Multi-Touch Attribution for B2B Marketing: The Sophos Model


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If you’re a B2B marketer, you’ve likely dealt with multi-touch attribution at some point. With a long, complex sales cycle, it can be difficult to accurately track and assign value to the various marketing assets—or touches—that help move prospects down the funnel.

Due to insufficient data, processes, and/or technology, many B2B organizations opt for last-touch attribution. With this method, the entire transaction value is attributed to the last marketing asset consumed before conversion. If a prospect stopped by the trade show booth, downloaded a white paper and two case studies, and then attended a webinar right before signing, the webinar gets all of the credit, even though the other assets effectively contributed to the sale.

sophos logo Multi Touch Attribution for B2B Marketing: The Sophos ModelThis is a challenge that Sophos, a global provider of security and data protection solutions, has worked to address with the help of Neolane, their marketing automation platform. With subscription-based solutions, Sophos customers and prospects are in a near-perpetual buying cycle—whether reevaluating existing products or purchasing new ones. Therefore, it’s crucial for the marketing team to understand the effectiveness of its various programs/assets.

Hits and Assists: The Sophos Multi-Touch Attribution Model

In order to deliver this critical insight, Sophos developed a multi-touch attribution model based on two key metrics:

  1. “Hit” – Hits fit the standard definition of last touch and are trigged by the sales team creating an opportunity. Because there can only be one last touch, there is a one-to-one relationship between an opportunity and a hit.
  2. “Assists” – Assists constitute all of the touches prior to the last touch. Therefore, there’s a one-to-many relationship between an opportunity and assists. While assists aren’t assigned a specific dollar value, they help quantify the success of individual marketing assets.

A good example of where this model is particularly helpful is trade shows, which tend to attract prospects earlier in the buying cycle and thus might not generate revenue via last touch. If Sophos can see that a particular trade show generated dozens of “assists,” marketing can conclude it’s a valuable asset to keep in the mix. Using last-touch attribution only, this information wouldn’t be available.

At the end of the day, Sophos’ multi-touch attribution model helps the organization to identify the high-value activities that drive prospects into the buying cycle and generate revenue. As such, they know with greater confidence where to focus their marketing dollars for optimal results.

Interested in learning more about Sophos’ marketing automation efforts? Read the Sophos case study we published today, no registration required.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ed Hadley
Ed Hadley is a B2B marketer with a decade of high tech experience. He is currently Senior Marketing Manager at Neolane, where he spearheads the conversational marketing technology provider's content creation efforts. Previously, Ed held marketing positions with Netage Solutions and PAN Communications.


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