In the ever-evolving world of B2B marketing, understanding the impact of your marketing efforts on revenue and pipeline is crucial. Enter marketing attribution, serving as a compass to guide budget optimization and strategy refinement.

The latest episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show dove deep into the topic of attribution,, benefiting from the expertise of Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights.

The Essence of Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution is often misunderstood. It's not just about tracking funnel metrics, such as MQL, SAL, and SQL; it's about discerning the direct impact of marketing activities on the bottom line.

"When I talk about marketing attribution, for me, I'm speaking very specifically of impact on pipeline and revenue," Bonnie explains.

Attribution vs. Funnel Metrics

Although funnel metrics are sometimes conflated with attribution, Bonnie distinguishes the unique purposes of each.

Attribution is the key to budget prioritization, helping marketers identify what truly influences sales and revenue. Funnel metrics, on the other hand, are invaluable for optimizing the marketing process itself.

Implementing and Measuring Marketing Attribution

MarketingProfs articles on the topic extend the conversation with know-how on implementing marketing attribution and measuring its impact through various models.

The two articles highlighted below, in the Episode Details heading, provide actionable steps and weigh the pros and cons of various approaches.

Check out the video for more insights on marketing attribution from Bonnie Crater:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 55

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:

Transcript: A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution: Bonnie Crater

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE NUMBER 55 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution.

So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this here show, the Marketing Smarts Live show, as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Bonnie Crater.

Bonnie Crater is a co-founder, president, and CEO of Full Circle Insights, which delivers sales and marketing performance management solutions to optimize a company's marketing mix and drive more revenue.

Before Full Circle Insights, Bonnie held vice-president and senior vice-president roles at Genesys, Netscape, Network Computer, Salesforce, Stratify, Realization, and VoiceObjects (now Voxeo).

She holds a BA in Biology from Princeton University.

Now, remember the clips of Bonnie Crater today are pulled from the full Marketing Smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with Bonnie Crater and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast; link to the entire show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Bonnie Crater about A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution.

In this first clip of Bonnie, I wanted to level set for all the Marketing Smarts live viewers and ask the question of "what is marketing attribution really" and "what we should B2B Marketers be paying attention to."

Here's what Bonnie had to share!

Bonnie: For me, marketing attribution is purely the impact of all of the marketing campaigns that you're running on pipeline and revenue. The reason that you do marketing attribution is to really understand how to prioritize your budget, what programs are most important, what programs are least important, and where to place your budget bets.

The first thing is that there are a lot of metrics that you can use in marketing. Most marketers are following top-of-the-funnel metrics like clicks, responses, or leads. In the world of marketing attribution, you really want to tie that to what the sales team is doing. You're trying to understand, are you teeing up good stuff, are you teeing good leads for the sales team, are they able to create pipeline, are they able to close those leads, and how well do they do that.

Attribution is different than a lot of the marketing metrics that folks typically use in marketing because it really ties the team together. On the P&L, it says Sales and Marketing. Sales is not on one line and Marketing on another. It says Sales and Marketing, and there's a reason, because Marketing and Sales are really supposed to work together.

Can you easily see the campaigns you are running?

How about how those campaigns impact the pipeline?

Are you stuck in the top of the funnel, or are you in sync with your sale steam?

Synced or not synced with sales?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and, of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We'll get back to Bonnie Crater and her thoughts on A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution, But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to - That's

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections …

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is ...

Multi-Touch Attribution: Pick the Right Model to Boost ROI by Jeremy Sacramento

With the average buying journey growing more complex, businesses turn to multi-touch attribution to make sense of it all.

Go-to-market leaders need details on critical aspects such as ads clicked, blogs read, and reviews compared when looking to optimize different activities. Multi-touch attribution plays a big role here.

Marketing attribution software helps companies determine how customer actions or touchpoints contribute to their success.

It tracks recordable customer touchpoints for customer journey analytics to help marketers make the best possible decisions.

A conversion event can be a customer signing up for a free trial, booking a demo request, or making the actual purchase – or all, as some multi-touch attribution tools allow attribution by pipeline stage.

Ready to read this article and keep learning more? Check out the link below when the live show is over.

So, let's get back to Bonnie Crater and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

In this clip, I ask Bonnie how we should set up our marketing attribution! What "model" should we use?

She shares her thoughts and a tip or two along the way.

Bonnie: I think here is where you get into the whole idea of the models. Once you say the word models, often their eyes glaze over. This is not really that hard, either.

There are two ways of setting up your marketing attribution. One is with single-touch attribution. One is with multitouch attribution. The idea in either one is that you are trying to take the response to your campaign and tie it to the sale that actually happens or the pipeline that actually happens. I'll just give a quick example, if that's okay.

Say you have closed a $10,000 deal and you have five marketing touches that were part of that deal. You want to give every touch, no matter if it's a webinar, a download, or whatever it is, you want to give those touches the same type of credit. We might call that an even spread. You would take your $10,000 and divide it by those five touches, so each of those touches would get a $2,000 credit. You can put a dollar sign in front of it or you can think of it as a point system. It could be 10,000 points and you're dividing it by five, so each gets 2,000 points.

You're just trying to give credit in a logical way to every touch.

How do you choose one of these models. You want to choose a model that really emphasizes what your marketing strategy is. If your Marketing strategy is all about, I need to generate a whole bunch of stuff at the top of the funnel, then a first-touch model actually is great because it tells you which campaigns are driving those initial touches.

Say you want to really understand your entire customer journey or the impact of your entire marketing mix. Then you might want a multitouch model that gives credit to all of the touches that happen prior to the deal creation. But you can also do it after the deal is created as well.

There are a lot of different options here. That's the part that gets a little bit confusing. This is the rule: If your marketing strategy is to focus 97% on generating leads and doing top-of-the-funnel activity, you really want to understand your marketing attribution model should really focus on those early touches or that first touch. That's a very useful model. But if you're trying to understand the total impact, then you want to use some sort of multitouch.

There are a lot of different ways to organize this. It's probably a little bit too detailed to get into on this particular podcast, but there are cheat sheets around the internet that you can go find. Go find a cheat sheet, read it, and you'll get the gist of what those particular things are.

The key is, don't forget it's about your marketing strategy. You want to pick models that represent your marketing strategy. It's also important to run multiple models at the same time because you may learn something from comparing the results of one model versus what's happening with another model.

Does this sound like what you are doing in your organization?

Should you be in the future if not?

More importantly, what are you learning from the model or models you are using to gain insights?

We will get back to Bonnie Crater in a few minutes, but first, it's time for some ...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: Four Steps for Successfully Implementing Marketing Attribution by Opher Kahane

Marketers today are facing an increasingly diverse set of challenges.

On the one hand, they are pushing out messages at a breakneck pace through a continually increasing number of digital channels.

At the same time, they have never had more pressure to be accountable in pursuit of ROI.

To try to make sense of what's happening, many organizations are looking at attribution solutions as the silver bullet for understanding how channels contribute to sales.

Though attribution can be useful in analyzing marketing activities, implementing attribution solutions is not easy.

Too often, it isn't until a significant investment has been made that most organizations realize attribution solution doesn't provide the answers they need.

There is hope, however.

Article two this week is: Attribution 101: Three Ways to Measure Marketing Attribution and the Pros and Cons of Each by Marketo

Marketing measurement is having a moment.

Let me clarify: Accountability has always been important for marketers, but lately, there's been renewed interest—and investment—in piecing together the attribution puzzle.

Beyond engagement metrics or pipeline reporting, the next-generation CMO is building an organization that runs on comprehensive, granular, and nuanced performance metrics.

In fact, 91% percent of CMOs reported they are "taking action to better measure marketing ROI in the future," according to a recent Forbes study.

The study also found that organizations that strive for "higher levels of marketing accountability" also achieve notably improved growth performance. And in the modern organization, growth is the marketer's mandate.

That leads to an important question: What's the best method for measuring revenue growth and ROI for your business?

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both fantastic MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to Bonnie Crater... Let's dive back into this conversation of A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution

In this clip, I ask Bonnie what tips or tricks B2B Marketers can look towards about this attribution conversation.

Let's see what she had to share.

Bonnie: Absolutely. I would say the first thing is really pay attention to the data. When I say the data, if you see some things that are unusual, it might mean some of your systems are feeding incorrect information and you're not getting the right answers. Paying attention to your data is really important and really understanding how your systems are all working together.

If you're lucky enough, you'll have somebody who is assigned this job in your organization. If you're lucky enough, you'll have somebody that is every day waking up just making sure that all of the data looks like it's flowing correctly, and that person will understand and know the systems. If you're not so lucky, do the best that you can. That would be my first tip is really pay attention to your data.

The second tip I'd say is it's really important to look at the results. What is the point of measuring if you don't actually get together with a group, show the results in a dashboard or a report, or some other presentation, and really discuss what's going on, what you think is working, what you think is not working? Take action items.

The meetings should be regular. Most companies that I know that are really doing this well, there's a weekly meeting that you look at this data, you take action items, and you figure out what's going on. Those are great opportunities to discover even that the way you're collecting the data isn't quite right and you can make adjustments.

Are these tips helpful?

Do you have weekly meetings?

How does your organization take action that impacts the revenue or ROI of your marketing and sales efforts?

We're going to get some words of wisdom from Bonnie Crater here in a few minutes but right now, it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for ...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's ...


We're still reeling from the excitement of the B2B Forum at the beginning of this month. From being in the same room (IRL and virtual) as hundreds of marketers, joining in community to meet, learn, and grow together.

We're working on some exciting things to share from this year, plus the team is already hard at work on creating the magic for next year.

We'll be back at the beautiful Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, November 12–14, 2024.

Save the date and if you're planning to join us, get your ticket while prices are low

#mpb2b #b2b #b2bmarketing #boston #savethedate #nomarketerleftbehind

You need to check out the description and click that link to check out the post and read or learn more and of course save the date!

I hope to see you there.

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember, community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro-tip: it won't hurt if you tag me in your post as well; I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Bonnie Crater and before we get to some words of wisdom around this topic of A B2B Marketer's Guide to Marketing Attribution, I wanted to ask her what marketing attribution success looked like.

Let's Take a look.

Bonnie: I think there's a cadence that you can recognize if you're doing it right. One is at the very beginning, maybe it's at the beginning of your fiscal year or maybe it's the beginning of the quarter, you and the sales team really understand what the sales goals are and what your objective is. Then you need to make sure you have some sort of system in place to actually do all of this. Get a system that is actually measuring attribution and funnel metrics because, as I said, I think that's half the battle.

Then the third thing is these regular meetings to discuss the data, discuss the results, really understand what's working and what's not working, and make recommendations for changes that might be made. You might not make any changes, you might say everything is working great for the moment, but oftentimes you're going to want to make some changes. [Fourth,] identify areas where you can either add investment, because there might be some things that are really working well, so you want to double down on that, or places where you might want to take away investment, or you might want to change the program and try something different and measure the results from that change.

Once you get those four things right, you'll see there is a cadence that really works well and gives you a lot of power to control what your priorities are.

OK, now, let's get into those words of wisdom…

Here is what Bonnie Crater wanted to leave us with ...

Bonnie: I would say right now a lot of B2B marketers have tight budgets. In the world of a tight budget, marketing measurement has never been more important. Actually making investments and spending time and effort on marketing measurement right now, or in any time when budgets are tight, is really important because this is the time where you really want to optimize the marketing spend.

Do you have a tight budget?

Have you been doubling down on your marketing measurements?

Bonnie says it's crucial if we want to optimize our marketing spend!

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas