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Leads, Leads, Leads

In previous posts, we talked about the difference between Web and Lead metrics and how you can fill the gap by using cookies to attach […]

Marketing Metrics

The metrics I’m going to describe in the following section come from disparate sources, primarily your Content Management System (CMS), a Web Analytics platform like […]

The Marketing Channel Report

In previous posts, I talked about putting together the foundation for a Marketing Channel report, one that would show us for the first time not only […]

Lead Analytics vs Web Analytics

In our inaugural post, we talked about the birth of the Marketing Channels report, our first look at the true contribution of all marketing efforts – […]

Prove Marketing ROI

This story begins in 2010, when Nate Otiker joined Quest Software as our Director of Internet Marketing. Nate came to us from T-Mobile and before […]

Marketing Channel Assignment in the B2B Lead Funnel

Previously, I talked about assigning a Marketing Channel value to each prospect registration record so that we could compare the Natural (Organic Search, Backlinks, No Referrer, etc) contribution to Leads, Pipeline and Revenue against our paid sources, mostly Online Advertising, Print and PPC. Over time, we would begin to add Paid Social to the mix.

What I’ll share with you now is the pseudo-code we gave our developers so that they could assign those values the way we needed them to. You need to know that at the same time, we rolled out a required Marketing Channel dropdown in our Campaign Code setup form. So, paid sources had a Marketing Channel value set up in the CMS and Natural sources had one set by the following logic:

IF Tactic Code value is present THEN 
     assign Campaign Code value 
IF no referring server is provided THEN
     assign the Marketing Channel value No Referrer
IF the referring server is a Search engine THEN
     assign the Marketing Channel value Organic Search
IF the referring server is a Social Media site THEN
    assign the Marketing Channel value Social Media/PR
ELSE
    assign the Marketing Channel value Backlink
ENDIF

Not too complicated, right? Basically, we start by filtering out all the paid sources we already know about. Next, we take out all the HTTP transactions where no referrer was provided. Typically that took 25%-35% out right off the top. Best assumption is that this traffic came from bookmarked or emailed links. Comments are welcome on whether we’re missing anything here.

Then, we filter out organic links from search engines and social sites and finally, we assign everything that is left to Backlink. Anything that is left must have a Referrer value but isn’t a search engine or a social media site. We maintained lists of search and social sites in our CMS so that we stayed on top of those traffic sources. Typically, Backlink was a small enough value that we weren’t worried about burying meaningful traffic in that bucket.

The first report was pretty crude, because we poured Organic Search, No Referrer, Backlink and Social Media records into a single bucket, called Natural. Here is what that looked like:

Sample Marketing Channel contribution report

Note how the Natural sources grew in importance as we move down the funnel toward revenue. We knew we had to break Natural down for the report to be meaningful. Over time, it would come to look much more detailed:

Detailed Marketing Channel attribution report

I’ve adjusted these numbers to protect the innocent, but I will say that, over a period of years in the B2B IT space, 65-75% is roughly the amount of Marketing-sourced revenue you can expect to come through your unpaid channels, including Backlink, No Referral, Organic Search and Social Media. That’s in a last-touch model. We also started to look at multi-touch numbers before I left. Expect a post on first, last and multi-touch in the very near future too.

I should add that it was the analytical expertise of Troy Steen that made this report possible. I helped lay the foundation, but he built the house! I’m looking forward to interviewing Troy for this site at some point in the very near future. Stay tuned!

When I worked in B2B, Marketing Channels was the one report I consumed regularly. I primarily worked on SEO, advertising and eCommerce, but I always looked at Marketing Channels weekly. I wanted to know immediately if there are any major swings in contribution, particularly in the Natural area. We studied this one so long and so well that we could tell when a large deal skewed the typical ratios.

If you work in Marketing, you’re responsible for investments in some if not all of these areas. You must want to prove your ROI or you wouldn’t be here. How would that knowledge affect how you staff a Marketing organization and how you bring products to market? Please comment below.

More to come! Please share …

 

 

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