Develop your organization to consistently deliver successful products
Starting with making marketing strategic again can be somewhat intimidating. Especially for who sits on level 1 in the maturity model. With the below 5-step guide, you will be quickly making your first step towards your own Revenue Attribution Model.
Without internal alignment in your team, it is impossible to make steps forward. And you should be warned, you will meet resistance. In companies who have never measured the effectiveness of their marketing, you will encounter fierce opponents.
Key to success is to show ‘what’s in it for them’. Everybody will recognize the battles over budget. And if you are not measuring your performance yet, changes are that also sales is not really your best friend.
Bring these internal struggles out in the open. Explain what Revenue Attribution can do for your team and how the will benefit from it. You will not take away all disbelief, and that is OK. For this first step, you want to make sure your team knows what you are working on and how it will affect them. Get some believers on your hand and move to step 2.
This is probably the most important step in your process. You need to determine meaningful stage-gates that indicate that your potential customer has engaged in a buyer’s journey.
Be mindful not to overburden yourself in this step. Certain organizations have a tendency to overcomplicate things in order to be more ‘right’. Nobody expects a baby to immediately run a perfect marathon when it’s taking its first steps. Neither should you.
Keep it easy and simple in the beginning. And for sure, you will not capture all the potential possibilities but that is OK. As you are using the stage-gates, new insights will arise which you can incorporate in your next version of the process.
Most people struggle with determining the first step, what makes somebody a suspect. Some companies take as a first stage-gate, somebody visiting their web-site. Although you could do this, I would not recommend it. A good stage-gate is one where potential customers themselves give you a sign of interest. This can be leaving a name behind, downloading gated content, sending you an inquiry etc.
Don’t hesitate to involve sales in this discussion. As they interact with customers on a daily basis, they will have some pretty good insights in what these purchase intent signals are.
If your marketing process is not yet well designed, chances are that you don’t even capture this first signs of interest in a meaningful way. That is when you move to step 3.
Once you have determined the relevant stage-gates you want to start with. You will need to reflect them in the tools you use. The goal is to capture possible buying signals. There are different paths to achieve this. You can adapt your website to capture those ‘interest signs’ by having some gated content. Alternatively, you can think about how to insert a ‘call to action’ in your direct marketing activities.
What you’re after is the possibility to measure the stage gates as these will be used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns against. Again, it is not about reaching perfection, having a simple name or email can suffice to measure effectiveness. So, can a specific cookie indicating he or she visited a piece of content that you consider a trigger signal from somebody who might be in the market for your solution. This cookie can then start a retargeting campaign leading your suspect into the prospect phase and so on.
Without designing the stage-gates into your marketing process, all further steps are futile, so spend good care on this step.
Once you have designed your stage-gates into your marketing tools, you can start measuring them. Allow for ample time to get sufficient data. How much time, depends on the length of your sales cycles.
During this period, also track how many of the people moving through the gates, make it to the final purchase stage. Based on how many people move from suspect to prospect and from there to the quote phase, you can start calculating conversion rates.
Based on these rates, you can do your first set of revenue attribution.
If you want to move quicker, you can consider to kick-off the attribution based on benchmark figures or on assumption based on certain data samples you might have.
Now you have your stage-gates with their attribution ratios, you can start measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some insights will come as total surprises but seem logical, others will appear to resemble absolute rubbish. Use these insights to further refine the model.
Based on these new insights, start adapting your actions and measure how the market reacts. After three to six months, you should have collected sufficient new information to bring your model to the next level.
Discuss your progress and findings with your sales colleagues. In the end you’re in the boat together so everything you do in marketing should be of benefit to them.
Once you are satisfied that you have a rugged new way of working, you can start thinking about how to automate things by implementing new tools. But don’t start too soon. First learn, adapt and improve before you cast everything into the concrete of software tools.
By following these five easy steps, you should be on your way. Every major change program takes time, so don’t be disappointed if you haven’t changed the world in 3 weeks. You need to guide your team and your executive management team on this new road you have taken. And before you realize it, you will be playing in the league of the professionals.