Connecting the dots on website and CRM attribution

A local tech outfit wants to give SMEs the tools to drive attribution into their CRMs without the high cost and technical barriers that come with using big name players

Marketers need to be able to track campaign effectiveness all the way through to customers and revenue, beyond merely website visitors and leads, if they’re to see the real story, according to co-founder, Aaron Beashel.  

“It’s easy to install Google Analytics on your website and to see where your visitors are coming from,” he explained to CMO.  

The difficult part, however, has been getting that same data into the CRM and being able to report on number of leads from each channel, how many customers, how much revenue and so on. “This is really critical information for marketers to have,” said Beashel.  

Comparing spend on Facebook versus Google ads, for example, would show number of visitors and leads, showing cost for number of leads. “But imagine if you were tracking these campaigns in your CRM and could see the results all the way through to the number of customers and amount of revenue generated,” he said.  

This would show what number of those leads converted into customers and the revenue from them, providing a more honest reflection of the relative value of each different ad channel. “You get a much better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t, which helps you decide where to increase spend and where to stop,” Beashel added.    

Bringing enterprise attribution tools to SMEs  

Attributer is a piece of code that sits on a company's website. When someone goes to the site, the code looks at a bunch of technical information about how that visitor got there, much the same as GA, and uses it to determine where the visitor originated from.  

Attributer then categorises the visit into a standardised set of marketing channels (such as organic search, paid social, paid search) and saves the data to a cookie in the user's browser.  

“When the site visitor submits a form on your website, Attributer passes the attribution information into hidden fields in your forms and the data flows into whatever back-end tools you have connected to your forms, such as your CRM, billing platform, analytics tools and so on,” Beashel explained. “You can then use this data to run reports that show you where your leads, customers and revenue are coming from and ultimately what you need to do to grow.”  

The tool is being positioned as a game changer for smaller outfits who may not have the budget or technical skills to invest in platforms like Marketo.

“These tools only integrate with enterprise-level CRM like Salesforce and not with CRM tools more popular with SMB’s such as Pipedrive or Close, for instance,” Beashel said.

“So not only would an SMB have to pay the huge licence fee for the marketing automation platform, they would also need to pay for someone to set it up and run it, and pay for an enterprise-level CRM tool for it to work with.”  

Attributer thinks its customer sweet spot is small, medium and micro businesses, across a range of industries including software, professional services, construction and manufacturing and agencies.  

Started as a side-hustle over the Christmas break, Beashel was looking to solve one of the sticking points he had continually run into in his career as a marketing manager himself.  

“Establishing reliable marketing attribution was an issue I continuously had to solve… When I went into SAAS consulting, it repeatedly came up as an issue growing companies of all shapes and sizes would face,” he said. “I developed a solution and I would roll it out to my clients. So eventually I built a website and launched it, and it quickly gained traction.”  

Beashel has seen first-hand that marketers need to prove ROI. But with different buying processes it can be a real challenge. Businesses with low-value products, for instance, can use more tools like GA. Businesses selling higher-value products need additional tools to handle the more complex buying cycle and multiple touchpoints across the customer journey, whether it’s B2B or B2C businesses.  

“Between the many different approaches, technologies and attribution models, it can be complicated and technical; and as a result, I think many marketers find it challenging,” Beashel said.  

Marketers are looking for insights to help identify what is needed to do to grow, even if they don’t directly impact the bottom line. Using Attributer, SaaS company, Getleadforms was able to show paid ads weren’t providing a positive ROI in terms of customers and revenue generated, and most of the customers are coming through SEO efforts.  

“As a result, it’s stopped the paid ad spend and diverted budget to SEO and is growing faster than ever,” he said. “So while Attributer didn’t have a direct impact on revenue generation, it enabled them to make changes that did impact revenue.”  

Finally, on the question of whether marketing is more art of science, Beashel is having a bet both ways. “It’s both working together,” Beashel said.  

On the technical side, you can’t go past analytics to understand how the different channels are working. “But science can only do so much, and this is where the art side comes in,” he said.  

“You need to be able to use those insights to come up with creative campaigns and other marketing initiatives that actually drive growth.”

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