Why Attribution May Be the Secret to Tripling Your Marketing Budget

Today’s trend-setting marketers focus on one consistent metric: granular ROI.

What does that mean? Modern marketing technology stacks have obliterated the age-old question, “What is my overarching marketing return?” and replaced it with “What is the exact recipe of tactics I need at a given time to close X amount of revenue by X date?” If you’re still asking overall ROI, you may have fallen behind.

So, what can you do to increase that marketing budget? Remember the robust marketing plans your college professor challenged you to construct during your Marketing 301 course? Throw those out the window. The secret sauce? Start with revenue and work backwards. Every tactic you run should be tracked and tied to a business outcome, and the way to make that happen is with discipline and a best-in-class marketing infrastructure.

The key is to select a central source of truth (often a marketing automation platform) to track every touchpoint your marketing team has with prospects and clients. Pair those touchpoints with revenue data, and you’re on your way. And if a tactic can’t be tied to business outcomes, consider re-allocating the time and funds.

It’s also imperative that your systems talk to one another. Disconnected systems and dirty CRM data can be silent killers of the modern marketing tech stack. If the connective tissue isn’t there, you may not see the cohesive story. It’s crucial that every marketing system in your stack (webinar platforms, event platforms, web tools, paid media, etc.) be connected and recorded in your “hub.”

Think of these platforms as the spokes on the wheel. And then ultimately, everything recorded in your hub runs through an attribution system that can tie revenue to every interaction you had with clients. This is the data you can use to ultimately increase your marketing budget. The power is in the numbers.

Making moves with attribution

If you’re a trendsetter, then you’re likely blazing the modern mar-tech path and readily using the data to convince your executive counterparts that marketing is the best place to execute leftover funds. Fuel that budget. Through historical data and case studies, you’ve proven that putting X amount of incremental dollars into Y marketing channels will give you Z revenue. And with that, you’ve earned yourself a profound voice at the table and a sound bet for key stakeholders.

If this is you, then you may be sitting at your computer thinking: Could (and should) commission-based marketing be the wave of the future? I don’t know about you, but I’d love a compensation structure based on marketing’s proven influenced earnings. This well-oiled attribution machine can not only help remove risk but can also enable near real-time optimization and testing based on market changes. Big dollars are influenced.

This is the time for marketers to have a more profound impact on business than ever and to become a dependable place for companies to invest. Add in variables like the current pandemic, in which virtual communication is life, and marketing arguably becomes one of the most important areas for investment.

What to look for in attribution solutions

Consider these three additional tips as you’re assessing attribution solutions for your stack:

  • Future-proof your tool of choice by choosing a solution that runs off AI, not cookies.
  • Onboard a trusted tool that tells the entire story, not just a slice. This is a shortcoming of analytics tools housed within walled gardens.
  • Find tools with deep attribution analysis in specific tactic areas where you focus to connect to your hub. Platforms like IBM Watson Advertising Attribution are perfect examples of tools that dive deep into a specific tactic type. Tools like this tie together previously disparate worlds—in this case paid advertising and app usage—to tell a detailed story of a prospect’s journey.

If you’re disciplined, you’ll ultimately reach a point where marketing becomes a simple math equation. If a business need X revenue during Y timeframe, you’ll have a set of tactics mapped to a lead’s journey that will get you there. The best part? All these recommendations are based on your own historical data. How much more relevant does it get?

Do yourself a favor: If you don’t have line-of-sight into this data today, onboard the systems and start the process. Use attribution to prove what an increased marketing spend can do for your company. It can be one of the greatest moves you’ll make in your marketing career. Don’t be the risk; alleviate the risk. Everyone likes a teammate that can deliver.