5 Use Cases for HubSpot's Multi-Touch Revenue Attribution Reporting

It's a thing most marketing managers wish for: a simple way to prove the amount of  revenue generated from their marketing activities, right?

It sounds dramatic, but consider the long, often winding journey from MQL to a ‘closed-won’ deal. It's a road full of nurturing activities that deserve to get credit.

More importantly, you want to know what those activities were so you can repeat them or scale them up!

Suddenly, you start to understand the value of HubSpot’s latest in the way of reporting and forecasting tools: multi-touch revenue attribution reports.

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What is multi-touch revenue attribution reporting?

For every deal your business has won, there have been multiple touchpoints leading up to that purchase, including both marketing and sales interactions. Prior to multi-touch revenue reporting, you could report on which contacts had been generated from which sources and map that against associated deals that had been won. Unfortunately, you couldn’t definitively track the associated revenue to specific marketing activities.

With multi-touch revenue reporting, HubSpot assigns a proportion of revenue to each activity leading up to a ‘closed-won’ deal. For example, the most relevant for marketing might be:

  • Content types, including marketing emails, landing pages, website pages blog posts, integrations
  • Channels, including social media, organic search, paid search and referrals 
  • Interaction types, including CTA clicks, marketing email clicks, and page views

Not only can you report on each of the activities above, you can do so in multiple dimensions. For example, you could report on how much revenue was attributed to page views, and what proportion of revenue from those pages views came from each source.

If you’re wondering how HubSpot attributes revenue to different activities, here's how:

When you set up your revenue attribution report in HubSpot, you can select from six different attribution models, all of which attribute revenue to activities in various ways. 

  • Linear
  • First interaction
  • Last interaction
  • Full path
  • U-shaped
  • W-shaped

You can find out more about each of these models here.

Having these options are great as it means you can report on multiple different scenarios, such as which activity earned the most from attracting visitors, or which pushed people over the line to buy.

Hi guys, Hollie here from BabelQuest. We’ve just published a blog on HubSpot’s Multi-Touch Revenue Attribution reporting tool, and in it we give a number of different use cases for not only how you can use it to see what proportion of revenue can be attributed to your marketing activities, but also how you might use it to set a base budget for marketing activities, find out what content you produced for sales which finally pushed a deal over the line, find out how you can use it to target the right sized deals and things like that. So give it a look, I hope you like it, and if you’ve got any feedback let me know. Thanks!

How can you use multi-touch revenue reporting?

Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking:

1. A member of the sales team generated a contact through networking a couple of years back. Unfortunately it went cold, but fast forward and now they’re back in touch off the back of an email marketing campaign. Marketing doesn’t get credit because it was originally a sales lead.

With multi-touch revenue reporting, marketing has a way of demonstrating how their activities contributed to business revenue, even if they didn’t generate the lead initially or close the deal. In a nutshell, you don’t have to be the person to initially generate a lead or close a deal to get credit for the revenue that your activity contributed to.

The ‘Linear’ attribution model would work best in this case, but you could use any models apart from ‘First Touch’ or ‘Last Touch’.

2. You’ve been asked to create some content to help sales get deals over the line, but you have no definitive answer on what has been successful in the past.

You can take a well-educated guess on the types of content that are right for pushing a deal into ‘closed-won’, but by using the ‘last touch’ model with multi-touch reporting, you have real evidence of what actually motivated a client to purchase. This can help guide your sales enablement strategy, and often helps bring marketing and sales together as the sales team can appreciate how contributions from marketing helped them to close a deal.

The ‘Last Touch’ attribution model would best work in this case.

3. Your typical deal ranges from £10k to £100k, but ideally you want to attract more deals at the latter end of the scale.

A  great feature of multi-touch reporting is that you can report attribution activity against specific deals. For example, I can see that for our top five biggest deals, email marketing wins the majority of attribution. This tells me that email nurturing is especially important when targeting large accounts. Multi-touch reporting has not only helped shaped my content strategy in general, but tells me what kind of activities need to be included for each target segment.

Any of the models could work, though those that attribute more revenue to the initial stages would work best.

4. You’re creating a marketing budget, and you want something concrete to base the numbers on.

Usually, you’ll create a marketing budget in 3 different ways - you’ll be given a pot of money to divide between activities, you’ll base it on what you spent last year, or you’re estimating what you’ll need. In any of those scenarios, multi-touch reporting can help, giving you a baseline number to work back from. For example, if you know your social media channels attributed £100k in revenue, you could set an ROI goal you want to achieve (let’s say 50%), so your social media budget could be set at £50k.

The ‘Linear’ attribution model could work best in this case, but you could use any of the models.

5. You’re constantly having to battle different priorities, and the demands of different teams and business stakeholders. You need a concrete way to establish priorities and communicate those priorities to the business in a way everyone understands.

Say you’ve been asked to organise a webinar, which has turned out to be a real time sink. You know from past webinars that you don’t get many attendees, but colleagues think it’ll be a popular downloadable asset. If you had multi-touch reporting, you could prove that other activities are a better use of your time. At the end of the day, it’s easier to be objective (and quicker) to attribute cash to an activity than it is when trying to assess the quality of the people interacting with that content. Everyone understands the monetary value!

The ‘Full-Path’ attribution model would work in this case, but you could use any of the models.

It’s not all vanity metrics — it genuinely helps marketers to prove the value of their activity, and make decisions

If you've ever been responsible for reporting to the Board, you’ll be familiar with the question , “What was the ROI on that?”. With multi-touch revenue attribution reporting, you can simply bring up a dashboard and answer the question.

A further recommendation would be that when you start out with this type of reporting, you agree on a plan with how you'll use it, for example, the types of models you'll use and the metrics (source, content types, etc.) you'll report on each month.

It’s then easy for them to refer back to. This means what used to be a half an hour segment of the meeting, most of the time spent justifying your ROI numbers, becomes a 5-minute segment with time to spare to discuss more important things, like decisions you're making to consistently improve ROI, and how they can help to improve those attribution numbers in other areas of the business.


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