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As a data-driven agency, over the years, our clients have usually included us in the process of selecting a marketing automation tool. So, we would take a system agnostic approach to select the best solution for each company. What we’ve learned is that most tools out there provide baseline conversion data, and that is all. With that being said there are ways to “pimp your marketing data” (yeah, we said that) to get a deeper understanding of what, specifically, is driving your results.


Here are a couple of tricks we’ve learned:


1. Always use Salesforce as the “grand master” for your data. Today’s inbound marketing is just part of the sales process. So, it makes sense that Salesforce is where marketers should spend their time crunching data. Salesforce provides insight into what channels are producing revenue opportunities and closed deals. It also provides the ability to understand at what scale is the effort producing results. Simply measuring marketing qualified leads does not give the true value of the output; all MQLs are not created equal. What is important to measure are the opportunity values to efforts. To do that, it is imperative to get as much detailed information from the marketing automation tool into Salesforce.

This is not always a simple process, but it is achievable and well worth the effort. Be careful with campaign data as it relates to marketing data. We often find you must normalize the data because the two systems are not always aligned. We like to create a master field for source data to blend outbound efforts and offline efforts against digital. Many times, remarketing and other channels are only a result of other efforts so we need to give credit where credit is due.


2. You down with UTM? The more data you have, the better. When we set up our attribution models, which drive our marketing efforts for clients, we connect the dots between channel performance and sales opportunities. However, this is not always an easy process. The out of the box solutions for most marketing automation tools are just too general and oversimplified.

Two marketing automation tools that we have used with clients in the past, Hubspot and Pardot, can integrate UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tracking into their systems. This allows users to add more data to any links back to our site that we control. We can add content, campaign adgroup, specific emails, and a host of other details we want to measure against revenue opportunities. Most importantly, the UTM is used for tracking content performance, regardless of channel to opportunity revenue output.

Once the data is in the marketing automation tool, the next important step is mapping these UTM fields to Salesforce on the lead object. In Salesforce these fields can be mapped to the opportunity and then impact can be measured. (This is not a simple process, but very doable. Let us know if you need some help.) When the data is in Salesforce, the output of it is endless. We have been able to understand what content is best for each industry and persona. The learning is up to you.


The most important thing to keep in mind when integrating a marketing automation system into Salesforce is to get as much data as you can in. The data you learn about your content may surprise you. Additionally, you may also find that there are channels, keywords, and campaigns that are good at producing MQLs, but result in absolutely no revenue at all. You’ve heard it before – the devil is in the details, and in this case, the details mean the data. The more data you have, the more questions you can answer, which is why our motto at RenderTribe is, “Don’t fall in love with your ideas, fall in love with your results.” Let the data lead you.

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