Ops Cast

The Great Attribution Debate with Andrea Lechner-Becker and Drew Smith

March 27, 2023 Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo, Andrea Lechner-Becker & Drew Smith Season 1 Episode 88
The Great Attribution Debate with Andrea Lechner-Becker and Drew Smith
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Ops Cast
The Great Attribution Debate with Andrea Lechner-Becker and Drew Smith
Mar 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 88
Michael Hartmann, Mike Rizzo, Andrea Lechner-Becker & Drew Smith

In this episode, we talk with Andrea Lechner-Becker and Drew Smith about attribution reporting. Andrea is currently the Head of Marketing at Toolio. Prior to Toolio, Andrea worked in consulting, and was CMO of Shift Paradigm. Drew is currently Founder and CEO of Attributa, a consulting firm that specializes in attribution and marketing analytics. Prior to Attributa, Drew worked in both consulting and in-house marketing roles, including time with LeadMD.

Tune in to hear:
-  What tools and platforms that excite Drew about the future of attribution reporting.
-  Both Andrea and Drew's perspectives on how they think attribution fits into the overall measurement of marketing and marketing’s effectiveness.
-  Whether they think attribution reporting will continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future.


Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
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MOps-Apalooza is back by popular demand in Anaheim, California! Register for the magical community-led conference for Marketing and Revenue Operations pros.

Episode Brought to You By: MO Pros
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we talk with Andrea Lechner-Becker and Drew Smith about attribution reporting. Andrea is currently the Head of Marketing at Toolio. Prior to Toolio, Andrea worked in consulting, and was CMO of Shift Paradigm. Drew is currently Founder and CEO of Attributa, a consulting firm that specializes in attribution and marketing analytics. Prior to Attributa, Drew worked in both consulting and in-house marketing roles, including time with LeadMD.

Tune in to hear:
-  What tools and platforms that excite Drew about the future of attribution reporting.
-  Both Andrea and Drew's perspectives on how they think attribution fits into the overall measurement of marketing and marketing’s effectiveness.
-  Whether they think attribution reporting will continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future.


Episode Brought to You By MO Pros 
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

MOps-Apalooza is back by popular demand in Anaheim, California! Register for the magical community-led conference for Marketing and Revenue Operations pros.

Episode Brought to You By: MO Pros
The #1 Community for Marketing Operations Professionals

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Michael Hartmann:

Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by MarketingOps.com, powered by the MO Pros. I'm your host, Michael Hartmann. Joined today by Mr. Rizzo. Mike, say hello. Hey

Mike Rizzo:

everybody. It's been a while since we had an episode push, but we've all been super slammed and I'm excited for this one because we have some. awesome people to join us for

Michael Hartmann:

return. you're not gonna, you're not gonna plug MOps-Apalooza. Um,

Mike Rizzo:

well, you know, MOps-Apalooza is coming everybody, so we should definitely see you all there November five through eight. In Anaheim, California, right behind Disneyland. Right.

Michael Hartmann:

You and Mickey. Right. There's, there's my plug There you go. All right. Well, I am pumped to have, uh, we're I, I'm calling it a little throwdown here about attribution reporting. It's, you know, one of our most common topics it feels like, but it never. Goes away. So, but we've got two of our previous guests returning here. Um, and so let's just get started. So joining us for the discussion are Andrea Lechner Becker, Andrew Smith. Andrea is currently head of marketing at Tulio. Prior to Tulio, she worked in consulting with CMO of Shift Paradigm, formerly Lead md. And. Uh, prior to that merger, that made Shift Paradigm. And then Drew is currently founder and CEO of Attri. Atri. You're gonna have to correct me. I didn't, I should have asked how to pronounce it before. Drew a consulting firm that specialize in the attribution and marketing analytics. So prior to that, he worked in both consulting and in-house marketing roles, including also at Lead md. So they've worked together. So welcome to both of you. Uh, I sure we warn our guests or our listeners that, uh, this may include explicit language.

Drew Smith:

Aggressive,

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

explicit swearing from Andrea Lechner Becker. By the way, I do believe I hired you, right? Drew? Or?

Drew Smith:

Yes. Yes. You were hiring? No, you, you hired me at Lead MD and, uh, I, I still tell everybody that, uh, I talk to about my time there, that, uh, You were the absolute best manager and mentor I've ever had in my entire life, so Oh my god. There's, uh, there's, there's a lot of love here. Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

Nice. Well, at least we started off with love cause I feel like it's gonna get heated.

Drew Smith:

Hell yeah. Definitely. Absolutely.

Michael Hartmann:

Well, so let's, let's, uh, get everyone oriented on how this episode came about. So it started, I, I couldn't get the exact date Drew, but you, you made a post, uh, on LinkedIn sometime in February of 2023. And I'm just gonna read it cuz I can't, I don't wanna paraphrase. That said the following, if you, if you're tired of hearing about marketing attribution, I can assure you that the topic isn't going away. There are new players in the space spinning up new tools and platforms and existing players in the space are creating some new, cool, new innovations. Attribution is here to stay and is going to become more and more of a must have for data driven organizations. And, uh, as is want to happen on, uh, social media. Andrew and I for sure both commented initially with some critiques of attribution reporting and, um, actually I said, Hey, we'd love to get a simple update on the state of the technology and what you're talking about. So how about we start with that, drew? Like what, when you were brought that up, like what were some of the platforms or, uh, sort of shifts that you're seeing in the space that, uh, you were referring to?

Drew Smith:

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, so I think there's a couple of. Obviously I, well I'm at a Adobe Summit this week and there were some announcements, uh, for Marketta measure, uh, some innovations that they have coming up, which one of them is Marketta Measure Ultimate that they announced, which is, um, basically going to allow Marketta measure to, uh, inter integrate with tons of other platforms that it doesn't already integrate with. So massive up upgrade and shift in in their technology also. With, and this is, this was also announced at Adobe Summit this, this week. Uh, but this is also some stuff that, that hasn't necessarily been announced yet by platforms. But, um, I can tell you that, uh, I've talked to other platforms and it's coming, which is, uh, AI and machine learning. Um, and so there's, there's some announcements. Announcements with Marketo measured this week about AI and machine learning and other platforms are, Going to be getting on the AI and machine learning train very, very soon. Um, I, I, I know for a fact that it's being worked on. So those are some of the big things that are coming right now, um, or that have already been announced. Um, and then I also know that, that, um, About, uh, well, last week I was in New York, uh, at the, uh, C M O Alliance Summit in New York City where there was a brand new marketing attribution platform that was announced called Mesh Analytics. Um, and then I've, I've spoken to a couple of others that are also very, very early stage that, that people probably haven't heard about yet, but are, are coming soon. So new players in the space and, and a lot of new innovation in the space. So, um, in, in. The new players, the the one that launched last week and the couple of the others that I've talked to, they're, they're, they're well funded. I mean, they've got good backing. Um, they're with accelerators like Y Combinator, um, so they're there, there's a lot of money being invested in attribution generally right now. And so I think it's, uh, like it, like I said in the post, it's not going away. It's not going anywhere. So maybe

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

it would help to like, probably like size. Attribution software is right, because like you have, like what we're really talking about in terms of like the job to be done or the use case just to be blunt, is like proving or like maybe how would you, maybe I'll just put it to you, drew, like how would you define, when we talk about attribution as a category or as maybe like a job to be done, a use case, whatever frame you wanna use, like how do you define it with customer?

Drew Smith:

Yeah. Um, there's a couple different ways I, I define it with customers. So one of them is simply telling a story about how an opportunity or a deal came to be. What was, how, what journey, what was the journey for this opportunity? Um, you know, did it interact with marketing? Did it interact with sales? Did BDRs play a role? It's basically creating a, a novel, Andrea, the seal. You like the novel analogy here of. How an opportunity came to be with various engagement points or touchpoints or whatever you want to call it, as the various chapters in that novel. And, and that's, uh, that's really the most simple way to describe what attribution is. Um, now if you get a little bit, Deeper and more granular into it, then it be, you know, it gets into like, well, well, what was the value of each individual financial value of each individual chapter along that journey? Right? So in a novel, some chapters move the storyline further than than others, right? So how would you assign a financial value to each one of those chapters in the. That's what attribution is, in my opinion. Yeah, I

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

like that cuz I, I think that there's like, you know, HubSpot is like technically it, it's not an attribution tool, but it has attribution components that help you tell that story. Google Analytics is not an attribution tool, but it helps you tell that story in. in the larger scheme of things. And so I, it's a great level, right? Right, exactly. So I feel like, you know, to me, and I get hit up by all of these attribution softwares, and to me it's like, I think one, like the thing that frustrates me a little bit about the space is like, it is not a good idea for everyone to invest in a, in an attribution technology like, and I do think that the attribution vendors do themselves no favors by trying to sell this to companies that have no business. Trying to invest in this because the reality is, is that like even visible back in the day. So visible was acquired by Marketo and then Marketo was acquired by Adobe. And now is that the Adobe measure? Is that what they're calling visible these

Drew Smith:

days? Mark Marketo measure Adobe Marketo measure. Yeah.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

Adobe Marketo measure is the old visible, all right. The brand

Michael Hartmann:

managers listening are just going crazy right now. Yeah,

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

yeah, yeah. sorry, people. Um, but yeah, like, so when I originally talked to Aaron Bird, who was the original ceo, e O of Visible, he said to me, unless you're spending 10 grand a month, On Google AdWords, we are not going to be valuable to you because the, at the time, and this was like a decade ago, their main objective was like bringing Google AdWords into your system so that you could see like specifically what keywords are you spending on that are driving opportunities. Highly valuable job to be done, right, that you, you couldn't do in other ways. Now, a lot like you can do that, right? Like HubSpot, you can do that. Pardot has an integration. I, what I'm struggling with with the attribution component, just from a technology perspective is like, I think to your point, drew, like unless you connect and get data that companies like Google or Facebook are hiding away from, from actual marketers, like I don't really understand what value they bring to the table.

Drew Smith:

Yeah. Well first off, you're, you're absolutely correct, attribution is not right for every company that exists in the world. Um, I mean, uh, my company that I started is an attribution first company. Guess what? I'm not doing. I'm not doing attribution. You know why? Because I'm too small. I'm not investing enough money in marketing. I know. I know where every single deal comes from because it's not complicated for me. When it becomes complicated, that's where attribution becomes valuable. Now, let's also take a step back and, and acknowledge the fact that like Apple does not give a shit about attribution. Why they have enough money that they don't. about attribution, right? They're not worried about budgets getting Yeah. Pulled away from them and, and not having enough money to, to, to advertise. Spending million,

Michael Hartmann:

spending million dollars on a, spending million dollars on a Super Bowl ad is a rounding error, right? Yeah,

Drew Smith:

exactly. Exactly. So Attri and, and that's obviously the, the extreme ends of the scale, right? So, but, but to Andrea's point, attribution is not right for every company on the planet. And that's coming from somebody. entire business is founded on the, on the principle that attribution is a, is a net benefit for most organizations. Um, now to your point, a Andrea, like the, the, one of the big values of attribution software is Yes. So there are certain things that attribution software makes visible that, that. most of the time without the software is not visible to you. Um, and yes, HubSpot has attribution, but let me, let me give you an example of where HubSpot's attribution falls down, where visible is actually a, a better platform than a, than HubSpot's attribution. If you try to do HubSpot's attribution and you try to include trade shows or webinars or any kind of off offline events, um, HubSpot doesn't let you. They don't actually, in their attribution platform that they have, you cannot include basically like a touchpoint from a trade show into HubSpot's attribution modeling. They only do it for offline, or excuse me, for online engagements. So AdWords. Yeah, Facebook. Yeah, LinkedIn. Yeah. The trade show you went to last week, no. Doesn't get included in your attribution model.

Mike Rizzo:

Depends on if you

Drew Smith:

paying that tool or not. Uh, I mean if you buy the tool, like, I'm cha so the only

Mike Rizzo:

reason I'm challenging you on it is like at Inbound last year they announced the customer journey analytics for the Marketing Hub Enterprise. So again, you're talking about right sizing your efforts here. Like that is for an enterprise, you know, subscription with frankly like, you know, not everybody has the enterprise subscription model and most of us aren't super aware of it given that the tool is like relatively new in market, but there's. uh, new journey analytics that you can build that are very, very flexible, uh, around like, Hey, did they attend a marketing event? Uh, You know, or not well

Drew Smith:

and those kinds of things. Well, now, now my question is this though. Cuz when I looked at HubSpot's, uh, attribution software, uh, which the last time I looked at it was probably, uh, nine months ago. So this, this may have changed, but the last time I looked at it, you could, you could include that they attended a trade show as like a list, but it was not actually being assigned dollar value credit. Along with all the other online stuff. So is it that you can look at it as a list or that it gets assigned dollar value credit? No. The

Mike Rizzo:

new journey at the Journey Analytics should, uh, allow you to, to basically like create a map of the journey that somebody's going on, and then you can delineate how you'd like the waiting to work. There's all kinds of flexibility and it, it sort of just feels like, um, in my, like again, I haven't personally used it, but I've seen it like in action in some of the demos and things like that. But in my mind, I sort of attribute it more attribute it nice, uh, to a, um, oh gosh, like, um, Name, name, name, uh, uh, attribution, like data software out there. Like

Drew Smith:

a, like visible CaliberMind? No, not one of

Mike Rizzo:

those. Like more like, sorry. Just like general data, like, uh, ingest platform.

Drew Smith:

Like a cdp. Like a Tableau. Tableau.

Mike Rizzo:

Yeah. I, uh, I equate it more to like, look, you're looking at your data from like a Tableau perspective, and you're able to sort of mishmash, but it's, it, it's intentionally built to help you figure out the journey, right? So it's like this, like you've got all your data here. And so now go map out your journey almost from that. Like you customize it, right? You figure it out. Yeah. You, you create

Drew Smith:

your own version of that. Yeah.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

Okay. So

Drew Smith:

like, sorry we went deep on a HubSpot.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

No, no, no tangent there, but No, it's fine. And actually is like, I, I think it's valuable cuz like, let's be honest, like who Ha like I think the biggest struggle is like no one has the right. No one. Like literally. Yeah, no one. Like I will give you an example from my life. So I was at Lead MD for 10 years. Okay. The first Marketo summit that I ever went to was 2012. We had business cards, lead md. So everybody thought we were like, we were playing on the idea of like, we were like diagnose your leads medical doctor kind of thing. So we literally had on our business cards, doctor, like Andrea Lechner, Becker, Dr. Justin Gray, 2000 and. Two years ago, that would've been 2021. I met A C M O at a C M O networking event and he said to me, lead md, you guys used to have like doctor on your business cards, right? We literally only used. That business card in 2012 and afterwards we were like, we this, like a medical doctor thing is confusing People, people think we like sell leads Like we gotta, we gotta backpedal from this like whole gimmick of doctoring. So I know that he met us in at Marketo in 2012. That is never, ever, ever, I don't give a shit how perfect you think your data is. That touchpoint that guy has switched. Five times since that, like there is no system in the world that is going to tell Lead md, Hey, that$50,000 investment you made in Marketo Summit in 2012 had this brand impact there. It does, it does not exist. And I think that like for, for not every company in the world, but I think the majority of my peers that I hear going down this attribution rabbit hole that frankly, Mike and Drew just did, I'm like, could we just focus on like doing cool shit in marketing that like is actually impactful? Cuz I think that like even that like. When I look at events for us right now, which is the biggest thing that everybody argues about in attribution, right? Like attribution on digital touchpoints is like kind of, it's like pretty straightforward and it's pretty short term, but when you get to longer term strategies like brand building strategies, which often events are right, like of course you can do meetings at events, but it is, you're there to create an impact, create a moment, create an experience in someone's mind that sticks with them. Almost a decade later, the only, like, nobody remembers an ad they saw a decade ago on the internet, right? Like, right. Like, those are not long-term strategies. And so the reality is, is that like the, the event component gets a lot, gets a lot of shit from digital marketers and a lot of shit from attribution people of like, oh, like this is, this is how you divest events. And it bothers me that that's the talk track because events. Absolutely critical, but they do have to be done well. So like we all have been at events where you've got human beings sitting in the booth, hands in the pockets, waiting for someone to come talk to them. The difference between executing on an event like that and executing on an event where you do a ton of prep, you make sure everyone's clear on like, this is a hustle strategy that we're going to this event with. And like that could make or break an event too. So it's not just about, and I think that that. that fluffier or like more conceptual stuff is what marketers are actively doing a super shitty job at fixing because they're so focused on like, okay, what contribution to the opportunities did that make us? And like to me, that's just the wrong conversation for the vast majority of companies. Not, not all of them. Some people have their shit together. Should go work with Drew. But like, yeah, I, I just think like so much of the attribution conversation is like, why are we talking about this? Like we're investing a shit ton of money and stuff and not executing it very well and it's not working. Like that's really, I. a lot of marketing department's stories.

Michael Hartmann:

Well, so that's So Drew, sorry, drew. I know you gotta respond. I'm gonna, uh, what I thought was really interesting and is kind of tying this back together with your dis your, your definition of attribution really struck a chord with me because I think there's a ton of value in understanding how, how we win, how we lose deals. Right. I think there's really like understanding that journey. But it, I, I don't, I actually don't think most people when they're talking about attribution are thinking about that. They're thinking about, yeah, how do I, for, I can't think of a better way to say like, how do I prove the value of marketing to the business, which is at an aggregate level, and then it's complicated math, and then people roll their eyes. But I think actually the storytelling part is hugely valuable. It's just really hard to do at.

Drew Smith:

Yeah. So yeah, I think, I think so. Uh, I want to. Respond to Andrea A. Little bit. So, Andrea, first off, you are preaching to the choir about events because I mean, before I came to Lead MD I spent seven years as an event manager managing over a hundred trade shows a year, 30 to 40, uh, smaller client appreciations slash road show types of events, and three, like massive, you know, multiple thousand people events. All right,

Mike Rizzo:

next year you're planning MOS

Drew Smith:

and pa. Well, I don't do it anymore cause I don't, I don't wanna do it anymore. Mike Uh, I'll be there, but I, I don't wanna do it. Um, so that's ok. Um, to your point, Andrea, yeah. A lot of people suck at events. Um, they do. Um, and, and well, and I would,

Michael Hartmann:

I would take it further than just events. It's like a lot of basic blocking and tackling, like following up on leads quickly. Right. Things like that. Absolutely. Yeah.

Drew Smith:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, now when. When I work with clients on, on their data, and particularly once I get them up to, uh, implemented on an attribution platform, I spend time in their data and I'm upwards now of about a hundred different clients. And I see just for attribution, and I've seen clients that like their attribution, pla, their attribution data shows the value of events. It. Events a lot of times with clients, even the ones that I will tell you right now, even the ones that suck at events attribution, the attribution for those events is usually barely high. Um, because, because it's a, they, they're pulling in so many new people and engaging with so many people at the events, and those people are turning into opportunities, whether they're good at events or not. sometimes they turn into opportunities and, and so I don't think. I, I've not seen attribution as a way to divest from events. I haven't, uh, I mean, I've seen attribution show that like either you're, you're doing really well with events or you are horrible at events. Um, you know, I, it, it's, it's funny because one of the, one of the channels that I usually see that it's. With attribution is content syndication. Um, it's, it's usually just, just ridiculously bad. And I was working with a client a couple of months ago and holy shit, they were crushing content syndication. It was like one of their top performing channels, like second or third. I just talked

Mike Rizzo:

to. Yeah, I just talked to, um, one of the larger vendors out there for, um, sort of live chat and that same story came out. They were

Drew Smith:

like, yeah, I mean, we're crushing it I, I literally told my client, I was like, you have the best results from content syndication I've ever seen, and it's not even remotely close. You should be doing like, Education events on how to do content syndication well, because your results are so incredibly good. Um, they're like, no, we don't

Mike Rizzo:

want anybody to

Drew Smith:

take our leads. Yeah. Uh, she, she, like

Mike Rizzo:

anyone who's serving the same ICP is gonna be like

Drew Smith:

mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, yeah. I mean, they, they'd have like years to catch up, obviously, but, um, I mean, so, so I think that, the attribution. I've not seen attribution skew like away from events or towards certain channels. It really, it, it in again, in my experience, it tells you, shows you what you're doing well and what you suck at. And, and I've seen, I, I've seen clients that just, I mean, honestly, could

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

you do that without attribution? Um, I mean, come on. Like, do they really, are they like, oh my God, our attribution is amazing? Who? Or like, our, our content syndications amazing. Like, of course they like, come on. Right. No,

Drew Smith:

they, I have no clue. This, this client had no clue and they, they're, they're really good at Marketo. They have, they have Salesforce. They're, they're doing the, like the, the basics, Andrea, that, that we used to teach class do at Lead md. That was really good work. And they're doing that stuff and they had no clue how well content syndication was performing. They just didn't. Um, and I'll, and I'll, and I'll use an anecdote to give you an example of, of. Where attribution has, has really, really helped a client. Um, and this is just one anecdote, but, but it, it, it, it made a big impact is, so I was working with, and Andrea, you'll know the client when I explained it to them, I managed their visible instance for five years. You know who it is. Um, and they worked with their, their digital agency to launch a new AdWords campaign. And so they launched this. and, you know, because their, their attribution was impeccable because I managed it for five years, Um, we knew that at the 45 day mark, this was when we should start checking to see if any of the leads that came through this new campaign had started turning into opportunities or not. And so we went into their visible data. and we were able to see that like this campaign was generating just incredible MQs like, like generating tons of leads. All those leads were turning into MQs cuz it was an auto qualifier form. It was a requested demo form. Um, super low cost per leads, super low cost per mql. Um, and we were able to track this because we had visible, because it was. Five specific keywords to one specific landing page, which is all the data that visible gives you. So we're looking at this information, it's like that information right there, this campaign is performing fantastic, right? So we then looked, and literally none of those leads had turned into a single opportunity. we're like, oh shit, this is not actually performing well. What's going on? So we checked to make sure, like were they being assigned to the BDR correctly? Yes. Okay, great. Uh, what is the current status of those leads? Uh, every single one of them had been disqualified. Well, why They'd been disqualified. Uh, they had been disqualified because they were a small mom and pop shop. We're talking nail salons, bakeries, uh, you know, barber shops, stuff like that. And this client had no solution for that. That like profile of, of, of company. And so we, we immediately hit pause on the campaign so that they didn't waste any more money cause they were just throwing money down the, down the trash. And the only reason that we were able to actually see all of this is because I could run a report that tied these five keywords. Not only to the fact that there was no opportunities, but I could also tie it specifically to their current status in the lead lifecycle and even the disqualified reason in the lead lifecycle because we had this data sitting in Salesforce, the Visibles pushing into Salesforce, and I could relate it to other stuff, right? So it was super, I mean this, this whole analysis took us like 10, 15 minutes over the course of like three reports that we built and. We were able to completely diagnose that this campaign was was failing. uh, because it was, it was reaching the wrong people. Um, which allowed us to then analyze the copy in the ad and the co and the content on the landing page and even the image in the landing page and say, yeah, no, this, the everything's too quaint, uh, in the content and the image and in the way that the, the, the, the content on the, on the landing page was that, that we had to like, help these people self-select out of filling out the form. Mm-hmm. And so we made the changes and then we were able to go back after the changes and say, okay, did these changes actually make an impact? And the first thing we noticed is fewer leads filling out the form, much higher cost per lead, much higher cost per mql. But they were starting to turn into opportunities. And so we were able to do that super quickly, super easily. We didn't have to stitch together Excel spreadsheets to make it work. It was just all right there in a, in a couple of reports in Salesforce.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

Okay, so if I could challenge just for a hot second, right? So like, who is the campaign manager over? Because I guess like in my mind, right, like if you're gonna launch a brand new campaign on LinkedIn or wherever, right? Like, and you're gonna work with an agency to do it. I don't know, like I wouldn't be waiting 45 days to even look at that. Like, you should be able to identify immediately when you look at those results coming in as a campaign. Like campaign managers should be doing that every fucking week, right? Like, that's insane to me. Like a campaign manager should be like, all right, like, what leads did I get from this thing? Oh my God, they're all, they're like, they're totally not I C P. Uh, we're doing something wrong. I gotta address that immediately with my guy. Like, that's kind of my point is like, I feel like sometimes like people focus on the at, like they invest like VPs, C level people wanna invest all this time in marketing attribution, but it's like your team should be. Like, that's a, that's a, that's a weekly, daily kind of task in my mind. Well, from like a campaign manager, I, I heard, I

Mike Rizzo:

heard two things out of that from a, from a takeaway perspective, which are hard, I think are hard to filter out, uh, until you've, you know, been around for a little while. Right. I think we've all been around for a little while and we're hearing, we're hearing this, uh, with different ears. Right. If you're, if you're sort of newer into the landscape, my personal takeaway of what Drew just shared was like sort of two things. One, there was a system in place that allowed them to do that quickly, right? And so he said, Hey, we didn't have to stitch together spreadsheets and a bunch of stuff to try to figure this out. We had tooling. What, however you decided to create that system, whether it was a software or you've built the, the spreadsheet models to be able to handle the ingest of all that stuff with web hooks. It doesn't matter how you did it. You built a system, you invested in something, you made it easier. Uh, the second piece is, uh, it's rigor, operational rigor, right? And so at the end of the day, you know, Andrea, you're saying like, Hey, 45 days is a long time. I, I don't disagree. I don't necessarily agree like I, it, it was that company's operational rigor that they decided that that was acceptable for them to analyze campaign performance. Um, maybe you should be analyzing it a little sooner, trying to make decisions sooner. But at, at the end of the day, it's operational rigor. Right. You decided as a best practice as an organization that after a certain amount of. We're gonna analyze the performance of this and ultimately, like I would pause it that it, regardless of whether you have a visible or whatever version of the tool that you built, it actually comes down to Andrea's point that it is somebody's job operationally. From a like campaign ops perspective to go look at those things and analyze those results. The question is like, without that rigor, who would've asked that question to begin with? Right? So Drew, you were like, uh, we, we, we did this because it was a part of our practice. It was a part of our systematic way of like, like looking at things and attribution tools and having the system in place allowed us to do that more quickly. It isn't the success story of an attribution tool. It's the success story of people putting in operational rigor and utilizing the technology whether they have it or not, to be able to go analyze the results and make a decision.

Drew Smith:

That's, yeah, and, and as we all know, as we all know, like, and, and this is kind of speaking to both Andrea, Andrea's point, and Mike, your point, as we all know, if something is difficult to do, people don't. Period. They don't Yeah. Mean pivot table,

Michael Hartmann:

you know, this un unless they're absolutely forced

Drew Smith:

to. Yeah. I mean, people don't do it if it's hard. People are lazy. Andrea, you know that uh, you, you, you, I mean, I think you taught me that, um, when, when I joined Lead MD and so. If you make things easy and you make things, you know, like easily accessible and you, you, you re remove the barriers to be able to do these things that most organizations have. And to my your point, it doesn't have to be an attribution software platform. It, it has to be some sort of operational rigor and process in place that makes this so that it's not cumber. Because if it's cumbersome, people don't do what Andrea said, which is looking into this on a day-to-day basis. But if you make it easy, which is what the attribution platforms do, it makes it easy to look at this on a day-to-day basis or a 30 day basis, or a 45 day basis, or whatever timeline you deem to be reasonable for your organization and appropriate for your organization. Then people. But the barriers are so big so many times. Totally.

Mike Rizzo:

Well, and it's, and it's just like, it's not, it's like, don't try to boil the ocean. Right. Like, uh, I'm working with, with my old boss on some stuff around HubSpot right now, just trying to help'em out. You know, they're a small team, right. And, uh, we implemented UTMs and they were like, wait a minute. What is this Like,

Michael Hartmann:

how does this work? Uh,

Mike Rizzo:

okay, now we are like every single partner blog we've ever been on, we need to be UT MD and ask them to go update the links and all these things, right? So their eyes have been opened and, and it's just like, let's am small and Ms. Small, right? Like, let's just, you know what, Hey, you're working deal. You're thinking about lead gen when they come in. We'll just stick with the first touch model for a while. That's fine. Accept that. Right. But like, don't try to boil the ocean. And, and, and then when you do have a tool that allows you to do a lot more, it's like stick with something, be okay with, it's not perfect Right. Well

Michael Hartmann:

so at the end of the day, I, I, you know, what I keep coming back to is cuz I was a big fan of just sort of, it started when I did search paid search stuff, right. It was like, really? interesting to get such immediate feedback about what was working and not working at that level. And when attribution modeling came around, I was all like, oh, on board. But I've kind of softened on that, but I don't think it's like not valuable. I think it's how you use it. And I think there's a, I always think of like marketing analytics or marketing reporting at multiple levels, right? There's this, like the stuff that the only, the ops people care about. our leads flowing right? Is our database all of a sudden growing. Right. You know, stuff like that. The anomalies, right. Just making sure that the, the pulse is working. And then there's I think, a little bit of a hybrid of what Andrea was describing and you were describing Drew of like the tactical like. is this program we're doing campaign tactic, whatever it is, right? Performing as expected. Uh, or, or whether it's a goal or like is it getting the right people in? All that kind of stuff. And I think that doesn't really require attribution reporting. In my case, I think, I always think now of attribution reporting is sort of actually a step before what you described as the storytelling, which is like at an aggregate level. Is our marketing are, are those all those tactics, right? Are they delivering, like which ones are delivering the best value? But that's really more of a how do we spend our marketing, our limited marketing resources, right? As opposed to a credit game. And then I think the storytelling piece is really what you want to talk about. With people outside of marketing, right? Cause sales, like, we got this deal and here are all the things that worked right? Sales did this inside sales did this. Or I guess inside sales doesn't use BDRs, did this, marketing, did this. Marketing did this other stuff. In the middle. In the middle, they came to the trade show. like the story about it, both whether you won or lost, right. That's like, again, the story matters, right? I, I'm curious It's the audience too. Right? So I think what I struggle with is I'm, I'm kind of with, with Andrea and that like, there's a lot of stuff that can be done that's just effort, right? Um, I often equate marketing analytics reporting, and I've got a guy on my team that we talk about all the time, he's like, you know, don't like do an initial report. Don't try to boil the ocean. Don't try to do the like I always like people ask, like, I want a dashboard. Like, no fucking way. Right? we'll give you a part of it because you're asking for something that's way too complicated. And, um, Um, you actually will ask more questions once you see of the initial stuff. So like, let's start small. Yeah. And I know, but it's gonna be, it's like, it's heavy lifting, hard work. Usually that's

Mike Rizzo:

what's happening on the client side for, or like my old boss right now, they're like, we want a dashboard. And it's like, well, what do you want it to show you? No,

you

Michael Hartmann:

don't. They don't know. They don't know. And they're like, well, uh,

Drew Smith:

you know, we come up with all these D

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

things. Yeah. Like Drew has a great, like, I always love Drew what you talk about with reporting, like how you should build the reports. Chime men. Yeah. Do

Drew Smith:

you

Mike Rizzo:

wanna hear that? Wait, uh, I wanna hear that. And I just want to echo like again, um, what you're saying, Michael, and, and I think all of us are, are sort of, uh, uh, like, uh, coagulating around Like, uh, the, the story you're telling and the audience you're telling it too, really matters. Right. And like I, I was on with um, rev. Sure. They were like, they did this like meetup for all these folks. They're a relatively new organization in the space that talks in and around this analytics thing. And, and I made that, that same point where I was like, well, Where are you at in your life cycle of your business? Are you trying to raise funds because a a, and specifically if you're trying to raise funds, what's the story you're telling your investors? Is it, I have a really strong go-to-market motion because people are using my free product and they're signing up in droves? That's a very different story than trying to attribute revenue, right? Oh, look at us. We're signing revenue, revenue, revenue. And so you can go pull all the data in all the different which ways that you want, but it's the narrative that you wanna build. And the output that you're trying to seek. Are you going to the board for more money? Are you going for more investment, more resources? How do you wanna pull that together so that you can tell the right story to reach the right outcome? And so Drew, I definitely wanna hear about building

Drew Smith:

reports. Yeah. Well, Mike, what you said is actually like a perfect segue into the, the, this conversation. So, and this is where I think most organiz. Missed the mark. Um, and, and it's, it's, it's something that I do when I work with clients that I, I teach them this one. Once they get implemented with, with visible or whatever, I teach them this, this framework. And it's, it's, it's about asking questions. And you have to start with a very narrow and well-defined question. Before you build a report, give me a dashboard. Great. For what? What's on the dashboard? How's marketing performing? I can't tell you. Because you haven't defined performing. That is not a narrow and specific question. But if you want me to tell you for the marketing activities that took place last quarter, how they turned into opportunities and ordeals, I can build a report that answers that question. I can also build a report that answers the question for the opportunities that were created last quarter, how did marketing influence those opportunities? And those are two vastly different reports with different data sets. and different filters and parameters in the reports, they're both very equally valuable. But if you don't come from the, from a question answering standpoint, you will never actually be able to differentiate those two different reports because somebody's gonna come to you, like Andrea's gonna come to her campaign manager and go, Hey, how did marketing perform last quarter? And that person's gonna be like, I, I don't know. How did, what do you mean? Well, okay. I'm specifically asking the question of for the marketing activities that took place, how did those turn into opportunities and deals? Hey, I could build that report. That's easy. Everybody on this, on this, this call right now knows how to build that report when you make it that specific. But when you just have these broad general questions or, or even just statements, nobody can build that report cause it doesn't have.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

It also is just like, I mean, a report is for insights so that you can do something different or better. So like one of the ways that I tend to do that with like campaign managers, because I do think you have a, you have a good point, Mike, that like e everyone's scope is really different, right? Like I been around a long time at Lead md I consulted hundreds of organizations. Then you move to the C level and you kind of get like totally different insights into different kinds of conversations that are happening, not only at CMOs, but like at CEOs, right? Like, um, and so I think I do have a point that I wanna make there, but like when I talk to younger people about campaigns, like I find that even just like aggregate data is really hard to conceptualize. So like one of the things that I ask them is like, what are the three. Best humans that this touched and tell me why, like what resonated with them do you think? Unless you can hop on a call with them, which most people aren't gonna do with you unfortunately as a little marketer, but like what do you, what? Like what's your hypothesis? Like what resonated about what we did that we can like learn and continue to lily pad. uh, further on because I think that like, that's ultimately what reporting or dashboards is trying to do. And I think that a lot of people just like build shit to build shit. And it's like, okay, but like now, now what? Like we, we generated 45 leads from that LinkedIn campaign. Okay? Is that better or worse than last month? Is that better, worse than last year? Is there seasonality to our business, to our campaigning that we're seeing come through? Like, like that level of detail again? My opinion is that too many people are getting sucked into like the technology conversation and losing those conversations. Yeah. That are the actual valuable

Drew Smith:

one. Yeah. Yeah, totally. And

Mike Rizzo:

like one of the, um, uh, this happened recently where I was provided a data set based on some like product usage data. And, uh, it was just sort of handed over from, from the product person and they're like, look, I pulled all this stuff. Here's the results from like year over year, da da da, da da da da. And I was like, And now what? Like what am I supposed to do with this? I ha like as this. Marketing type person, right? Like what? Like what do you want me, what is, what is your expectation of sharing this information? And, you know what I ended up doing? I'm gonna totally bridge into like a little bit of this, uh, AI world that we're all dealing with right now. I ended up just copy pasting that data table, putting it into the G P T and going, what can you tell me about this data set? And it, it did a little of its own analysis and said, oh, here's a year over year thing. And then it started, to get me to think about, well, what, what other questions could I be asking? Mm-hmm. And so I don't wanna plug for all those tools that are out there, but if you're a little stuck right now and you got blank paper syndrome, go for it. Plug that data set in and say, what could you tell me? And then get your brain churning on, well, what questions should I be asking? Because to your point, Andrea, like when you're earlier in your career, that's really hard to, like, what a question should I be asking? right? Because your executives are so far removed at this point that if they're not coming to you, Any type of request and you're provided the, the ocean of data that you can just go analyze. You have to know what to ask or you just have to be inquisitive enough to try to come up with a question. And, and sometimes that's really hard to do. And so anyway, like

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

Yeah, cuz I, I think like the, the big thing is like as a C level marketer, and I think I see this with my peers, I hate big companies. Uh, I've always been on small, scrappy little marketing teams because I kind of can't stand, um, I kind of can't stand all the dynamics of a big company, just to be honest. So like, so I, but I do hear from my peers all the time that like, they are not equipped with the right messages, and I think that that's part of the problem, right? It's like they've invested in all of these. But they still are just now, they have like a shit ton of data and a shit ton of reporting, but they still aren't gathering the insights that they need from their teams. And no one's bubbling up so that they can't say like, Hey, we optimized our, our digital advertising this quarter by 12% doing these types of things. And that was facilitated. Like our technology stack or whatever that story is, even explaining that up to a CEO e o, because CEOs and I will say like, especially in sas, like times, times be tough right now, folks, like if you are just sitting in your operations chair and you're like, I'm, I'm good. Like. I don't know if you are. Right, right. Like you really have to be equipping whoever your seniors executive is with the story of like why operations is important to invest in, why now, why our tech stack is exactly right. How you've optimized it. Like you need to be empowering whoever is talking to your CEO about that stuff or. it, it looks easy to, to cut. Like, I think to your, like you made this point earlier, Mike, about like, you know, we're sitting in, or I, I think Michael maybe like, we're sitting in a chair where it's like we care about the lead flow and we understand how like, impactful a tool like Lean data is, but like your seat mo has no idea. for the most part. Mm-hmm. and like, and, and so I think that like, that would be my big call to arms on this like attribution topic in general is. If, if you even have a spidey sense, there is a thriftier way for you to, to do this. Like, I think it, it's going to be tough to continue to get organizations to invest in this, in sas cuz like it is, times are tough. Like we all see the layoffs, we all see all the stuff, so,

Drew Smith:

yeah. Well, and, and I, I think Andrea, there there's two reasons why I see, uh, in, in my experience, why I. CMOs, even when they, they invest in attribution, they still can't get to the insights, um, that, that, you know, you're wanting, and Mike, you're talking about, you know, what so what, right. Um, the, the, the, the, the two reasons I see are, are two things. Number one, they don't invest. They, they've invested in the, in the technology, but they haven't invested in people. Um, and they have nobody on their team that is an actual analyst. And the, the second part of that two reasons is they, they put in analysis in the hands of people that, quite frankly, like. Numbers and data people. Yeah. How many people do you know that got into marketing? Because they don't like math. they're, they're, they're creatives. They're graphic designers. They're copywriters. They wanna write a novel. Nope, Nope. No intentional thing there, But like, they wanna write a novel, they wanna write, I'm a unicorn.

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

I like

Drew Smith:

it. Exactly. Yes, exactly. But like they, they, they just want to, like, they, they, they don't wanna deal with numbers and, but yet they're, they're being asked to do, Pretty complicated math and analysis that they never wanted to do in the first place. Yeah. So I totally agree. You can't expect those people to, to bring those types of insights. Yeah. And if you expect that, yeah.

Michael Hartmann:

I'll show you. I think it's one of the, I think it's one of the biggest gaps in a lot of organizations is, and you know, I've, I've thought about like what would, if I was building into marketing ops team, like what would be, probably wouldn't be a data analytics person as the first hire, but it'd probably be second. Right? Any operation. Campaign support and all that. Probably higher priority, but that would be a very close second these days. So, uh, we only have a few more minutes. Uh, least I do. And, but, uh, I do, you mentioned stuff about AI and machine learning. Drew, I'm just cur like, I'm trying to wrap my head around like, is this just. BS stuff that is people are throwing away around the term or is like, what is the real potential value of that in terms of reporting and analytics and, and attribution?

Drew Smith:

Yeah. I, I think where, uh, I see the most value from AI and machine learning in the future is, uh, first off is anomaly. So that anecdote that I gave, that, that is where you have, um, you know, we, we, we saw that this campaign wasn't turning into opportunities, right? Most of that analysis all the way up until the point where we had to actually analyze the landing page and the copy and the content could have been done by a machine. They could have looked at, Hey, this, this, this ad campaign is falling well below the median performance of an ad, of a similar ad campaign. So I'm gonna raise a red flag and say that somebody needs to come look at this. Um, and the best part about that is when we talk about marketers that, that hate math and, and they don't know which questions to ask, which I think we all agree is a, is is a major challenge. Anomaly detection helps you understand which questions should we be asking. Where should I be looking, right? Look, right now, something's going on. Look, focus your attention here. Um, that also helps you sift through the sea of data to find the stuff that, where you might actually be able to find impact, right? Yeah. So I think anomaly detection's a big one. And the other one is, is AI-based recommendation engines. So, you know, you have a campaign that's performing really, really well, and then another campaign that's performing horribly. And AI can say, Hey, look, this campaign's performing really well. This campaign sucks. You, you could, you could probably take the money from this one and put it in this one and get better results. Uh, and again, that one I think, is a little bit further away because it's more complex and complicated. I think the anomaly detection,

Michael Hartmann:

defining, defining, defining what is, what is success or effective, right, is not a single metric. Yeah.

Mike Rizzo:

And I think like, uh, sorry, Andrea, oh, go ahead.

Drew Smith:

How about you go

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

first? Well, I was just gonna say, uh, what I'd really like one of these companies to do is. like the thing that we always talked about so much, drew, but it's benchmarking, right? Because like it was just, I think that because it really is just like, okay, this, this campaign is performing shitier than your other campaigns. Like, well that's just me though. Like what if my competitors' campaigns or other people in my category are fucking killing it and I'm just doing something so wrong that actually. All these campaigns suck. It's not just this one that is worse than the other four. It's all five of them that are total

Mike Rizzo:

junk. And that's where I was gonna go with That's exactly, so I'm, I'm glad you went. That's where I was gonna go with it. I think like, you know, this ai ml stuff, what's interesting about it as, so from, from this wonderful, uh, organization, this community that we have, I, I get to like peek into so many of these different things that are happening with different, you know, technologies and. You know, this, this warehouse native application infrastructure stuff that's happening and people who are gonna architect models of go-to-market technology stacks that are all based on sort of these warehouse native apps in the future, that's a huge opportunity to to, to use a lot of this technology. Um, to try to look at your specific data, but where I think it becomes interesting for the players who, um, aren't building warehouse native apps to help those organizations, the HubSpots, the sales forces, you know, on all those is if they start to have a, you know, ideally a a, obviously, I assume a legal way to look across the organizations. From like a Databox perspective where they're pulling in benchmark data right now, right? And they're able to give you insights relative to like kind companies sending emails at the frequency that you are. This stuff at scale is only doable with a AI and ml and it's only doable on SaaS platforms. That are built across lots of lots of organizations. If you move into the future where people are building their tech stack on their own data warehouse, and you're large enough, that could be really interesting for you, but you end up losing that contextual value that Andrea just brought up, which is ideally in the future, A I M L applications at the SaaS level are looking across their entire client base, within your specific vertical, and they're able to give you insights that say, Just so you know, you're underperforming, not just on your own performance, but relative to the norm of those in your category. And that I think is gonna be a really interesting future as this technology becomes more evolved and. And accessible for the HubSpots and the sales forces of the world to go build that framework. Right. I I, I wouldn't be surprised

Michael Hartmann:

if sounds, sounds really straightforward.

Drew Smith:

next year, not difficult at all. No. Yeah,

so,

Michael Hartmann:

well, I, like I, I said I, I think we could probably go on for a while longer, unfortunately. Get a wrap up here. So, drew, Andrea, thank you so much for joining us. Um, if, if folks want to kind of keep up with what you're doing, what's the best place for them? To do that hit me

Andrea Lechner-Becker:

up on LinkedIn. I'm the only Andrea Lechner hyphen Becker in the fucking world, so That's right. I'm easy to find. Yeah. Yeah. Bruce Smith is not the only Andrew Smith all. I'll

Michael Hartmann:

let him and, and Rizzo, Mike Rizzo is not the only Mike Rizzo too. We know that. Yeah. Let alone in Marketing

Mike Rizzo:

Ops We've got two of us in marketing Op at

Drew Smith:

least. Yeah, Yeah, Andrew, Andrea beat me to the joke. I'm on LinkedIn as well, but uh, I'm difficult to find so probably easier to find a tri cause it's the only attribute in the world. There you go. So, uh, find that and then you'll find me. And cuz trying to find an Andrew Smith is like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles. You

know?

Mike Rizzo:

You know where both of them. they're both hanging out in the Mopro Slack channel. There you go. You go. Absolutely. There's, there's that too. Although, and that too, Andrea's like, not always there, cuz she's pretty busy. But, you know, she'll poke her head in sometimes.

Drew Smith:

She's, she's big time. She's big time. I'll respond messages

Michael Hartmann:

Yeah, she does. She does. I'm just, all right. Well, hey y'all, thanks so much, uh, to all our listeners. Thank you. And, uh, hope you enjoyed this. We'll see you next time. Bye everyone. All right,

Drew Smith:

bye. Thanks all. See you. Thanks everybody.