May 10, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

With so much new technology at their fingertips, marketers can reach audiences in ways past generations never dreamt of doing. But can they prove their efforts are working?

According to Forrester, half of B2B marketers have trouble attributing their work to revenue results. Why?

They either lack the skills needed to get the job done, or put their trust in oversimplified products claiming to measure efforts with perfect accuracy.

But marketing and the measurement that’s needed to determine success is no longer as straightforward is it once was. Here are four reasons why marketers must integrate a multi-touch attribution model when determining their ROI:

1. Unseen Variables in Your Models

While you should measure all the possible factors that influence your success at scoring a sale or increasing brand sentiment, keep in mind that the real world has a plan of its own.

For example, unrelated economic factors may alter how much customers are willing to spend.

Alternatively, a prospect may be led to your website by a blogger that has no affiliation with your brand. Even harder to track are in-person conversations, which account for 87 percent of micro-influencer recommendations.

2. Multiple Touches Lead to Conversionscustomer-journey

A prospect may learn about your brand through an influencer, but she may not convert to a customer until she’s read a white paper, attended a webinar or exchanged tweets with your brand.

In fact, according to Salesforce, qualified sales leads usually take at least six to eight touches before they convert.

So if you’re relying on a single-touch model, you’ll end up distributing credit to either the first or last campaign a prospect touches, and those two touches may not have had the biggest impact on her buying decision.

Need a measurement makeover? Get more multi-touch attribution tips today!   

3. Customer Journeys Take Time

Since prospects make more touches than ever before, their journeys take a lot longer to complete. Each touch may take weeks if not months to move on from.

While you’ll want to start gathering data to determine a campaign’s success as soon as possible, don’t base your success on time frame alone. It’s only one part of the conversion equation.

Plus, not every prospect will take as long to jump from one touch to another. Distances between campaigns and conversions differ for each prospect.

4. Success Isn’t a Straight Line

If your brand increases its investment in a campaign or platform, you shouldn’t expect a corresponding number of conversions.

For example, you may double Facebook ad spend but only increase webinar sign ups 25 percent because you have fished that pond clean or have become less targeted.

Success is a result of testing various campaigns and communication channels over and over until an end goal is reached. There is no perfect instruction set to build your brand into what it wants to be.

As new trends, platforms and tactics lead your industry, avoid stubbornly sticking to what worked in the past. Old data won’t necessarily forecast what can happen to your brand in the future.



Images via Pixabay: 1, 2

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.