Do you ever wonder which marketing strategies actually drive sales? As a B2B marketer, this question is always on your mind. One answer you may not have considered is revenue attribution. It helps you understand how potential customers navigate their way to conversion and how each touchpoint contributes to your bottom line.
But where do you start on your revenue attribution journey, and how do you go about it? I had the opportunity to sit down with Steffen Hedebrandt, CMO and co-founder of Dreamdata.io, a leading expert in revenue attribution for B2B marketing. Drawing from his personal experiences, Steffen shares his perspective on revenue attribution, its importance in complex B2B customer journeys, and what marketers can do to get it right.
We also discuss the need for marketers to be proactive during uncertain times and find strategies that have a lasting impact. So grab a cup of tea and read on. This interview is part of G2’s Professional Spotlight series. For more content like this, subscribe to G2 Tea, a monthly newsletter with SaaS-y news and entertainment.
But before we dive into the interview, let’s warm up with some quick questions for Steffen:
– What’s your favorite beverage? Steffen enjoys sparkling water, but occasionally indulges in a Coke Zero or draught beer.
– When do you enjoy it? He drinks it during lunch and dinner on a daily basis.
– What was your first job? Steffen’s first job was delivering newspapers.
– What’s your favorite software in your current tech stack? He relies heavily on Dreamdata and Google apps.
– What problems at work make you want to throw your laptop out the window? Two things come to mind for Steffen. Firstly, when customers decide to churn, it annoys him a lot. Secondly, the frustration of working on category positioning where there are no clear answers, making it difficult to know if the right choices are being made.
Now, let’s dive into the interview with Steffen Hedebrandt:
Soundarya Jayaraman: Let’s start by talking about your journey in the B2B marketing space. How did you end up where you are today?
Steffen Hedebrandt: In my first job after university, I was involved in building a vintage music instrument platform. Our goal was to convince physical shops to list their instruments on our website. This experience taught me an important lesson: “Activities need to have a revenue outcome. Otherwise, you run out of money.” This became my focus moving forward. If you want your marketing efforts to be appreciated, you need to have a narrative explaining why you’re doing things and how it benefits the company. Ultimately, the expression of that value is more revenue.
SJ: Is there a difference between revenue attribution and marketing attribution?
SH: Absolutely. At Dreamdata.io, we deliberately talk about revenue attribution instead of marketing attribution. Marketing attribution typically focuses on the direct outcome of an ad click. In B2B, however, the customer journey is much longer and involves various touchpoints beyond just marketing. We aim to understand every interaction that contributes to the buying process, not just the impact of marketing activities.
SJ: The B2B buyer’s journey can be quite complex, with buyers spending a lot of time researching and evaluating. Can you tell us more about this journey and what marketers should keep in mind?
SH: Based on our data, the average B2B customer journey from the first touch to a purchase is 192 days and involves 31 touchpoints. However, this is likely an underestimation as there are interactions that may not be digitally tracked. This complexity highlights the need for marketers to plan strategically. If sales targets need to be met in Q4, for example, marketing efforts should be planned well in advance. It’s important for marketing and sales teams to work together and lay the groundwork for success.
SJ: How does revenue attribution help marketers in this process of planning and strategizing?
SH: Revenue attribution is crucial because many businesses don’t fully understand how they make money. They may know that a salesperson gets a contract signed, but that’s just the final step in a long journey. By reverse-engineering the customer journey and understanding the touchpoints that lead to a conversion, marketers can make informed decisions about their strategies. This knowledge allows them to replicate successful approaches and identify areas where they may be wasting resources.
SJ: What is something that marketers should know about revenue attribution but often overlook?
SH: Many marketers are not aware of revenue attribution as a concept. This lack of awareness poses a challenge in our industry. Additionally, revenue attribution is more mature and valuable than many marketers realize. It provides insights into the effectiveness of marketing efforts and allows marketers to defend their value to the company. Without this understanding, marketers are more vulnerable to budget cuts and challenges in proving their worth.
In conclusion, revenue attribution is a powerful tool for B2B marketers to understand the impact of their efforts and make informed decisions. By mapping out the customer journey and identifying key touchpoints, marketers can optimize their strategies and drive precious sales. It’s crucial for marketers to proactively invest in revenue attribution and embrace its potential for long-term success.