International B2B marketing can make a global marketer feel like Sherlock Holmes. Sales, downloads and clicks happened, but what precisely do they mean? Global B2B marketers can face a number of challenges identifying which marketing works and assigning accurate and reliable ROIs.
At BFO, we understand the challenges. That’s why we’ve dedicated two sections of our eBook How to Get ROI Reporting Running On Your International Websites to B2B marketing. These sections cover a few ways to simplify the effort and reduce the mystery. Let’s take a look at a few of the challenges and some ways to overcome them right now.
Challenges Posed by B2B Market
In the B2B world, many of the prospects who interact with a brand’s website never buy. They don’t make decisions. In some cases, they don’t even know what they’re looking for! This means website activity does not necessarily reflect the behavior or mind of the buyer.
If that weren’t enough, then there’s the fact international sales often go through local partners. So after all the website research, downloads, and clicks, the customer gets in touch with the local, international partner and <poof> the trail of activity vanishes. Did they buy? If they didn’t, was it due to an issue with the marketing or some sales rep you’ve never met.
B2B marketers know these challenges and many more. They also know that while there may occasionally be the desire to throw one’s arms in the air, that’s not an option. International websites can produce accurate ROIs. A global marketer only needs to apply some Sherlockian forensics, or metrics as digital marketers call them.
Measure the Metrics that Matter
Not all metrics are equal. In fact, some which may be easy to track may lead you astray. Clicks and likes, for example, can be easily gathered, but they may not provide useful information. A metric like ‘visitor to lead’ does a much better job of providing a clearer measure of marketing results. This and other metrics that matter give you a better understanding of ROI and performance against goals.
What is your Attribution Model?
A lot of activity happens before the sale. A prospect searches for your site and may find you organically or respond to a PPC ad. Maybe they subscribe to a newsletter, respond to a promo for your whitepaper, visit your landing page, download and then disappear…only to reappear months later under the guise of another individual from the original prospect’s company.
This begs the question…which channel proved most effective at producing the revenue? While the exact touch point that led to the sale may not be known, it is possible to gain insight into which channel had the biggest impact on the decision. (This could also include “off-line” interactions like your sales meetings.)
Attribution models offer ways to gain a holistic view of your marketing. There are several different models to use. The best one for any brand depends on its business model and goals.
Paint a Picture of the Customer Journey
An important element of tracking a B2B brand’s international website ROI requires the alignment of goals, platforms and metrics. This makes comparative analysis possible. It also makes it a lot simpler to paint a picture of the user journey from site visitor to customer. This picture takes the data out of the spreadsheet and makes it understandable to everyone in the organization from the executive suite to sales.
It also helps to develop a deeper understanding of the customers who buy, and maybe even develop an image of the ideal customer. For more on ROI reporting and how to get the most from international B2B websites, check out How to Get ROI Reporting Running On Your International Websites.