How to Attribute Marketing Efforts to New Business Opportunities

Addressable Advertising. That’s the buzz phrase of the year for TV advertisers trying to improve the measurement and targeting of advertising spend.

According to a recent report by AdAge, there’s $70 billion at stake for advertisers. That’s how important this initiative is for the industry trying to find more reliable ways to attribute the dollars spent on specific campaigns to specific sales.

Similarly, there’s a critical parallel to marketing and how businesses spend their marketing dollars to better target their audience. We call it attribution.

The objective for all businesses should be to measure the effectiveness of campaigns to increase the opportunity to generate new business. AdAge identified three important questions that set the framework for better attributing marketing spend to audience engagement:

  • What are the goals of your business?
  • What audience are you looking to target?
  • What results are you looking for?

Attribution Key #1: Identify the Most Important Goals

Before any campaigns begin, companies need to take time to review the goals for their business. There are many different goals that fall into many different categories:

  • One-year goals and 10-year goals
  • More contacts or more leads
  • Newer clients in Demographic X or Demographic Y
  • New sales of Product A or Product B

You could end up with several combinations of short-term and long-term goals that take on their own identity. Your team should strategize the most important goals that have the highest priority and greatest chance for success. This will set the framework for the campaigns that should be run.

* Watch this video from Marketing Refresh CEO Terri Hoffman for more perspective!

Attribution Key #2: Identify the Target Audience of the Campaigns

Fortunately, you already did most of the legwork on identifying your target audience when setting the goals.

Once you have your goals in place, you can zoom in closer on your audience to understand the best targeting approach.

Then, you should think about the content elements to support your campaigns that best target the audience you identified.

  • Email: monthly eNews or more frequent emails?
  • Blogs: what type of SEO-optimized content will engage your audience?
  • Social Media: how often and what should you post on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.?
  • Landing Pages: what product or service do you want to drive your audience to?
  • Forms: do you need to capture customer information or encourage contact?

Attribution Key #3: Set the Results You Are Looking For

Setting the goals and identifying your target audience helps prevent a “moving target approach.” You do not want to adjust target results as the campaign unfolds. This is simply not beneficial for measuring the results and attributing your marketing spend to actual business.

Instead, set the target results ahead of time, commit to the goalposts you establish, and then continue to drive toward the endzone. Why is this important?

  • You need a baseline to compare goals to actual results.
  • You can accurately view the leading and lagging indicators of campaign success.
  • You can turn up or turn down campaigns that are successful or not successful.
  • You can identify which content pieces are effectively engaging your audience.

The key to remember is that you can make adjustments to the campaigns, but you should not make adjustments to the results goal.

When an NFL team is down 14 points at halftime doesn’t mean they change their ultimate goal of winning the game. The team just needs to make a halftime adjustment of how they’re going to win the game.

Put it All Together to Attribute Marketing Spend to New Business

The framework of strategizing goals, identifying the audience to target, and setting the results allows you to more accurately measure your marketing spend to actual business results.

Now, even though the folks in TV advertising industry are pursuing the ideal method to match activity through addressable advertising, it’s not always a perfect science.

Sometimes, a new lead is generated after several campaigns over an extended period of time. Perhaps a prospect makes the decision to schedule a demo after seeing a LinkedIn post at the exact right time after receiving your eNews for the past six months.

What do you attribute the new activity to? Most of the time, it’s all of your collective marketing efforts, not just one piece of content or one campaign that seals the deal.

What helps is having that framework to better target and measure the results. Then, you can use the accurate picture of what’s working to adjust your campaigns, better use your marketing dollars, and generate new business.

Work with Marketing Refresh to Use Your Marketing Dollars Wisely

Our marketing agency works with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses to better use their marketing dollars. We follow several planning, targeting, and measuring steps to ensure our clients are effectively using their budget to generate new business.

Additionally, because we pay close attention to the leading and lagging indicators for each client, we continue to work with our clients to review their business goals, target the right audience, and produce the optimal content that supports each critical campaign. Then, we continually measure the results to attribute new business to marketing spend.

Consider talking to our agency about the goals of your business. We would appreciate the opportunity to help you get started on reaching the results you are looking for.

James Caldwell

written by...

James Caldwell

James Caldwell is a copywriter for Marketing Refresh. This native Houstonian loves to write, watch sports, and partake in delicious food.

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