Stay in the CEO’s good graces by developing a revenue attribution model that’s easy to tie to revenue impact.

As marketing leader, you step into the CEO’s office with a preview of your presentation for the upcoming strategic planning meeting. You picture the conversation going one of two ways: The CEO congratulates you on speaking his language. Or he stops you halfway through and asks for a major rewrite. One scenario leaves you excited and confident; the other makes you question your job security. Download our SBI Magazine Special Issue: Revenue Attribution.

 

Change the Conversation 

 

Revenue attribution begins with the end in mind. Value creation in financial terms balances revenue and cost. Revenue attribution bridges the two, changing the conversation with marketing from “How much does this cost?” to “How much more investment will yield X revenue?” 

 

The keys to believable revenue attribution lie in language that your audience relates to and a model that is simple enough for them to understand. Any marketing director can put together a model that marketing pros would admire, but that no one outside marketing wants to read. And any marketing analyst can put together a model with scores of variables, metrics, scenarios, and customer data that is interesting, but doesn’t provide a commercial insight for the business.  

 

Make Your Case  

 

As the saying goes, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.” Here are some tips for building trust with your CEO: 

 

  1. Take the model to its natural conclusion. Don’t stop at cost per channel or cost per campaign. Show example buyer journeys from recently won deals. This will reveal the role of content and early-stage touch-points that move deals through the pipeline. 

     

  2. Be transparent, but not overwhelming. Keep detailed assumptions and alternate scenarios in your back pocket unless asked. 

     

  3. Drop the academics. Create a revenue attribution model that tracks each dollar of revenue back to the marketing and sales activities that sourced, converted, nurtured, and propelled opportunities. Present an overall view, and deal-level examples. 

     

  4. Consider upstream and downstream ramifications. Account for cross-functional impacts and obtain buy-in. Will inside sales need to ramp up for handling increased leads? 

     

  5. Get it right. Take the time you need to review and revise your model. 

     

If successful, marketing’s revenue attribution model will be showcased. That puts your reputation on the line, and your CEO’s reputation, too. 

 

Would you like a hand with revenue attribution to make marketing more scientific? Plan a workshop with the SBI team of marketing experts in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion-dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the art, executive briefing center. The immersive sessions accelerate your adoption of revenue attribution and put you on the right path with a solution and implementation plan. 

 

The Studio Executive Briefing Center

 

 

May 2017 SBI Magazine Special Issue: Revenue Attribution

How top-flight CMOs prove that each new marketing dollar they invest drives organic revenue growth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Spence

Works with clients to uncover evidence and determine actionable insights for consistent growth.

Mike is the sleuth of sales. He brings his analytical investigative approach to a diagnose root causes impacting a company’s ability to grow. His experience spans high tech start-ups through billion-dollar financial services companies. He spent four years in Accenture’s Health Care Strategy and Operations practice, making certain health insurance companies had products, market position and internal processes to thrive in the new paradigm after the Affordable Care Act. He marries academic rigor with real world applicability to ensure adoption.

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