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How CRMs help marketing attribution

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CRMs are one of the fastest growing marketing and sales tools, with an increasing number of SME’s and large international businesses incorporating systems into their organisational structure to help them manage their customer data, help sales & marketing departments collaborate more easily and increase productivity and ROI as well as make reporting much easier. They’re vital for marketing attribution in helping to make clear connections between your marketing activities, and the impact on your revenue and KPIs.

What is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are tools which help organisations manage customer data. CRMs collects all of your customer’s interactions from different channels all in one place including: email, social, website, purchases and any other forms of communication or activity that can be recorded.

Want to know more? Check out 10 reasons your business needs a CRM.


What is marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution is how marketing professionals can see the impact of their marketing activities on a specific business goal — it’s the process of measuring the value of each touchpoint on the customer journey that influences their path to the desired outcome, often a purchase, and being able to assign it value and therefore see the ROI of marketing activities.

For example, if a customer purchased a £10k product, was it a paid ad, a blog, or an email that convinced them to purchase your product? Was it a combination of those activities? Marketing attribution helps you see and understand the value of the customer journey.


What are the types of marketing attribution?

The main two types of marketing attribution are:

  • Single touch attribution
  • Multitouch attribution


Single touch marketing attribution

First touch attribution assumes that your customer chose to convert straight after the first encounter with one of your marketing assets and gives full credit, or full attribution, entirely to this first touchpoint. It does not take into consideration any adverts or assets they could have seen after the initial one, which could have helped to nudge them along their buyer journey and down the sales funnel.

Last touch attribution, on the other hand, gives full attribution to the very last touchpoint of your marketing activities that the customer interacted with right before making their purchase/decision. It does not take into consideration any previous engagement with any of your other assets.

Single touch marketing attribution methods fail to consider the full customer journey and do not include all of the different touchpoints with your marketing efforts the customer engaged with on their buyer journey pushing them down the sales funnel, therefore marketing professionals should not rely on just these two methods.


Multitouch marketing attribution

Multitouch attribution takes into considerations and credits each touch point in the customer’s journey: ads, emails, social posts, blog articles and other marketing content they could have engaged with. It can be more complex to report on than single-touch attribution, and it can be time-consuming to decide which model is the most suitable:

  • Linear: gives equal credit to each interaction in the buyer journey
  • Time decay: gives more credit to the most recent interactions over a lengthier sales cycle with more spread-out touchpoints
  • U-shaped: gives 40% credit to the first interaction, 40% to the lead creation interaction, and the remaining 20% is then even spread out for the interactions between those two.
  • W-shaped: gives 30% credit to the first interaction, 30% to the lead creation interaction and 30% to the last interaction that created the deal/opportunity creation. The remaining 10% is spread equally among the interactions between those three touchpoints.
  • Full path: This path gives majority of the credit to the most important milestones of the customer journey, and smaller credit to all the other touchpoints, including any follow-ups made by the sales team. It gives 22.5% to the first interaction, 22.5% to the lead creation interaction, 22.5% to the interaction creating the deal/opportunity and 22.5% to the interaction that closed the deal or finalised the sale. The remaining 10% is given evenly across all other touchpoints.
  • Custom: there is possibility to create your own attribution weights using a custom marketing attribution model if you know your industry, marketing channels and buyer behaviour very well.

Looking for more guidance on which attribution model is right for you? Check out HubSpot’s guide to attribution reports.


What are the benefits of marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution is valuable for businesses to see the impact of marketing and for decision makers to be able to understand exactly how marketing is bringing value to the business.

It’s also beneficial to the marketing department because if the business owners, board or other more senior decision makers are able to see the impact of marketing on the business, they will be more inclined to increase the marketing budget and allow for the department to grow and hire more people, and allow the department more creative freedom.

Another benefit to marketers is that it helps you see which touchpoints are the most effective for your target audience, and which ones might not be as valuable, which can help you improve them for future campaigns and allocate resources more effectively.

Marketing attribution can be valuable for marketers as individuals, as being able to attribute value of your own work and campaigns to the business KPIs and showcase the ROI of your activities can help your work be recognised and advance your career, as well as create clear evidence to back you up when asking for promotions or bonuses.


How can CRMs help marketing attribution?

CRMs integrate all your customer data, marketing and sales efforts in once place, so you can track data for various campaigns and individual touchpoints, types of customer and channels as well as final sales and deal values.

CRMs allow you to quickly run reports to help you to analyse your campaigns and identify which activities and channels are the most effective at converting your customers. This is key in scaling effectively and efficiently, as it means you can focus more resources on the most valuable channels to increase your ROI.

Find out more reasons why CRMs are valuable with 10 reasons your business needs a CRM.


Best CRMs for easy reporting

HubSpot is one of the most sophisticated CRMs available today with marketing, sales and operations hubs and an endless choice of custom reports to make the most sense of the data from your campaigns, with reports specifically tailored to what you want to see with a click of a button. Check out the 8 benefits of using HubSpot as your CRM.


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