B2B Marketing Attribution: Beginners' Guide To Attribution For Revenue-driven Marketers

B2B Marketing Attribution: Beginners' Guide To Attribution For Revenue-driven Marketers

The many digital touchpoints involved in the customer journey are now complex. Marketers must do social media marketing, pay for advertisements, launch email promotions, post blog content, do webinars, and create eBooks. With all these methods available to reach customers, why do marketers find it challenging to succeed with each campaign? The answer is not that there is a lot of competition. It is simply because not all methods are suited to every business.

Social media marketing, for example, will not be effective if your target customers do not frequently use such channels. An intelligent marketer must identify which channels help convert prospects into customers. Because most industries are already online, it is the marketers’ responsibility to increase the ROI. Gone are those days when marketing success is measured by the number of clicks, downloads, and conversions. Now, companies need to know which campaign impacts the customers the most. They need such data to uncover more opportunities to earn. One of the most effective ways to do it is through marketing attribution.

This post is for those who want to learn about B2B marketing attribution but are unsure where to start.

What is B2B Marketing Attribution?

In a nutshell, B2B marketing attribution is a system by which a marketer can measure the benefits of each marketing campaign. By tracking the different touchpoints, attribution can point out which campaign generates the most value.

Simply put, B2B marketing attribution is a process to help determine the success of your marketing efforts. It should reveal how different touch points impact the total revenues. With marketing attribution, you will verify the value of your marketing campaigns. This will allow you to gain more support from stakeholders so that they will provide financial backing for your business.

B2B attribution lets you see if your marketing strategies work. You will have a basis to either continue or change the current campaigns. By telling you which works and which does not, you can focus on the most effective lead generation channels that will benefit your company the most.

More than giving you reliable data to measure the results of your campaign efforts, attribution does more, like allowing you to base critical business decisions on the overall marketing ROI.

Why is B2B Marketing Attribution Important?

As with any aspect of a business, knowledge is power. Especially in marketing. The more you know that your efforts are paying off, the better you are excited to plan for more tactics. Marketing attribution lets you analyze your objectives and take the proper steps to have a ripple effect on your campaign strategy. It ensures that all customer interactions are accounted for and considered when making decisions.  With many touchpoints to consider, you must review which can truly help your brand. You need to identify which strategies to optimize and not be overwhelmed by the complexities related to the customer journey.

B2B marketing retribution is like automating the evaluation process. You can choose a B2B attribution software to speed things up and have the most relevant and accurate metrics. Knowing these things will give you efficient updates about how each campaign is holding up. You can then make more intelligent decisions to optimize your marketing strategies.

The analytical tools that a marketing attribution has can help paint a complete picture of the marketing performance, like customer behaviors. Naturally, marketing attribution gives your team the luxury to optimize your marketing spend, strategize remarketing efforts sufficiently and design future campaigns relevant to the audience.

What are Marketing Attribution Models?

You may have noticed by now that marketing attribution is a complex process. But one thing is for sure; it does not need to be complicated to be effective. It actually depends on what your goals and needs are. The variety of marketing attribution models will help you identify which strategy suits your brand.

Check out what these attribution models are and know when to use them:

1. One-Touch Attribution Models

The entire conversion is attributed to a single channel in this model. It is easy to launch and can be great for some campaigns. The downside is that having a realistic picture of the customer’s journey can be challenging. Included in this type of attribution model are:

  • First-touch attribution

The credit goes to the first touchpoint, which leads the prospect to convert. It is effective at showing which marketing channel is effective at capturing the attention of prospects. An example is paying for a Facebook ad that makes a prospect subscribe to your newsletters. After a few days, the prospect receives a promotional email about what you sell and follows the link to buy or receive a free trial. No matter how many touchpoints the customer went through, all credit is attributed to the paid ad that started the prospect’s journey.

  • Last-touch attribution

Unlike the first-touch attribution, it is on the last touchpoint before conversion where credit is given. The main flaw of this model is that it disregards all the channels the prospect went through towards being a customer. It is, however, effective at determining which channels can give the prospects the final push to convert. 

2. Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Multi-touch attribution tools give every touchpoint in the customer journey credit. It is common these days because marketers are keen on understanding every stage of the buying journey. This model comes in several types, such as:

  • Linear attribution

Every touchpoint is given equal credit with this model. All stages are observed to see if they contribute to conversions and remain focused on those channels. It is like sticking to the same strategy from start to finish as long as it works. While this can be good, it limits the potential to gain more from a specific touchpoint. It also becomes a waste to wait until all touchpoints are achieved before deciding whether the strategy works.

  • Time-decay attribution

Like linear attribution, all touchpoints are credited in this model but put more weight on the most recent ones before conversion. This is usually used for longer sales cycles where the most influential touchpoint is the most recent.

  • Position-based attribution

Also referred to as the U-shaped attribution, this model attributes 40% of the credit to each of the first and last touchpoints, with the remaining 20% divided among the channels in between. It is more like the first-touch and last-touch models but also recognizes the importance of the middle stages in the customer’s journey.

  • Custom attribution

Probably the most sophisticated compared to other models, custom attribution is when you assign attribution according to data. Google Analytics, for example, is a tool that gives you a clear view of how your campaigns fare with every stage. You have to check the data to see changes in the behavior trends with every touchpoint. This will allow you to see which channel impacts conversions most.

3. Offline Attribution Model

Marketing attribution is not only for digital marketing channels. You may also attribute it to offline marketing channels, such as traditional advertising and other non-marketing-related variables. This is important for businesses that operate in the service industries or trade valuable items and have digital marketing campaigns designed to drive offline engagements.

How to Choose the Best Attribution Model for Your Business

The main thing to remember about marketing attribution models is that the one you choose should fit your goals. You have to study your market and look at the value of each stage in the customer journey. Identify the first and last touch points as they are the most critical stages to measure. See if you need to reinforce by adding more channels or if there is a need to remove the non-measuring ones. It is essential to check for each stage’s value to know which ones to measure.

A few factors that you have to consider when choosing a b2b marketing attribution tool include:

  • Length of the sales cycle

Determine the type of sales cycle and the timeline because some models are suited to longer sales cycles, like time-decay attribution.

  • Customer journey map

Identify the different touchpoints on the marketing funnel. See if they are condensed or equally distributed. This will allow you to identify the channels you can focus on for your marketing strategies.

  • Campaign objectives

The goal of your marketing campaign will ultimately lead you to identify what channels to add or remove from your strategy. This will also help you choose which model is best suited to have on the channels that you use.

If you can’t pick one model, it is wise to consider the custom attribution model. This ensures that you will measure according to your goals. You can decide what metrics to monitor based on the touchpoints that show a lot of potential to impact your marketing. You can also derive data about customer behaviors. Like whether they use multi add to cart functions or not. This will give an insight into what they need and want and will guide the next steps to implement your marketing plan.

It may require an investment for the attribution tools to use in a custom model. The good thing is that it will be all worth it if you can benefit from investing in marketing attribution.

Challenges of B2B Marketing Attribution

Marketing is challenging, especially if you do not have the means to see if your efforts are working or not. While b2b marketing attribution helps you out, there are also several challenges that marketers encounter, such as:

1. Lack of knowledge and skills about attribution

There are still a lot of marketers who are not knowledgeable about lead tracking and how to use it for campaigns. You need skills, knowledge, and the ability to coordinate sales and marketing data to make it work.

2. Limited access to attribution tools

Lead tracking is difficult if you do not have the right tools and applications. Technology provides plenty of tools, but many businesses still rely on manual labor while working on their databases. Aside from being slow and time-consuming, it is also prone to inaccuracies affecting your data-gathering efforts.

3. Too much data

Dealing with a lot of data can be a headache and complicate attribution. It is easy to veer away from your goals with many metrics to analyze.

4. Analytics Discrepancies

There might be times when you notice how data from marketing channels, like Facebook ads and Google Analytics, seem to mismatch. The problem is not the data itself but the manner by which these analytics track data. You might find it difficult which analytics to rely on.

5. Cross-channel engagement

The influx of digital communication channels makes lead tracking harder. Customers must go through up to 20 touchpoints before being encouraged to convert. Without tools like Google Analytics, you may miss out on valuable lead and marketing data that can boost your campaigns.

These challenges of marketing attribution do not only result in inefficiencies and data inaccuracies.  It also negatively impacts your company because it would delay you further in reaching your business goals. It is why aside from the best practices in b2b marketing attribution, you must have a tool or system that can ensure accurate information and a seamless attribution process for your campaigns.

Marketing Attribution Tools

Marketing attribution is a relatively new concept in marketing. It is still developing, and marketing experts are still trying to improve it with the help of new technologies. Now is the perfect time to explore marketing attribution because tools and various marketing attribution software are available. They help produce unified data that would help marketers re-assess their marketing strategies and make necessary adjustments to drive maximum ROI. Some of these tools are:

1. Account-based attribution tools

These are specific tools to track accounts at each customer journey stage. It allows marketers to see the number of engagements and how the accounts engage for each campaign.

2. Social media attribution tools

These tools are integrated into marketing automation software to collect enriched data from social media campaigns. That data it produces makes it easier to identify which campaigns are working and which need adjustments.

3. Multi-touch attribution tools

If you want to use attribution effectively, you need multi-touch attribution tools that let you track and analyze multiple touch points. They can also integrate with other tools, so everything is on one platform.

Marketing Attribution Best Practices

After the complex process of deciding which attribution model and tools to use, it is high time to put them into good use. Implementing attribution strategies can be as intricate, so it would be great to keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Consider an omnichannel approach

A multi-channel approach will enable you to observe the different impacts of all marketing channels you use. This gives you plenty of opportunities to evaluate your strategy according to the customer experience.

  • Diverse leads

Marketing attribution should address existing and new leads in the marketing funnel. It is a must never to leave out any lead, whether they fit the buyer persona you have or not, because they can also be critical in the conversion process.

  • Consider CRM

Measuring the Customer relationship management (CRM) campaign is essential because it can help you identify information from customer activities. Customer behaviors, for example, are crucial in understanding how the prospects move down the marketing funnel.

  • Automation

The only way to use marketing attribution the smart way is through a systematic process. Choose automation tools that produce accurate data, which is essential when integrating attribution tools. This will result in accurate and relevant information that will make your marketing attribution efforts efficient and effective.


As a B2B entrepreneur, it can be challenging to have an overview of your marketing performance. Unlike the B2C business model, customers instantly make a purchase decision on the spot, so you can immediately observe the entire sales funnel. With a B2B business, many decision-makers and touchpoints are involved before you can measure whether your marketing strategy is working. And this process can take days, weeks, months, or even years!

Implementing a solution to help you collect, filter, and analyze lead generation and conversion data is the smartest way to move forward or improve campaign performance. Without B2B marketing attribution, it won’t be easy to understand where customers come from and their behavior. The challenge also includes how you can efficiently monitor and analyze your marketing efforts.

With B2B marketing attribution, you will have relevant analytics that would provide insights about the shopping activities of your customers in relation to your campaigns. It will guide your team to measure performance, reach goals, and drive more efficiency to your campaigns. This enables you to grow your business in the long run.

JennAuthor’s Bio

Jenn Pereira is a full-time marketing consultant and growth hacker who works for huge startups like Removal.AI, and DesignStripe. Currently, the co-founder of - a full-stack SaaS marketing agency.

She creates custom strategies for various clients to provide organic traffic growth and to streamline their revenue pipeline through effective SEO and content marketing.

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