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Google Partners Connect: What B2B Businesses Can Learn from Marketing Measurement

By: Alyssa Dannaker

Sagefrog is proud to be a Google Partner that has access to exclusive Google material, events and opportunities. This status allows us to share important insights on the newest marketing tips and trends with our clients and community. We had the chance to join Google’s most recent Partners Connect livestream event on Measurement this week and we’re excited to give you a quick recap of the most important talking points that are relevant to our B2B marketing.

Wednesday’s session discussed the topic of marketing measurement: the evolution of advertising measurement from traditional to digital to mobile and the top two ways to measure your marketing efforts in the complex ad ecosystem of today. Google modeled most of its measurement examples on the consumer journey of B2C companies, but it only takes a little legwork to adjust them to the B2B buyer’s journey. Take a look at some of the points that surprised even the marketing sages at Sagefrog.

1. The Evolution of Ad Measurement & the New Customer Journey

As technology advances, advertisers have had to adapt to changing devices, platforms and channels to reach consumers. Mobile advertising has quickly become the “next big thing” in placing products and services in front of prospective customers on a daily basis, but its influence has brought unforeseen complexities in the ecosystem of advertising. Not only do marketers need to pay attention to the buyer persona’s path in reaching a product or service, but they also need to trace this journey across multiple devices and channels to better attribute conversions and cater marketing efforts around what works best. Marketers cannot expect the same measurable ROI that traditional and digital advertising provide; consumer behavior has created what Google calls micro-moments and we need to learn how to track these moments to influence consumer decisions at the right moment in time.

2. How to Better Measure & Attribute Marketing Effectiveness

Google’s livestream offered surprising statistics on consumer behavior and shared key ways to combat the skewed attribution of impact from marketing channels. Multichannel customers and micro-moments dictate how we should use tools to give credit to each channel or platform’s weight. Google supplied us with three big reminders for tackling ad measurement:

  1. Measure across screens: Digital created a simple, one-device world, with computers being the only screen consumers utilized. Today, 90% of people use multiple screens for daily tasks, which means they might search for a product via smartphone, conduct research on a tablet at work and make a final purchase on a desktop at home. (This is where web and mobile optimization come into play!)
  2. Measure across channels: See the complete path of consumers who make in-store visits and digital and mobile interactions by diving deep into each of these channels. Digital advertising and other online marketing can have a big effect on offline actions.
  3. Don’t forget mobile phone calls: Google predicts that mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses in 2018. B2B businesses are more likely to get results through this key channel because consumers feel more comfortable speaking directly to people when making important purchases like insurance or software and when dealing with unfamiliar businesses.

3. Two Key Terms: Cross-Device Conversions & Attribution Modeling

Let’s put things into B2B perspective by defining Google’s measurement tools – cross-device conversions and attribution models – with relevant B2B examples.

Cross-device conversions are large ways in which small micro-moments come together. For a B2B health IT company, this tool can track the views of an ad for your electronic health records software on a desktop, tablet and mobile phone to help you find the most impactful touchpoints along the buyer’s journey. This data might make you reevaluate your marketing goals to direct more effort toward optimizing mobile ads or placing ads on key social media platforms your buyer personas use most.

Attribution models can help you better assign value or credit to these conversions, but for B2B companies especially, the model should directly reflect your overall business model. If you’re currently working on building brand awareness, you’ll want to move farther back in the series of buyer touchpoints to give more credit to the first click or initial interaction of the buyer journey. With brand awareness as your focus, you can attribute more credit to, say, clients’ preliminary search term of “mobile EHR platform” and begin to cater content around the long-tail keyword that has led them to your business. Develop a tip sheet to educate prospective clients about your EHR mobile app or create an eBook that illustrates how users can get more out of their EHR by going mobile.

We’ve learned a lot from this week’s Google Partners Connect event and we hope this recap has given you a taste of what marketers are capable of in today’s advertising ecosystem. Take advantage of these key takeaways to more effectively shape your marketing goals and improve your ROI in 2017.

Are you interested in digital marketing or other B2B marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today!