How to Prove Marketing ROI with HubSpot Attribution Reports
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How to Prove Marketing ROI with HubSpot Attribution Reports

Nowadays, marketers have more and more channels to engage with customers than ever before.


The average screen time among UK adults is now five hours per day (not including work-related screen time), which is a whole lot of time to try and capture someone’s attention.

You’ve got countless advertising opportunities, social media channels, emails and content, all fighting to be part of that screen time.

Now with more and more channels, this can create issues for marketers: a non-linear customer journey.

In an ideal world, we’d love a linear customer journey: a prospect finds you through Google, clicks through to your website, completes a form, speaks to sales and becomes a customer.

But we all know we don't live in an ideal world and it's never that simple with all the channels available to consumers these days. 21% of marketers said providing ROI is their biggest challenge (HubSpot) - the second highest segment after generating traffic.

So it poses a question to marketing departments…

How do you know which channels are generating leads and converting customers most successfully and why?

Marketers need to be experts in understanding which channels are generating leads and converting customers.

Why? Without this kind of data and awareness, you can’t accurately predict the impact of increased or decreased spend on these channels in order to execute a solid marketing strategy that generates results.

And with multiple engagement points and the buyer’s journeys becoming increasingly complex, it becomes much harder for marketers to have this visibility.

For most marketers, getting visibility into this type of information can be tough. They have to wade through cobbled data from different sources, spend hours crunching numbers in spreadsheets or wait for a marketing ops resource to help them.

Common questions marketers ask us as an agency:

  • What type of content generates the most leads?
  • Which channel should I invest more time and money into?
  • Which pages are viewed the most before someone becomes a customer?

So what’s the solution? Marketing attribution. 


What is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is a reporting strategy that allows sales and marketing teams to see the impact that marketers had on a specific goal. For example, to see how a blog post or social media campaign impacted sales opportunities.

“Attribution surfaces which interactions a person or group of people took along their journey toward a desired outcome or ‘conversion’ point.” - clever people at HubSpot



What is an attribution report?

A marketing attribution report identifies which channels and content are helping you reach your marketing goals by combining all the relevant interactions from your buyers' journey.
Assigning value to all of a contact's interactions up to a key moment in their journey is known as multi-touch attribution.

These kinds of reports are really valuable, as they allow you to pinpoint the exact touchpoints that led to a conversion. With this kind of data, you’ll be able to make more effective and impactful decisions for your future campaigns and where best to invest time.

So for example, marketers can identify exactly which blog post or paid ad campaign had an impact on sales, whilst sales can see the types of engagements that drive more revenue across things like sequences, calls or outreach etc.

You can use attribution reports to then make data-driven decisions, assigning real financial ROI to specific efforts.


Types of attribution reports in HubSpot 

HubSpot has three types of multi-touch attribution reports ready to use:

Contact create attribution measures the journey of contacts in your CRM up to the moment they were created.

Revenue attribution reports measure the journey up to the moment they became customers.

Deal creation attribution looks at the contact's last interaction before a deal was associated with them.

Which attribution report is right for my team?

Consider what you’re trying to measure against and the goal you’re aiming for. Are you trying to understand how many leads have been generated from sales or marketing, or how much revenue generated?


Types of Attribution Models

Something you’ll likely be aware of is that not all page views or marketing channels are treated equally in terms of their ability to convert.

So this is where different types of attribution models come into play, which allows you to put different values towards each interaction depending on the model you use.

For example, some models apply a credit to the first or last interaction in someone’s journey, whilst others use mathematical rules.


Which attribution model should you use?

The attribution model you choose to use should be based on the goals of your team and what kind of analysis you need to provide. But you can use more than one, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.


Attribution Models in HubSpot

First Touch Model

First Touch Model gives all the credit to the first interaction by the contact. Simple, effective and will support you understand which channels are having the biggest impact to drive contacts, deals or revenue dependent on which attribution strategy you look to use.

Last Touch Model

The Last Touch Model is the opposite of the First Touch Model: so this is the last interaction taken by the prospect before becoming a contact.

Linear Model

The Linear Model looks at all of the interactions a prospect takes before becoming a contact.

U-Shaped Model

The U-Shaped Model gives 40% of the credit to the first interaction and 40% to the last interaction. Then it gives the remaining 20% evenly across all the interactions between the first and the last.

Time Decay Model

The Time Decay Model gives more credit to the most recent interactions. The credit for interactions decays the longer it takes for a deal created.


When to use attribution models

Marketers look to attribution reports to help them decide which pages and/or marketing channels drive the most conversions.

With a better understanding of which content generates more leads, marketers can make more informed decisions about their marketing.

So once you know the type of content that’s working, you can then understand which channels are most important. This will mean that you can create more of the right kind of content and distribute it on the right channels.

Analyse your website's traffic by running an attribution report based on the pages that have been viewed to determine which pages are most frequently visited. This information will help you understand pages you should promote further, as well as pages that need more optimisation.


Gaining powerful insights with HubSpot reporting

The reporting suite in HubSpot is comprehensive and we’ve just covered one area here. 
If you want to learn more about all of the different aspects of gaining more insights on your data, our in-house HubSpot experts have put together an in-depth guide all around HubSpot reporting, covering:

  • Understanding your data
  • Data management models
  • Insights from data
  • How to build great dashboards and custom reports

All of this will help you on your way to giving you the evidence you need to showcase all of the results you’re getting, as well as ensuring you can make data-driven decisions that generate real results. 

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