Blog Five Things Asset Management CMOs Should Know about Marketing Attribution

Posted May 31, 2017 by Tracy Needham

Marketing attribution isn’t about hits, clicks, and visitors. It’s about measuring and demonstrating meaningful impact on the firm’s goals and priorities. And the risks of not having a sophisticated marketing attribution process are growing. Without one, marketing struggles to:

  1. Determine which strategies and channels have the best ROI.
  2. Demonstrate its contribution to sales, retention and loyalty.
  3. Get the resources necessary to be an effective business partner.
  4. Play a key role in overall business strategy.

Our recently released report, Solving the Marketing Attribution Mystery, maps out a path to help asset move from beginning to advanced attribution, starting at whatever level they’re at now. But along the way, it reveals five points that every CMO in our industry should be aware of:

One in four asset managers use some type of attribution to measure marketing impact. Most use last-touch attribution, which gives all the credit to the last touchpoint before the sale or other conversion. As you can see in the following illustration, only a handful of firms say they are using a multi-touch and/or statistical attribution approach that evaluates touchpoints throughout the advisor decision journey. So there is a lot of opportunity for firms to leverage attribution for a competitive edge.

Distribution Solutions Five Things Asset Management CMOS Know illustration

Attribution isn’t about “taking credit away” from sales; it’s about helping sales more effectively. The more data marketing has about what works, the more it can more accurately refine lead scoring models and drive engagement throughout the advisor journey – which helps sales by generating stronger leads, shortening selling cycles, and increasing advisor loyalty and retention.

An iterative process produces results while building capabilities. Firms at the more advanced levels recommend starting small and delivering a series of wins with high quality, actionable insights as you grow your investment in technology and staff. We’ve even seen firms outsource a marketing attribution pilot project to test the waters and make the case for building in-house capabilities.

Many marketing programs offer basic attribution tools. Getting started can be as easy as using an existing Google Analytics account, which allows you to choose and customize different types of marketing attribution approaches. You can also incorporate data from offline activities. Many marketing automation programs also include built-in tools, particularly for last-touch attribution.

There’s no single “best” attribution methodology. Some models are better for figuring out how and why a result occurred, and some are more predictive telling you what’s best to do next. Even then, the “best” model depends on the question you’re trying to answer and how precisely you need it answered. For example, models at all three levels of the Attribution Summit can gauge the effectiveness of your media mix. But the more variables and advisors you want to consider, the more sophisticated your model needs to be.

As one digital marketing executive said, developing an attribution process isn’t just about trying to transform some baseline marketing capability: it’s about approaching the entire business from a more holistic lens. But firms that do so have the best chance of evolving the marketing function from a support role into a critical driver of the firm’s current and future success.

Tracy Needham
Senior Research Analyst
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: marketing strategy, social media, digital advice, c-suite

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of DST Systems, Inc. or its affiliates, subsidiaries, joint ventures, officers, directors, or management.

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