Question – Do you attribute an opportunity to the original source campaign that hooked the inquiry, or to the nurturing campaign that finally got it ‘sales ready’. Can / do you apply weighting, or ‘influenced by’ metrics, or is there a clear-cut, best practice approach.”
As we start implementing the processes and technology to really track ROI and in-process metrics on nurturing and lead management overall, we continue to discuss the best approach to calculate these numbers. The most difficult of these metrics seems to really be ROI based for a specific campaign or maybe that’s the question – is ROI really attributed back to a specific campaign –should it be? Those with lead management systems in place will understand the controversy. Even though a lead was initially tracked back to a specific campaign, the question remains is it that campaign that “turned” the prospect into a buyer. Or was it the 5 other campaigns (nurturing, adwords, etc.) that prompted them to buy? Or was it a combination of both?
The answer to these questions really depends on how sophisticated you want to get with your ROI calculation. Certainly many will continue to attribute the revenue generated from this lead based on the initial campaign that the lead was sourced from. However, others are using a weighting of all campaigns based on the interaction of each campaign. So for instance, if the prospect interacted with a company over 3 campaigns – one adword, one nurturing and one newsletter, some companies will evaluate the “strength” of interaction of the lead and attribute an ROI weighting to that campaign. So for instance let’s say that with the adword campaign the prospect filled in a form to receive the whitepaper offer. With the nurturing campaign they downloaded 3 of the 4 whitepapers/articles offered and with the newsletter they clicked on one link about new services offered. Some might suggest that all campaigns are attributed some percentage or weighting of ROI with the nurturing campaign getting the greatest share.
For most of our customers right now the answer about how to apply ROI really revolves around the need for accuracy and simplicity. It also revolves around categorization of campaigns…. Is it fair for a nurturing campaign to outweigh the adword campaign? Aren’t they used for 2 different purposes? Doesn’t the nurturing campaign support the adword campaign (adword brings new leads in and nurturing moves the leads into the buy cycle)? There’s continued debate on this subject matter with no sure fire best practice applicable across the board. We continue to work with our customers to track ROI and metrics based on their business and evolve that over time as they become more sophisticated in their marketing strategy.