Episode 42

The Secret to Doing More With Attribution Modeling with Steffen Hedebrandt, CRO and Cofounder at Dreamdata.

Steffen Hedebrandt

Marketing attribution can help paint a clearer picture of how your customers engage with your brand across different touchpoints. In today’s multi-channel, multi-device world, however, analyzing how your marketing efforts drive revenue can be a daunting task. 

Below, let’s learn more about Dreamdata and explore how they’re solving the problem of attribution for B2B SaaS and how they’re building a successful digital marketing strategy. 

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is the process of working out which marketing touchpoints in the customer journey are contributing to conversions and sales. 

Simply put: the goal of attribution is to determine which messages and channels have the greatest impact on people’s decisions to take the desired next step. 

To do this, marketers often turn to attribution models. There are two main categories of attribution models – single-touch and multi-touch attribution. The insights provided by these models enable marketers to alter and customize campaigns to meet each individual consumer’s needs. 

To get the most reliable insight, though, you’ll likely need to use a combination of models and correlate the data. Doing this will require a powerful analytics program. Here’s where Dreamdata – a revenue attribution platform – comes in.

How Dreamdata Is Changing B2B Marketing Attribution

Attribution has been a complex issue in the digital marketing space for several years now. Currently, the industry’s standard is last-click attribution, where only the last click is being credited. In Google Analytics, arguably the most widely-used platform for attribution, the standard model is single-touch attribution (or the last non-direct click). 

Dreamdata offers B2B companies a multi-touch attribution solution.

By looking at each individual touchpoint along the customer journey – and organizing it into an account-based data model – the platform assigns value to touchpoints and channels based on their individual impact towards driving a purchase. 

These insights allow B2B marketers to better understand what initiates and what closes customer journeys, as well as the impact these touchpoints have on ROI. 

Steffen Hedebrandt, the co-founder and CRO at Dreamdata, shares: “We deliberately use the word revenue instead of marketing attribution because in B2B it’s about all touchpoints.” 

While Dreamdata can empower you with multi-touch attribution reporting to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities, It’s also worth noting that there is no one perfect model for assigning value. 

On a very basic level, this means that it’s really important to get as much data as you can into the data model because no model will be successful if it’s only applied to a small percentage on the actual journey. 

When to Use a B2B Attribution Tool

Attribution can be immensely helpful for deciding which pages and/or marketing channels drive the most conversions. Those who really need a specific B2B attribution tool, though,  are often companies that sell to more than a single stakeholder. 

As Steffen shares, “if you’re B2B selling to micro-businesses where the user, the buyer, and the stakeholder are the same person, then attribution is not as big a problem. But typically, [in B2B deals] you see 2,3,4, or 5 people involved and it takes more than a month [to close the deal].”

For Dreamdata, the ideal customer is a B2B SaaS company. When considering revenue attribution, you need to have as much data about the whole journey as possible to be efficient and effective. 

As SaaS businesses are doing most of their marketing investments online, “you have an opportunity to do kind of a closed-loop attribution, from the first to the very last touchpoint. That’s why our product delivers particularly well with SaaS companies.”

How Demand Generation Can Impact Your Sales Cycles

Did you know that most people arrive at your website anonymously, and a big chunk of time is actually spent in an anonymized marketing series of touchpoints?

Most SaaS companies are well aware of the sales funnel from the moment of conversion to when the deal was closed. 

Because Dreamdata starts the tracking process from the moment people arrive for the first time on a website (anonymously), however, it’s becoming clearer that users in anonymous journeys of exploring the product spend as much time or even longer than in the sales cycle. 

In order to create demand, you’ll need to start a lot earlier than you think and avoid judging your budget in that same quarter. 

Remember: demand should be nurtured, and it takes time (often a few months) for people to first become aware of a pain point, move into research mode, and get ready to make a purchase. “All that is a big revelation for a lot of people – not just to hit targets but also to know whether an experiment is a success or not.”

When thinking about revenue attribution, having all of these different touchpoints into one journey can give you the confidence to become more personalized with sales. 

Although no attribution tool can give you 100% accuracy of everything that took place during the journey, truth is, you don’t really need it. As Steffen says, “it’s about moving what you know from 5 – 10% to knowing 60 – 70% of what’s going on – that’s still enabling you to make better decisions than you did before.”

Choosing the Right Attribution Model for Small-Scale B2B

Attribution brings a myriad of benefits, such as creating actionable insights, providing a better understanding of the customer journey, optimizing marketing spend, and increasing lead quality. 

Advanced attribution models (especially those that evaluate a variety of datasets), can be resource-intensive to get right, and many smaller businesses are not able to undertake data-driven attribution. The choice often comes down to an out-of-the-box model and selecting a good one can be a challenge.  

Steffen shares: “When we run ads at Dreamdata, we do it to start new journeys and create demand. So, a first-touch model is a really good model. It obviously exaggerates the value creation, but it helps you see which ads actually start journeys that end up becoming sales qualified leads.”

In a first-touch attribution model, the value is assigned to the first message or channel that a user interacted with. Although this model prioritizes only one channel, it can be a great option for marketers focused on lead generation.

Steffen further adds: “in B2B, you’re not doing marketing to deliver on an MQL number. You’re doing marketing to ultimately deliver deals that your company wins. So the ads that you’re running should run towards those that go as far down the pipeline as possible.”

Inside Dreamdata’s Digital Marketing Strategy

Dreamdata is an excellent example of a category creator. 

New category creators, or SaaS trailblazers, are businesses that offer a new type of solution. While this presents a significant competitive advantage, it also means that users are not aware of that solution.

If what you’re offering is something your ideal audience has never used or heard of before, you’ll need to put in some extra legwork. Here’s how Dreamdata is introducing people to their product. 

Paid Marketing

Paid marketing allows businesses to round out their digital presence and get their brand and content in front of new audiences. This can be on search engines or any other advertising platform.

One of the most effective ways to see an ROI from your paid advertising is by incorporating your ideal buyer persona data and promoting content that they can relate to. 

In the case of Dreamdata, “what we started doing with our paid marketing was to say ‘okay, let’s fix the bottom of the funnel, that known search behavior that we know is valuable’. Once we covered that, we could run remarketing ads.”

Today, to run effective digital marketing, you need to understand how to blend organic and paid campaigns to achieve the best overall results. This mix is unique to every company, so if you’re looking for a fresh take on your social campaigns, check out our social media services to learn how we can help you on your digital journey. 

Content Marketing

Whether you’re looking to boost brand awareness, sales, leads, or traffic, content marketing is a tool that you absolutely need to include in your toolbox. With a strong strategy set in place, content marketing can be an incredible growth engine.

In the B2B space, consumers are looking for content that informs and educates. At Dreamdata, the starting point is the understanding that content needs to support sales and trying to answer the tough questions that salespeople get with content.

“Then later on we do all the on-site optimization of all that content and, hopefully, it starts climbing the ranks of Google afterward,” Steffen adds. “Our content engine is focused around either explaining how our product works or how we can help salespeople answer tough questions.”

LinkedIn Marketing

One of the strategies that Dreamdata has been really successful with is social selling on LinkedIn. The business’s co-founder shares that “everybody in the team is creating 3 – 5 posts a week on LinkedIn. If you do that with a very narrowly defined ideal customer profile in mind, you can provide quality posts targeted at a certain number of people and then continuously add people that fit that profile. The messaging then continues to amplify itself because it reaches more and more of the right people.”

Leveraging the power of LinkedIn as part of your social media advertising is a crucial factor when looking to reach a more corporate audience, including important decision-makers. In fact, according to Steffen, “one of the reasons why it’s working particularly well is because our product is addressing marketers, and marketers spend a lot of their day on LinkedIn.”

When doing B2B social media marketing, Steffen notes that “your accounts are not buying before they have hundreds of impressions of your brand. They need to trust what you’re selling.” 

If you’re looking to get your brand on the tip of people’s tongs, LinkedIn can be a great solution. Even more, with the platform’s members holding 2x the buying power of average online audiences, Dreamdata knows that utilizing the social media platform to run ads and retargeting is a key piece of the digital marketing puzzle.

Start Making the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

In a world where buyers can engage with your brand in a plethora of different ways before becoming part of your CRM, determining how much value each of your marketing efforts deserves can be an exhilarating process.

Choosing the right attribution tool for your business will help you distribute value across the different interactions of a user’s path to conversion, and gauge which sources help in the conversion, deal creation, and revenue attribution. In turn, this will enable your marketing team to obtain hard evidence that outlines the need to invest in – and amplify – similar resources now and in the future. 

Ready to uncover more tips and insights on improving performance? Head over to our blog and explore 6 actionable PPC tips for getting a better ROI.

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