In a previous post about pipeline marketing, I talked through why marketers should be less concerned with vanity metrics like the number of net new leads in their marketing CRM, and more focused on things like marketing-sourced MRR, new platform users, etc. — KPIs that actually drive your business. To do this, one of the things your marketing operations team will need to build is a multi-touch and multi-channel attribution model. Essentially an infrastructure to track the behaviors and touchpoints of each lead in your database to better understand the path of least resistance from web visit to sign-up (if you do it right you might even be able to build a predictive revenue model!).
KPIs don’t end with, say, a 400% increase in net-new marketing-sourced leads. KPIs carry through to the number of marketing-sourced customers, and this is where growth marketing meets pipeline marketing.
The growth team owns the flow of customers into the product. The only way to understand that flow is to build out an attribution model that is capable of tracking the different behaviors of the leads in the funnel.
Attribution is the science of assigning credit of a customer to the source and behavior touchpoints throughout their experience with a brand. There are different layers of source and attribution data one can gather depending on how advanced the attribution model is, but at a very minimum, one will understand the marketing channels and tactics that are not only driving leads, but driving customers.
Without an attribution model in place, one wouldn’t have the data to inform its growth marketing strategy.
The goal of attribution modeling is to uncover the touchpoints that are producing positive results, and, with an advanced attribution system, marketing teams can determine how profitable each touchpoint is by using their associated costs. This allows for targeted optimization opportunities across the entire marketing playbook.
Growth marketers have to be inherently curious and scrappy. They’re part inbound marketer, part optimizer, part SEO/SEM wizard, part analytics animal, part operations guru, and part creative scientist. Their goal is to optimize the hell out of the marketing machine and let those results bleed into the undeniable quality of the marketing-sourced sales pipeline.
Growth marketing is only as valuable as the dollar amount of marketing-sourced MRR in the bank account. Creating joint accountability between marketing and sales organizations will allow brands to focus less on the vanity metrics and dig into solving real business problems. Once the alignment is set between the teams, operators can get to work on optimizing everything from lead acquisition, to lead management, to customer retention. Furthermore, businesses get the data to prove which tactic drives those renewing customers and which tactics simply drive MQLs.
Alex Biale is the Growth Operations Manager at TapInfluence. He focuses on building scalability & predictability for both the marketing and sales organizations. When he’s not building business efficiencies, he’s probably climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park or indulging in a glass of Bulleit. Follow him on Twitter @alexbiale.