Benefits of Revenue Attribution for B2B

03.02.22 // Graham McConnell

Why Track to Revenue

The most instinctive way to measure B2B digital advertising ROI is to track metrics that are related to revenue such as conversions, MQLs and SALs. While it looks great on paper, in the real world this simplistic visualization can create an inaccurate picture of your ROI, especially if your product or service is selling at a low price. Other metrics include variations or expansions on the above such as conversion rates, cost per lead, or customer retention rate. Most of these metrics are not directly input into calculating your digital marketing ROI, but they should help you understand if your digital marketing investment is making a profit or not.

Using the right attribution model and marketing measurement strategy enables the ability to track consumers in a multi-channel environment for clearer, more comprehensive, and more granular results. With revenue attribution, you can better evaluate your offline and online marketing campaigns and allocate your budget to generate more qualified leads.

Tracking to revenue is the best way to determine if the leads are high quality, if your sales are effective, and helps you predict the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns. Tactics vary when it comes to calculating campaign ROI, so understanding these marketing ROI metrics is a smart starting point.

The Endgame: KPIs with Revenue

Without tracking to revenue these KPIs would not be possible to parse. To make sure you’re spending your marketing budget in a way that helps increase sales, here are the top marketing KPIs you should track and how they can help guide strategy.

Customer Journey Understanding

Simply knowing deal size and the marketing touches that led to revenue provides more data to analyze and impact daily activities and business transactions, making it that much easier to find out what’s working or not, resulting in desired goals. With revenue attribution, you are able to make more data-driven decisions instead of making decisions on front end data like conversions, only. This will eliminate wasted spend, and allocate it towards campaigns with bigger impact.

Products or Services Revenue Performance

By using revenue attribution your understanding of products and services can shift focus to the value provided for your customer instead of why customers are not interested in what you’re providing. Combined with current customer data, an ideal customer profile (ICP) and the actual revenue generated by clients it could be determined which products or services lead to longer customer lifecycles or generate more revenue over their lifetime (more than one service or product). This includes analysis of entry level services or products that lead to more purchases during said lifetime. You may find that a product that sells really well initially does not generate as much lifetime revenue as another. This process can help improve overall customer retention and satisfaction while redefining your ICP to become more accurate.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Utilizing revenue attribution, sales and marketing can see projected revenue and channel attribution data all the way through to a won deal. This means they not only get to prioritize the bigger deals but also get key marketing information that can help them understand motivation and close deals more efficiently. For example; if the sales and marketing team knows that a lead was generated after searching a specific keyword (that relates directly to your products or services), the discovery conversation can be tailored to resonate with that precise inquiry and assess the gaps sooner rather than later.

Improving the sales process so that it becomes more effective and takes the buyer from introduction to payment in a cohesive process. With revenue tracking you will see how people are making the decision to buy your products or services, letting you see what seems to be the clincher – and the killer.

Measuring Different Channels

Attributing revenue to marketing channels has become an effective and essential concept in successful revenue generation. If your business wants to expand and continue to grow, it’s vital to have certain pieces in place to help you make decisions. Your time is valuable and having the right knowledge about your business can really make a difference. Revenue attribution is a must-have for any business that wishes to progress in an effective manner moving forward.

Tracking Campaigns – Digital and Offline

Many advertising platforms allow you to select specific campaign goals and objectives that help you manage your budget to achieve your marketing goals in the most efficient way. The simplest form of digital marketing ROI measurement is to set up conversion tracking on a single advertising platform such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, for example. You can rely on several tools to track and attribute conversions, sales, and revenue, and calculate the ROI of all your campaigns.  First, you need to understand how to effectively measure your digital advertising ROI. But accurately tracking the ROI of your digital advertising spend can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Hard metrics are undoubtedly important to showcase and improve your ROI (and showcase the value of your business), but it’s critical to track vanity metrics in addition to your ROI to get a complete picture of how your ads are performing. As your brand pushes the boundaries of marketing towards new strategies such as mobile video ads, native ads, and programmatic ads, be sure to measure ROI, not just revenue impact, so your entire team can continue to drive engagement and increase sales.

Properly setting up advertising conversion tracking is critical to measuring your return on ad spend. Accurate tracking is the key to a successful a digital marketing campaign. In the top end of the marketing funnel (TOFU), tracking means knowing exactly how many times your ad is shown and to how many people.

Tracking email is similar in terms of set up but what about tracking offline campaigns? It takes a little more creativity, and obviously more manual work, but it can lead to all the benefits listed above. Here are a few ways to attribute revenue to offline campaigns:

  • Promo code – a unique code that anyone who uses it will only have seen it on your specific offline campaign
  • Dedicated phone number – a number only used with a corresponding campaign
  • Dedicated online landing page – offline advertising sends them to

The Right Attribution Model for Revenue

Using the right attribution model and marketing measurement strategy enables tracking consumers in a multi-channel environment for clearer, more comprehensive, and more granular results. With revenue attribution, you can better evaluate your offline and online marketing campaigns and allocate your budget to generate more qualified leads.

Marketing ROI is the practice of tying profit and revenue growth to the impact of marketing initiatives, so without proper tracking this is impossible. Using inbound marketing strategies such as developing long-term customer relationships through subtle, informative, and effective content, determining ROI depends in part on analyzing all marketing KPIs. By calculating marketing ROI, organizations can measure the extent to which overall or campaign-specific marketing efforts drive revenue growth.

Tracking the ROI of competitors’ marketing investments allows marketers to accurately understand their organization’s performance in their particular industry. Many tools promote a specific way of matching marketing spend to revenue in order to get the full funnel ROI.

Without revenue tracking, there’s no way to know which efforts are actually driving sales and which are purely analytic buzzwords. With B2B; long sales cycles, multiple touchpoints, and complex attribution, directly equating marketing efforts with revenue may seem out of reach for many companies. Many marketers don’t know which marketing activities have the most impact on revenue, and some companies don’t even track the metrics that provide that information.

For full-funnel metrics, tracking revenue attribution allows marketers to capture them and link them to the first interaction and beyond, whether it was a click on an advertisement or an organic search in Google. While digital marketing is often easier to follow, even traditional channels like mail or events can at least be measured by a unique tracking parameter. In digital, adding URL parameters to social or display advertising, you’ll also know which ads are generating sales requests, so this again informs your content, your copy, and the types of images you use to increase conversions. At the end of the day, B2B revenue attribution and tracking is critical to understanding the profitability of your business, its integration and that the entire organization understands its importance.

About Graham McConnell

Graham is the Director of Marketing here at Obility and has been with us since October 2014. He was awarded the prestigious Obility MVP 2017 award for his incredible contributions and positive attitude. Graham is also the office's unofficial movie/music guru with his endless knowledge and supply of entertainment. View all Graham McConnell’s posts >