Why Your Marketing Team Needs Attribution Reporting

Learn why attribution reporting matters to modern marketers and why it is one of the most effective ways to improve your sales revenue.

As markets shift, putting downward pressure on revenue, Marketing leaders often find themselves on the receiving end of a budget cut. Why? Marketing is often perceived as a cost rather than a benefit, especially when there is no dollar amount to show its explicit value to the organization. How do you explain to your CFO that the $500k trade show bill was a successful investment beyond press clippings? How do you show your Sales reps that your marketing campaigns drew in successful leads?

Without proof of Marketing’s contribution in terms of sales revenue, marketing gets unfairly categorized as a discretionary expense – easily cut when times get tough. By implementing attribution reporting, you can finally change the conversation repositioning Marketing as a revenue generator. Attribution reporting provides evidence that will transform the way your marketing team is perceived by your organization: instead of having your team decimated in the interest of saving money, your team will be touted as a critical factor in your organization’s success.

If attribution reporting hasn’t made your marketing team’s to-do list, then you may be missing out on a major opportunity to defend marketing’s contribution to your company’s top-line. Let’s take a closer look at what attribution reporting is, what it looks like in action, and who benefits from it most in your organization.

What Is Attribution Reporting?

Attribution reporting is used by modern marketers to connect marketing investments to revenue outcomes. An attribution report enables marketers to understand what assets and channels sourced leads that converted to revenue, enabling Marketing departments to develop a deeper understanding of the demand generation tactics that are producing the most leads and sales. Knowing which marketing investments are bringing in the most significant returns is essential to setting priorities, allocating resources, validating Marketing budgets, and ultimately improving Return on Investment (ROI).

As Marketing has entered the digital domain, attribution reporting has shifted from being a mere possibility to an expectation of Marketing leaders looking to redefine their roles in a rapidly changing landscape. Traditionally, Marketing departments have been primarily concerned with branding and public relations, while Sales departments focused on driving the entire sales cycle. This is no longer the case.

Buyers have little reason to interact with salespeople because of the sheer volume of information about products and services available via a simple internet search; buyers are now well-informed by the time they interact with sales. This radical change in buyer behavior has created a void for marketers to fill by providing content that will influence and satisfy the buyer’s voracious appetite for new information. In this context, attribution reporting is an essential tool that enables marketers to show how demand generation campaigns contribute directly to revenue. When properly designed and executed, an attribution report can deliver a true ROI metric that accurately displays Marketing’s impact on a company’s top line.

What Does Attribution Reporting Look Like in Action?

With an attribution model in place, a Marketing department can generate a high-impact campaign report. The sample attribution report below shows some of the crucial insights that can be obtained from measuring the costs per lead and sale of specific marketing activities and comparing those costs with each activity’s respective revenue.

Accounting for Multiple Marketing Efforts that Influence a Sale

The sample report we shared above only tracks the source of a lead. This may seem overly simplistic to some marketers – why should the initial “source” of a lead get all the credit for a closed sale if multiple touches influenced the purchase?

Influence reporting is used to track the interactions that buyers make with different marketing campaigns, and attribute revenue to campaigns that influenced a sales opportunity.

It is critical to note that a solid foundation of attribution reporting is needed for influence reporting to provide accurate insights. Attribution reporting is essential to setting up the more complicated process of influence reporting and a phased approach is recommended. Ultimately, attribution reporting will give marketers the connection to revenue, and this is the key piece needed to justify continued investment into Marketing initiatives.

Who in Your Company Cares?

Though it seems obvious that Marketing teams are the primary drivers of attribution reporting, they are not the only players in an organization that benefit. In fact, key roles in executive leadership, marketing, and sales can leverage the data gleaned from an attribution report.

  • CEOs, COOs and CFOs can use attribution reporting to validate the ROI of their Marketing investment
  • CMOs and Marketing Directors can increase their success by doubling down on what works, as well as justify the value and budget of their departments
  • Marketing team members can develop more effective campaigns as a result of knowing which channels provide the best sources of leads and revenue
  • Sales teams receive higher quality leads as marketing campaigns become more effective due to insights gained from attribution reports.

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Marketing Reporting for Today’s Modern Marketers

Marketing reporting today reflects a radical shift from practices in years past. Thanks to the evolution of technology, buyer behavior is more visible and measurable than ever: we can see which campaigns yield the most successful leads, where the opportunities are, and which content is performing. With today’s reporting, the modern marketer can assess their creative efforts of branding and campaigning and use those assessments to optimize customer experience and increase conversions. Below is a quick summary of the different types of reports available to modern marketers.

BASELINE REPORTING: Knowing what marketing sources generate Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).

ATTRIBUTION REPORTING: Knowing what marketing tactic sourced a lead which led to a sale, understanding which marketing investments generated the most revenue.

INFLUENCE REPORTING: Insight into the role each campaign and tactic plays in generating a sale.

FUNNEL REPORTING: Lead conversion and velocity through the sales funnel stages with a full view of the buyer journey.

Learn More About Attribution Reporting

Attribution reporting shows your executive leadership exactly how much revenue marketing contributes to your organization. With the insights provided by attribution reporting, you can double down on campaigns that are generating the best results.

Our ultimate guide to attribution reporting will give you a step-by-step process for implementing attribution reporting in your company – without having to purchase new software. Learn more about how attribution reporting can work for your business by downloading our e-book today!

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