Google Analytics 360 & Salesforce: Improved Attribution Modeling for Marketing ROI Analysis

DELVE Experts  /  
April 26, 2018
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The buyer’s journey in today’s day and age consists of many customer touchpoints leading up to a purchase. In some industries, this journey is especially long and complex. For example, in B2B products and services, it’s not uncommon for the average sales cycle to take well over a year and consist of offline, online, and cross-device interactions.

In a recent conversation with a B2B brand, we learned that their marketing mix consists of seven different channels: email, social media, display advertising, organic & paid search, telemarketing, and physical direct mail. Additionally, they shared that they currently measure how each channel impacts conversions using the last-click attribution model. This means that even if the customer had multiple marketing touchpoints leading up to the conversion, 100 percent of the value for that conversion would be assigned to the last touchpoint prior to the conversion event. Or in other words, the contributions of every other touchpoint would be entirely discounted and the money spent on those efforts considered wasted.

This is unfortunately a common conundrum for many companies who, despite using multiple channels to target prospective customers, are still using first-click or last-click attribution models. Attribution continues to be one of the biggest challenges plaguing marketers and many companies are just starting to shift their focus to more advanced attribution models. The reasons for this slow shift are many, but one is often that it can be difficult to bring all your data together into one place. This makes attribution an inherently complicated process.

How Google Analytics 360 & Salesforce Solve Attribution Woes

The Google Analytics 360 and Salesforce integration solves this attribution problem by providing an integrated platform to measure every single customer interaction, and provide insight into how different touchpoints influence each conversion. This is achieved by natively integrating all customer interactions, including:

  • Website data  – behavioral data from all from websites and web-based applications.
  • Mobile data – behavioral data from native mobile apps.
  • Advertising data – ad serving data from paid search, paid social, video, smart TV, and display advertising channels.
  • CRM data – data from your CRM platform (such as Salesforce) which contains information on your customers, including all of their purchase history and customer service inquiries.
  • Email data – data from email marketing & campaign automation software touching both existing and prospective clients.
  • Offline data – data from physical direct mail, in-store purchases, and call center interactions

To help illustrate the how data from these differing sources flows through Google Analytics 360 and other components of the Google Digital Marketing Suite, we put together the following flow diagram:

There are several platforms within the Google Digital Marketing Suite which can be leveraged for attribution reporting, each with its own unique capabilities and use cases. In the flow diagram above, we included DoubleClick, Google Analytics 360 and BigQuery, and outlined how these different components can integrate with each other, and with the larger marketing & advertising technology ecosystem.  

With the Salesforce + Google Analytics 360 integration, you’re able to seamlessly integrate lead, opportunity, and customer interaction data from Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud with the remainder of your media and site data housed in Google products (Google Analytics 360m DoubleClick Digital Marketing, and Adwords). This allows you to easily easily build attribution reports within Google Attribution 360 across all digital marketing and sales touchpoints.

If you wish to connect additional offline data sources, such as direct mail and telemarketing, or perform data enrichment using third-party data providers, BigQuery can additionally provide far robust and nearly limitless attribution and data enrichment options. This includes but is not limited to cross-device attribution and offline-to-online attribution.

The ability to combine data from every single customer touchpoint allows you to paint a 360 degree view of your customer, and measure the true impact of every single marketing dollar. With all that data, you’ll understand every conversion path and be able to allocate your media spend in the most effective mix possible.


Author Bio:  Leo Sarian is a seasoned entrepreneur with over a decade of experience who specializes in helping B2B companies build and optimize marketing & sales engines. Prior to working with DELVE, Leo was the VP of Growth at Piwik PRO, a marketing technology company focused on data-sensitive industries. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business, and in his free time enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and spending time with his wife and newborn baby. It is the process that most fascinates Leo, not the significance of the end product.