In 2020, B2B digital marketing spending exceeded $ 8 billion and averaged 11.3% of the company's budget. While these numbers are expected to rise in 2021, only one in five B2B brands are successfully tracking the ROI of their paid media campaigns.
Marketing attribution has always been a challenge for companies with multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. For some B2B companies, this journey often takes place across devices and can take weeks to months. Some large software engineering companies go through bidding processes for a year before actually generating revenue.
If the buying process is so long and you're running PPC campaigns that don't generate sales immediately when your leads convert, how can you determine the real value of your digital marketing spend?
Closed-loop attribution is the answer.
Regardless of its niche or industry, no B2B company is going to grow and increase conversions without a complete picture of its users' interactions at every touchpoint – from the first click to the final contract. It may take a little more work, but closing the loop is the surest way to open up the possibilities of dominance in paid search.
What closed-loop analyzes can tell you
Closed-loop analysis, also known as closed-loop marketing, is the process of comparing data between two or more analytical tools. In the case of PPC campaigns, this means closing the loop between your Google Analytics data and the data recorded by your sales team in your CRM.
The most common mistake B2B companies make with Google Ads and Facebook Ads is not to close the loop before starting their campaigns. They invest significant sums in digital advertising platforms, but make it impossible to quantify which channels are delivering the greatest value.
For example, let's say your B2B company is spending $ 5,000 on Google Ads to get 100 clicks. Here is some information you might want to know about these visitors:
- What exactly did they do when they came across your website?
- Which ad, which keyword or which content marketing element did you push into the funnel?
- Have they performed micro-conversions e.g. B. Clicking on certain high quality landing pages or starting a live chat?
- How many of the visitors who filled out a submission form actually became customers?
- Which of these customers generated the most revenue for your brand?
Closed-loop analytics will give you the answers to these questions, and this knowledge will help you optimize your future PPC campaigns so you can drive the most qualified traffic to your website and improve the overall ROI of your digital marketing budget.
Why Google Analytics is not enough to measure the success of your PPC campaigns
Too many B2B companies rely solely on Google Analytics to measure the success of their campaigns. Ecommerce companies can do this because when something is converted on their website they immediately know the amount of sales.
However, B2B companies cannot rely on the same analytical model. Here's why:
- Google Analytics only tracks visitors from the first website landing to lead conversion.
- The basic conversion options in Google Analytics are not enough to track longer sales cycles.
- Google Ads only provides Google Click IDs for clicks that are less than 30 days old.
- Anything longer than 30 days will be deleted and you will no longer be able to access this digital marketing data.
Until Google makes it easier for companies with longer sales cycles to measure the value of their clicks, closed-loop analytics will be essential.
Over the past decade, digital marketing spending has shifted towards strategies that deliver quantifiable returns, and setting up closed-loop analytics for your campaigns can help your marketing team find the most profitable digital channels.
By improving your analytics, your marketing and sales teams can also work more closely together to understand and improve the customer journey.
How to set up closed-loop analytics
How you implement closed-loop analysis for your PPC campaigns depends on the CRM and Tag Management System (TMS) platforms of your B2B.
Your Google Analytics data is fed into your CRM so your sales and marketing teams know exactly which PPC campaigns, keywords, ads or landing pages are attracting the most valuable customers, even if the user interacts with those sources months before the final contract.
Ideally, your sales team should keep track of when website visitors turn into leads – whether through a submission form or some other CTA – and when those leads turn into customers.
Here is an overview of how to set up closed-loop analytics:
- Add a script to your website that extracts users' client ID when they submit a lead generation form (you can use Google Tag Manager).
- Customize the form to automatically send this client ID to your CRM.
- Use CRM integrations or plugins to export your custom events (e.g. when leads become customers) back to Google Analytics.
If you're using Salesforce, you can track imported Salesforce milestones using Google Analytics event goals. Sales teams using HubSpot can also transfer their HubSpot events to Google Analytics.
Once your CRM data is integrated into your Google Analytics reporting, you will get a more holistic view of which PPC campaigns are most successful. Redeploy the campaign settings or keyword targeting in future campaigns to generate long-term qualified traffic and high-quality leads.
The greatest value proposition of closed loop analytics
So much goes into the sales cycle for B2B companies; Closed-loop analytics enables you to analyze and use every part of it – even if there are large time gaps between the different phases of the sales process. When your marketing and sales teams and platforms work together, you can get the exact measurements you need to refine your paid search campaigns and ensure your investment is worth it.
Additional resources for closed-loop analysis
A better way to measure sales growth: closed-loop measurement
Expansion and improvement of closed-loop marketing via the mobile channel
Aligning Sales and Marketing: Seven Steps to Collaborative Revenue Optimization at the Right Time