Rand Fishkin published an article on the SparkToro blog yesterday that had us nodding our heads like:

 leads and sales marketing attribution

In a nutshell: business owners and marketers are often far too interested in trying to tie specific marketing tactics directly back to leads and sales. (For more on Attribution Models, read this.) We mean questions like…

Is that YouTube channel working?
Is the weekly podcast we’re recording worth the time it takes?
Is that Instagram account producing any ROI?

These are all fair questions, BUT — BUT BUT BUT — if you attempt to attribute direct leads and sales to any tactics like the above, you’re almost destined to be disappointed at what you find.

Why is that?

Simple: because these tactics are not designed to drive leads and sales. They are designed for branding or sale-assisting purposes. They drive awareness and engagement. They nurture the leads you already have.

As Rand points out, marketing teams and execs often see things the wrong way when they focus too heavily on attribution and measurement.

So what do we do about it? Allow us to quote Rand:

  • “We accept that much of marketing is non-attributable, that investments in detailed measurement often cost more than they’re worth, and (perhaps most saliently) that the harder a tactic/channel is to measure, the less competitive and higher-ROI it usually is.”
  • “We need to intentionally dedicate real budget to serendipitous, hard-to-measure channels and tactics, and justifying them using geographic and/or time-series-based, implied attribution.”
  • “We have to get great at explaining this conundrum to the people determining where, how much, and whether we can make more creative investments.”

Want more? Read the entire article (5 minutes).

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