bizible, to try to track all of the touchpoints that were occurring as contacts progressed through their buyer’s journeys.
With this system in place, however, we continually noticed that all of the touchpoints that were showing up in Bizible were not matching up with what we were seeing in HubSpot’s contact records. We kept auditing the two systems and realized a lot of discrepancies between them. Eventually, we decided to talk to HubSpot about it.
We recognized that all of the information we wanted to know about the content that people were engaging and interacting with already lived in HubSpot. We were just having trouble accessing it. Since the data was there, we figured if we worked with HubSpot to come up with a solution we’d be able to solve our puzzle. Then, we reached out to them.
Soon, HubSpot’s multi-touch revenue attribution reports were born.
How HubSpot’s Multi-Touch Revenue Attribution Reports Helped Us Double Revenue
HubSpot’s multi-touch revenue attribution reports have completely changed the way that we operate here at New Breed. Now, when we track attribution, we’ve eliminated Salesforce and Bizible from the equation. Essentially, that’s allowed us to do closed-loop reporting within HubSpot. All of our information lives in one place, and we don’t have to try to connect tools into multiple systems. The reports make the whole process much easier.
In multi-touch revenue attribution, one key step is associating each interaction your contacts have with your company to a touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. There are four main touchpoints that attribution models tend to highlight: the first interaction touchpoint (the first time someone becomes aware of your company and engages with some piece of your content), the lead created touchpoint (when a visitor gives you some type of information — normally through a form fill or a conversational marketing conversion), the deal created touchpoint (when the sales team decides to open an opportunity with a prospect that’s in your funnel) and the closed won touchpoint (when someone closes a deal). There are also middle touchpoints that fall between these four key touchpoints.
Before HubSpot’s attribution reports, many middle touchpoints became lost in the mix.
For example, consider an email nurture campaign. In HubSpot and most other marketing automation tools, it used to be really easy to see what a company’s first interaction was and what their most recent interaction was but everything that happened in-between would disappear.
One of the things that we were able to uncover from the multi-touch revenue attribution reports was that email nurtures were having a huge impact on our business. We also found that webinars had a large influence.
The screenshot above is pulled from our portal. As you can see, six of our top landing pages were webinars.
Webinars are typically interacted with in the middle of the funnel after someone has been created as a lead and before they close as a customer.
Because webinar touchpoints normally happen through email in the middle of the buyer’s journey, we wouldn’t have been able to see their impact without more detailed multi-touch revenue attribution reporting.
After we discovered that they were having such an impact, we decided to double down on webinars. We’ve started running them on an almost monthly basis which has proven successful.
We also examined our blog posts. Below, you can see a summary report from HubSpot of some of our top-performing blogs using a full-path model, which distributes credit equally over all touchpoints. What you’re seeing here is how much influence a particular blog had whether it was a first interaction or an engagement later down the line.
This graphic also includes how much revenue credit a post would receive if it was evaluated using a first interaction model, which gives 100% of the credit to a contact’s first touchpoint. HubSpot’s reporting allows you to compare attribution models in this way, layering models on top of each other to gain insight. _
For example, using a full path model our “Top 12 B2B Marketing Blogs” post receives a lot of credit. Alternatively, it receives no credit using the first interaction model. It’s clearly driving the business forward, but it’s not necessarily going to be a post that someone finds through search.
To improve the performance of this blog and other similar posts, we decided to promote them through email so people could see them when they were further along on their journey. Additionally, we decided to create content that visitors would be able to find online, linking those searchable, high-level posts to blogs discussing deeper concepts like, in this case, why software is essential to demand generation.
By sorting our blogs by which was awarded the most revenue credit using the first interaction attribution model, we were also able to see what type of content was initially influencing our deals. Of course, this was the type of content we wanted to get found online, so we further optimized it for search.
Without HubSpot’s revenue attribution reporting, we wouldn’t have been able to get these types of data-driven, accurate insights. With such insights, we’re now growing better than ever before.
Since our revenue attribution reporting revealed that webinars were an integral part of our marketing efforts, and we emphasized our email promotion surrounding them, we’ve seen an 88.4% increase in attribution to marketing emails. Using the insights from HubSpot’s reports, we also were able to develop a more focused content strategy which led to a 79.8% increase in attribution to blog posts.
Since we’ve been able to prove our impact on revenue to leadership and show our initiatives are successful, we’ve increased headcount on our marketing team by 33.3%. Additionally, our budget is increasing by 71.2% next year. These additional resources will give us more opportunities to engage with our target audience and grow our business.
Most importantly, we’ve more than doubled revenue generated from marketing this year alone.
With HubSpot’s multi-touch revenue attribution reports, we no longer spend long amounts of time pouring over data, trying to pull out accurate numbers. Instead, we leverage HubSpot to quickly access the information we need and spend our time interpreting what to do next, driving the company forward.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.