HubShots Episode 218: Thinking through Attribution. Again. And How HubSpot provides Attribution reporting
This episode we discuss:
- Attribution – what is it, and how can we make it actionable
- HubSpot’s Attribution reporting tools
- Average Days to Close Sales report
- Are virtual events worth attending?
- Viral Post Title Generator
- Is Apple creating their own Search Engine?
- Australia versus Google and Facebook
You can listen to this episode of the show here: https://soundcloud.com/hubshots/218-thinking-through-attribution-again-and-how-hubspot-provides-attribution-reporting
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Recorded: Wednesday 09 September 2020 | Published: Friday 11 September 2020
Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week
Thinking about Attribution
I’ve been diving deeper into attribution lately – aiming to get insights that are actionable (as opposed to just interesting).
Attribution is one of those fancy sounding words that gives you the impression it requires deep analytical skills, but in practice there’s a range of attribution paths you can do down.
Even the simplest things such as checking what devices your customers use can be considered attribution, for example: ‘we are attributing x% of our revenue to customers who use an iPhone to find our site’ would be a common insight from some ecommerce companies.
Attribution specialists would likely disagree with that meeting the definition of attribution, but hey, I’m more interested in driving revenue for our clients than I am in getting my definitions right…
Moving down the rabbit hole of attribution though, we start getting into the standard attribution models – things like first click, linear, and last click attribution. This is where we start to think across the buyer’s journey – considering not just one item about them, but their behaviour over a range of ‘touches’.
And then, further down the attribution path, we come to the deeper insights around content attribution, sales activity attribution and overall activity attribution. HubSpot provides useful tools for this, and we’ll dig into that further down in Shot 3.
Shot 2: Quick Shots of the Week
Here’s a few quick items of interest we noticed:
- HubSpot has added an export option (in Settings > Account defaults) that allows you to export a log of all the logins to your portal by HubSpot staff. A good point to note, given the privacy scare I had with them recently regarding zoom calls being recorded without me knowing (see Shot 1 in episode 214).
- On the HubSpot blog, a recent post (July) is on the topic of How to Write a Blog post. It’s a comprehensive post (with an 18 minute reading time guide, plus downloadable templates). Here’s the key: it doesn’t matter how ‘old’ or done-to-death a topic might be, chances are there’s someone new looking for it today – offering your own high-value, fresh perspective on it can still work. (Aside: I’d love to know the stats on how well that post ranks, and converts)
- 3.96 billion people (that’s more than half of the world’s population) now use social media. Facebook is the leader (by a big margin), followed by YouTube and WhatsApp.
See Shot 12 down below, for our Big Shots of the Week (ie in-depth recommended reading).
Shot 3: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week
HubSpot Attribution Reporting
This time we’re taking a walk through their Attribution reports again, given that their old reports have now been removed (as we discussed with some alarm a few weeks ago, and discussed on the show in Shot 4 of 215).
Good data = useful attribution
First up we need to understand that attribution is only as useful as the data that is analysed.
Which means ensuring as many touchpoints as possible are included:
- Make sure any traffic to the site is tagged (ie social traffic, paid ads, emails, etc)
- Simple things like email signature links are often missed
Davis has a good post on the HubSpot blog covering these. He not only outlines the new attribution report, but also key items to have in place in order for attribution reporting to be useful:
“As with every report, data analysis should link to a specific goal. With contact create attribution, the goal is to identify what worked in the past with respect to creating new contacts and assigning credit for those contacts along your prospect’s journey. Knowing what worked previously, allows you to optimize or re-create those marketing efforts to generate more contacts.”
Diving into the Reports
The HubSpot KB has a good overview (similar to Davis’ post) of setting up Attribution reports.
Play with the different Data Source Dimension options:
Interaction Source is a good one to start with.
Here’s an example of one of our clients – notice how social is a key driver of leads:
But let’s dig into the paid social interaction type, from the table underneath:
What is the (No value) line item?
At first we thought it was due to links not being tagged correctly, but after checking further it seems to be from Facebook traffic that is getting stripped of its parameters – possibly on iPhones that have the privacy settings in place.
Notice also how similar all the attribution models are. Which tends to indicate that many of the contacts converted very early (often on their first visit).
Key takeaway: Make a start. Use it to highlight gaps, and then fix your tracking.
We’ll dive into Attribution reports in further detail in upcoming episodes.
Real WorldExamples Needed
A final comment though regarding the HubSpot blog and KB articles – great as they are for explaining how to set up reports, the big value item they are missing is real world examples. There’s no examples of digging into an attribution report and gaining insights.
Shot 4: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week
Average Days to Close report
Another one to do with reporting and understanding the average days to close for deals. This can give you insight into what is potentially taking longer or if certain times of the year are quicker to close deals.
There is more information here.
Shot 5: HubSpot Extra of the Week
Comments on Workflow Actions
You can now add comments on workflow actions:
The example above is just a trivial test – you wouldn’t usually add comments like this.
This feature is going to be great for going back through and ‘documenting’ some of your old, complex workflows.
Shot 6: HubSpot Gotcha of the Week
If you have one conversation inbox when you add users they end up in the inbox as users and if you for example set up your live chat to be live when only available it can seem like it is not working!
So you need to make sure you Manage your users in your inbox!
Shot 7: Marketing Tip of the Week
We’ve decided to move this week’s marketing tip to next week – we have too much in the show already!
Tune in next week when we’ll dig into LinkedIn Sponsored InMail tips.
Shot 8: Insight of the Week
Are Virtual Events worth attending?
Craig and Ian debate the value of online events.
Craig is largely unimpressed with virtual events and feels that there is much higher value in paid courses delivered by experts. And even in free courses such as in HubSpot Academy.
Ian has a different perspective and covers his experience attending the Grow With Video Live conference.
Here is the portal that gives you a look inside some of the items!
Shot 9: Lol of the Week
Viral Post Title Generator
This generator is fun – it’s a joke… but is it?
Shot 10: Resource of the Week
Dishonest Marketing examples
They have a Chrome extension as well.
We ran it on the HubShots site and it found 11 instances of hyperbole:
Words such as: perfect, most popular – plus it doesn’t like exclamation marks!
Shot 11: Quote of the Week
“And if you say you’re not creative, look at how much you’re missing out on just because you’ve told yourself that. I think creativity is one of the greatest gifts that we’re born with that some people don’t cultivate, that they don’t realize it could be applied to literally everything in their lives.”
― Timothy Ferriss, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
Shot 12: Big Shots of the Week
Apple and Search Engines
There’s been rumours of Apple entering the search engine space for years. Recently the rumours have started up again (via Coywolf). Aaron Wall (SEOBook) details why this is such an important topic to follow.
Australia versus Google (and Facebook)
You may have seen the headlines about Australia’s ACCC suggesting legislation that would require Google (and Facebook) to pay media organisations for including their news on the Google Search results. Facebook has largely stayed quiet, but Google has been popping up notifications highlighting their stance. The whole ACCC approach is a debacle, but you wouldn’t know that if you read the coverage on the main Aussie news sites (who, of course, stand to benefit from it). Ben Thompson (Stratechery) has the best analysis of the topic that I’ve read.
How to Go Live on Instagram
Useful, straightforward overview of how to use Instagram Live by Sprout Social. Ian is always trying to get me to do more Insta and YouTube live stuff, but I keep resisting… I’ve gotta #gotheextra 😂
Ecommerce growth relies a lot on Facebook advertising
No matter your view of Facebook, there’s no denying how important the platform is for ecommerce advertisers. Digiday outlines the trends.
Shot 13: Follow Us on the Socials
Connect with HubShots here:
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HubShots is produced by Christopher Mottram from Podcastily.
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