Marketing Attribution Tracking in Marketo – Aren’t You Forgetting Something?

For the last few years, B2B marketers are spending more and more resources on powerful, advanced and sophisticated MarTech solutions and simultaneously, more time and effort measuring their ROI. So this begs the question: are we properly capturing all the Touchpoints our prospects are experiencing during their journey, and do we understand how to use that information properly to analyze each channel? The strategic decision about first, last or multi-touch attribution is important, but isn’t there something else we might be forgetting…

Marketing attribution interest over the last 5 years (Google Trends)

Tracking Cross-Channel Interactions

The main method we all trust in capturing online interactions is the usage of UTM parameters (params) we always make sure we are appending to links in emails we send, ads, PR’s and any other channel we use to drive users to our website. These UTM params that we pass along with the link URL, help us later to analyze the performance of each channel and give it the right weight in the overall ROI calculation. I like to define a website session that starts with UTM params, or external referrals, as a marketing Touchpoint (by the way, check out this free UTM Builder for Marketo chrome extension I built to help with this tagging mission).

I’ll start with an interesting case: I recently helped one of my customers implement UTM capturing functionality on all their Marketo web forms. There are hundreds of discussions on the Marketo Marketing Nation Community about this UTM topic, and it feels like marketers already understand the challenge and invest effort in solving it. Another contribution of mine here was developing this open source JavaScript that automatically captures and stores all the UTM params, both first-touch and last-touch, in the visitor’s cookies. Then you can use Marketo’s basic cookie capturing tool to populate the relevant hidden fields with the cookie information. Check out this great “How to Track UTM Parameters in Marketo” guide which explains how to implement it in your forms.

The Missing Parts

Here is one scenario: Say a user clicked on one of my Facebook ads, got to my website and filled out a form. A day after he came again to my website, via a LinkedIn ad this time, and the following week he was there again thanks to a paid search. In both sessions, the user didn’t fill out the form, therefore the touchpoint was never recorded. Who gets the attribution in this case? Only Facebook?! Why? What if the deal closed only a year later?

Marketing Attribution Touchpoints Throughout The Journey
Marketing attribution touchpoints throughout the journey

Transforming Raw Data into Marketing Touchpoint

The problem in this case is that we are only capturing the touchpoint data upon a form submission. In the B2C space, it might be enough since in most cases, the optimization and measurement is being done in Google Analytics anyway and what matters there are the big numbers and not the drill-down. In B2B it’s a different story; every touchpoint counts, especially when talking about sales processes that might take months – or even years. Capturing all touchpoints the prospect experiences throughout the user journey and being able to drill-down to the small details is essential for full-funnel optimization and not to mention, to simply to understand what works.

Marketo is automatically recording any interaction prospects are having with your online assets (i.e. if they visit a web page, fill out a form, click a link, etc). Meaning you seamlessly already have all the data in Marketo’s lead activity logs. However, the data is not organized by session and in order to dive into it, you will need to manually check each and every log or start querying it using their Activity API. In addition, according to Marketo’s data retention policy, you will only have access to this data for a few months before it disappears forever.

Marketo’s standard web activity log

The New Approach

That led me and the team at Overstack.io to develop a Marketing Attribution Touchpoints Capturing tool for Marketo. It seamlessly integrates with your Marketo account and creates a new, custom activity or object called Marketing Touchpoint. Whenever a user visits your website with UTM params or from external referrals, a Touchpoint record will be created in his/her activity log along with all its metadata – source, medium, campaign, term, content, referral, landing page, device, browser, operating system and gclid (AdWords’ ID).

The tool synchronizes all activity every 24 hours to keep a low volume of API requests. There is also a backfill option and ability to access touchpoints from the last few months which are recorded retroactively. The best part: you don’t need to make any changes to your forms, and there’s no special configuration or hidden fields. The tool captures the params from Marketo’s standard pageview activity and copies them into the custom Marketing Touchpoint record.

Marketing Touchpoint activities (appended by our tool) in the activity log

You can use these Touchpoints to gain a clear view of all the channels the prospect experienced during their journey when filtering Marketo’s activity log to show only certain types of activities. In addition, you can use our Data Extraction Tool to obtain a CSV file of all the Touchpoints recorded in any specific instance (including any other activity type you deem important), and import or integrate it with your BI tools. From my experience, connecting this data with Tableau or Sisense is very powerful and will enable you to gain great visibility regarding your success on each channel.

For a quick demo of the tool, feel free to email us at info@overstack.io or visit our website overstack.io.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *