How to Utilize Marketing Automation to See the Influence of a Campaign on a Lead

By Mathew Sweezey

Even when you use marketing automation tools, determining what makes a lead take a specific action is, honestly, a fool’s errand because it assumes that a lead exists in a vacuum and the only factor in the lead’s actions is the campaign.

However, there are a ton of people who have to show campaign influence to a boss to prove their efforts. The following shows you the best way to show the influence of your marketing efforts on your company’s bottom line.

How to create influence campaign reports with marketing automation

You have many ways and many different types of reports to use to gather campaign influence data. The main factor for determining how you generate this report is your tool set. Some marketing automation tools can report on this easily; some can’t. To know whether your tool has what it takes, ask the following questions of your vendor:

  • Is campaign influence built-in? If your vendor says yes, ask one of the follow-up questions in the following bullets to further confirm the capabilities. If your vendor says no, see whether your CRM can determine the campaign influence, or ask your vendor what it would take to make this capability work in your marketing automation system.

  • How do I configure it? If configuring the campaign influence capability is too complicated, evaluate your customer relationship management (CRM) as the option. A good tool should allow you to tag a prospect with every campaign and easily see the last campaign the prospect was engaged with before she converted. Even good tools that can track the last campaign can’t always report on this, so be aware.

  • Can I use my CRM? To use your CRM tool for this feature, make sure that your CRM can integrate with your marketing automation tool to pass on campaign information. Depending on your CRM, this process can be easy or complicated. Either way, you need your CRM admin to help set up this capability.

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How to limit factors of influence on campaign marketing automation reports

Many issues crop up with using influencing campaign reporting. If you are the department asking for this report, it is suggested you ask yourself what you really want to find. If you are trying to find a silver bullet, you are on a fool’s errand.

Statistical averages are great to see on a large scale, but determining whether a campaign had a direct influence is very hard to prove. If 100 percent of your leads all convert on the same campaign, some people suggest running the campaign to everyone.

However, that still does not suggest that it had any bearing on a single deal closing. Using influence to identify effective campaigns is not always the best way, and there are other ways to identify great campaigns, which you’ll be walked through. Here are three reasons against using influence reporting to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns are as follows:

  • People live in bubbles. This type of report lacks in accounting for outside influences. Such influences can never be accounted for. So you run the risk of attributing significance to a campaign that might not have been significant at all.

  • Singular channels get the credit. You can tie this report to only a single campaign, but you’re marketing across multiple channels at one time. What if a lead is affected by social media, email, and your website all in the same day? In such a case, the last interaction shouldn’t receive all the credit.

  • Attribution modeling doesn’t work. A conversion is not a singular action; instead, it’s a combination of many smaller interactions moving someone toward a final action. Attributing all the work to a single campaign neglects the effort of your supporting campaigns and may lead you to rely too heavily on your “silver bullet” campaign.