For chief marketing officers, revenue attribution confirms their contributions to their company’s growth and revenue. Although 95 percent of marketing leaders believe that attribution is critical to strategic success, just 36 percent report having an active and measurable strategy to prove marketing return on investment (ROI). That’s according to DemandLab’s latest report, “The CMO’s Challenge: Revenue Attribution From a Leadership Perspective,” which builds on a survey that DemandLab published in December 2020.

The results show that for 59 percent of marketing leaders, the top benefit of an attribution strategy is having the ability to make better decisions for their organizations. Successful attribution also alleviates friction between the marketing and sales teams, according to 65 percent of respondents. And as DemandLab notes, according to Forrester analyst Tina Moffet, revenue attribution is associated with a revenue lift of between 15 percent and 18 percent for those companies that implement it.

Nevertheless, marketing attribution is some distant, vague goal for CMOs. Just 15 percent are in the process of launching a revenue attribution strategy, 25 percent are planning to roll one out at a later time and another 24 percent have no plans for a strategy. For the last group, DemandLabs suggests weaving attribution into existing marketing initiatives as the first step.

A successful attribution strategy requires resources like technologies, data and trained personnel, many of which marketing leaders lack. Some of the major barriers marketers face in claiming ownership of generated revenue include data quality (53 percent), budgetary constraints (35 percent) and analyzing marketing’s impact on different stages of the buyer journey (34 percent).

The top three digital channels that CMOs find most difficult to analyze when attributing results to sales revenue include social media marketing for 44 percent, content marketing for 39 percent and display advertising for 38 percent.

Additionally, 68 percent agree that the process of aggregating high-quality data across multiple channels, departments and platforms to optimize their attribution requires outsourced expertise.

Looking at the year ahead, 43 percent of marketers plan to increase their dedicated attribution budget moderately or significantly while another 14 percent plan to decrease it.