Revenue Operations

Back to Basics: Configuring Campaigns for Optimal Analytics

Managing buyer lifecycles is #complicated.


According to the demand generation waterfall, people fall through the sales process like those little discs in a game of Plinko.


In reality, B2B sales committees result in a buyer journey that is a map that looks like a bunch of squirrels with amnesia got hopped up on sugar, ran through paint, and then searched for a food stash.


It’s not pretty, and it sure isn’t linear.


That’s why it’s so essential to put a lot of thought into how you’re tracking your customer-facing activities and how you would like to calculate Campaign attribution. 


The sooner you begin planning your infrastructure set up, the better off you’ll be when your executives start thinking about marketing ROI.

A Note About Systems

Most of the material below is specific to Salesforce. However, if you plan to implement Salesforce in the future, read through the document and start thinking about how your marketing automation platform can be optimized to make this transition as painless as possible.

Why Use SFDC Campaigns and Campaign Members?

Each business wants to track things a little bit differently than the next. They want different lifecycle stages, define things uniquely, and care more about certain marketing activities than others.


The temptation, particularly for newer administrators, is to build a completely new process using custom objects to track the lifecycle advancement.


This is a mistake.


Standard Campaign and Campaign Member objects are frequently relied upon when connecting your system to powerful analytics tools. This includes funnel analytics, marketing attribution, Lead scoring, and “ABM” tools. Some applications are more rigid than others and demand that you adhere to a standard Campaign and Campaign Member configuration. 


Sometimes you can get away with custom fields on the standard objects. 


It’s extremely rare to find a vendor willing to work with your customer configuration (if you’ve found one, mazel tov). 


Check out these industry best practices before you try to purchase a tool or make your own customer data platform.

Understanding & Using Campaigns

A Campaign is simply an object that houses critical information related to a campaign. Data such as name, Type, spend, and Program are stored on Campaign records.


Campaign Members record a Contact or Lead’s interaction with the Campaign. Whether or not you record multiple interactions for a single person is up to you. It’s not uncommon for a prospect to request a demo, then the sale cools off, then come back and request another demo.



Recording both of these activities is recommended.


Campaign Members have Statuses that are either a “response” or not. Responses are active hand raises that typically signal the record should be evaluated for Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) eligibility (more on that later).


Chances are very good that it will take dozens of Campaign interactions to lead to a sale across several Contacts on a single Account. Each Contact will probably also have multiple Campaign Members associated with them. This is exactly why we want to use the Campaign Member functionality: to track every Campaign interaction, not just the last or first Campaign interaction that took place on a given Contact.

Types

Types are specific to the kind of Campaign you are running. Examples of Types are:

  • Email
  • Webform
  • Chat
  • Field Event
  • Trade Show
  • Content Syndication
  • Gated Content
  • Webinar
  • Paid Social Media
  • Paid Search
  • Retargeting/Programmatic
  • Partner/Referral


If you have data streaming in from an Intent provider like G2 or Gartner, you may want to consider adding a Campaign and Campaign Members when someone is actively browsing your company’s page with a Type of “Intent.”



Another Type you may want to add is the “Podcast” Type if you do any podcast advertising, but note that you’ll need to use a webform that captures some kind of promotion code to track this. Unfortunately, offline referrals can only be captured if we know about them and a user captures the information somehow.


You may also want to track “Sales Outbound” as a Type if you require a Campaign to be associated to an Opportunity upon creation and an Active MQL isn’t associated with the Lead or Contact.

Programs

Several marketing automation platforms use “Partner” or “Channel” interchangeably with how we’ve defined Type above in Salesforce. In Salesforce, Programs are strategic initiatives or tactics that group Campaigns of different Types.


For example, if we have a group of competitors we want to target, we can create Parent Campaign (Program) of “Strategy - Competitive” and catalog Campaigns of Type Paid Social Media, Retargeting, Email, and even Webform if we have a landing page dedicated to competitive ads.



You may want to go an extra step and add a “Is Program” checkbox to indicate parent Campaigns that are properly assigned as a Program instead of a series of Campaign families (Which we recommend clumping by date range and Campaign naming convention rather than parent records. Multi-layered parent Campaigns are a reporting nightmare.).

Channels

In the world of Salesforce, we capture a Channel on the Campaign Member record by passing along UTM parameters. Channels capture how a Lead navigated to your Campaign rather than the Type of Campaign.


For example, you may have a “Contact Us” form that’s on your website. The Campaign Type would be Webform, and your Channel could be Paid Search if someone clicked on an ad and landed on your website, then clicked on “Contact Us.” The Channel could just as easily be Organic Search, Paid Social, Retargeting, or Email.



You’ll note that Channels are also Types, but when a Campaign Member Type matches a Channel, it’s because the person took an action on a form or page specifically dedicated to a particular tactic (like a Paid Search landing page).


Here’s how all of the components come together:

<IMAGE>

When Not to Use Campaigns

There isn’t really a wrong time to use a Campaign, but there will be times that you’ll want to exclude certain Campaign activities from your reports.


A “Marketing Operations” Type Campaign is handy for denoting who was included in a batch update. This allows you to single out these people for testing purposes easily. They should never be associated with Campaign Members with a Responded Status.


You may want to use Campaigns to capture product newsletter activity with existing customers and other customer communications. It will be up to you whether you wish to record them as a response and create an expansion lifecycle report or exclude Customer Programs from your reporting base.

Defining Lifecycle Stages (SFDC)

There are things to think long and hard through before configuring a lifecycle report:

  • Do you want a record of each time someone enters your lifecycle stages?
  • Do you only want to snapshot the first time someone enters each lifecycle stage?
  • Do you want to allocate attribution across all responses or just MQLs?
  • How do you want to define each stage, and how is that different than best practices?


Once you have your definitions in place and a clear vision for the reporting you want to achieve in the future, it’s time to get stakeholder buy-in.


Lifecycle stages are going to be different depending on your business model. We’ve covered a few such models below. We recommend capturing the lifecycle stages on a Campaign Member record. This allows for exit and re-entry into the lifecycle much easier than capturing the data on the Lead or Contact record. Capturing on the Lead or Contact means either overwriting your stages, sticking to the first time a record enters a stage, or blowing up your custom field count with fields to capture multiple lifecycle stage pass-throughs.



You can either set up lifecycle automation through Flows (Process Builder alone won’t be robust enough) or FullCircle Insights, Bizible, CaliberMind, or other attribution tools. Lifecycle stages are driven by Campaign activity, Lead/Contact statuses, and Opportunity data.


Do not attempt to manage your lifecycle in a marketing automation platform. There are too many Opportunities for lost visibility and a data synchronization problem, even if you decide to create a custom object in Marketo or Eloqua to track your Opportunities. If it’s too difficult to manage a Salesforce Flow, consider either purchasing a tool that specializes in marketing attribution or a customer data platform that can push lifecycle stages and dates back into your CRM against your Campaign Member and Contact/Lead records.


Note that B2C2B is not captured below. Typically, you will need a customer data platform to handle both B2B and B2C lifecycle calculations for a B2C2B model.

B2B (Pre-Sales & Full Cycle Sellers)

MAL

The Marketing Accepted Lead should apply to any Campaign Member, regardless of status, with a valid email address and is not disqualified through some means (country not sold to, not a real person, etc.). This is simply someone who could be viably targeted by marketing or sales.


MQL

The Marketing Qualified Lead is a Campaign Response on a Lead record that is not already actively pursued by sales (according to the Lead or contact Status - if it’s in Working or some similar active sales Status, it is “active”). Determining whether there is an active Opportunity on the associated Account requires complex logic and a tool that associates Lead records to Accounts to work properly, but it’s worth the effort. If an Opportunity is open and active on an Account, an associate Lead/Contact should not be eligible to MQL.


Once a Campaign Member reaches MQL, it is considered an Active MQL until closed out (Marketing Recycled, Sales Recycled, or Won).


These Leads and Contacts should be passed to an inside salesperson and be given a status along the lines of “Open - Not Contacted” to denote that they are new Leads for the inside team. An "Open - Not Contacted Date" field on the Contact or Lead will enable you to put in place an SLA process for new Leads.


Note that some companies also apply an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) threshold to these records, but make sure your enrichment tools consistently provide the information you’re gating against. If you frequently are missing key information, an ICP score is not a good idea.


TAL

A Tele-Accepted Lead is a Lead that is not immediately disqualified by the inside sales team and put into a “Working” or similar Status. This signals they have done some research and determined the person is a potential fit.



TSM

A Tele-Set Meeting is a meeting scheduled by the inside sales team for an account executive. This can either be in the form of a “Pre-Sales Opportunity” or early-stage Opportunity (not yet qualified pipeline), a custom object, or an event record. Note that many attribution tools are configured for an early-stage Opportunity out of the box.


At this time, the Opportunity should be associated with the “active” Campaign member. The Primary Campaign Field should also be populated on the Opportunity with the Campaign associated with this Campaign Member.


SQO

A Sales Qualified Opportunity is an Opportunity that has been verified as viable by the sales team, and they have advanced the Opportunity beyond an early stage and selected the "Qualified" status. This usually follows a qualification call when the account executive verifies that the Account is a fit, has budget, and has a motivating factor pushing them toward a decision.


ESO

An Early-Stage Opportunity may be captured on the Campaign Member once the associated Opportunity progresses beyond the “Qualified” stage or SQO.


LSO

A Late-Stage Opportunity may be captured on the Campaign Member once the associated Opportunity meets or progresses beyond a probability of 50%.


Won

A Closed Won Opportunity may be stamped as Won on the Campaign Member, and the Campaign Member is considered "Inactive."


Lost/Sales Recycled

A Closed Lost Opportunity may be stamped as Lost or Sales Recycled on the Campaign Member, and the Campaign Member is considered "Inactive." This allows for re-entry into the lifecycle process and deactivates the Campaign Member.


Marketing Recycled

A Lead or Contact moved into a "Nurture" or "Recycle" Status before the inside sales team can set a meeting should be marked Marketing Recycled, and the Campaign Member should be deactivated.


B2B (Just Full Cycle Sellers)

MAL

The Marketing Accepted Lead should apply to any Campaign Member, regardless of status, with a valid email address and is not disqualified through some means (country not sold to, not a real person, etc.). This is simply someone who could be viably targeted by marketing or sales.


MQL

The Marketing Qualified Lead is a Campaign Response on a Lead record that is not already actively pursued by sales (according to the Lead or contact Status - if it's in Working or some similar active sales Status, it is "active"). 


Once a Campaign Member reaches MQL, it is considered an Active MQL until closed out (Marketing Recycled, Sales Recycled, or Won).


These Leads and Contacts should be passed to a salesperson and be given a status along the lines of "Open - Not Contacted" to denote that they are new Leads for the inside team. An "Open - Not Contacted Date" field on the Contact or Lead will enable you to put in place an SLA process for new Leads.


Note that some companies also apply an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) threshold to these records, but ensure your enrichment tools consistently provide the information you're using to gate MQLs. If you frequently are missing essential information, an ICP score gate is not a good idea.


SAL

A Sales Accepted Lead is a Lead that is not immediately disqualified by the sales team and put into a “Working” or similar Status. This signals they have done some research and determined the person is a potential fit.



SQO

A Sales Qualfiied Opportunity is an Opportunity that has been verified as viable by the sales team, and they have advanced the Opportunity beyond an early stage and selected the "Qualified" status. This usually follows a qualification call when the account executive verifies that the Account is a fit, has budget, and has a motivating factor pushing them toward a decision.


ESO

An Early-Stage Opportunity may be captured on the Campaign Member once the associated Opportunity progresses beyond the “Qualified” stage or SQO.


LSO

A Late-Stage Opportunity may be captured on the Campaign Member once the associated Opportunity meets or progresses beyond a probability of 50%.


Won

A Closed Won Opportunity may be stamped as Won on the Campaign Member, and the Campaign Member is considered "Inactive."


Lost/Sales Recycled

A Lead or Contact moved into a "Nurture" or "Recycle" Status before an Opportunity is created, or a Closed Lost Opportunity may be stamped as Lost or Sales Recycled on the Campaign Member, and the Campaign Member is considered "Inactive." This allows for re-entry into the lifecycle process and deactivates the Campaign Member.

B2C

B2C lifecycles may mirror the B2B Full-Cycle Seller stages if a salesperson is needed to close a high-value Opportunity. Otherwise, the seller points are typically skipped, and the online process is tracked.


At its simplest:

MQL

A potential customer clicks on marketing materials and navigates to your site. People who disengage after signing up for a newsletter or providing their email via chat may be marketed to in an attempt to move them to PQL.



PQL

A user creates a “Freemium” license or a free trial.


Cart Abandoned

A potential customer goes through the order process but abandons their cart before completing the purchase. They may be marketed to in an attempt to get them to finish the purchase.


Won

A completed purchase.


Recycled

A Lead or Contact that times out of any stage before Won without making a purchase.

Duplicates or New Opportunities?

Whether you count your lifecycle stages multiple times should be on par with whether or not you count multiple Opportunities created. If you view a second new Opportunity as a new Opportunity even though an Opportunity was created on the account and counted as a new Opportunity in the past, the same logic should be applied to your lifecycle stages.


I would argue that sales wants to know about each MQL, and reactivating an account that fell off the bandwagon is worth counting. I've always recommended that the only time you don't count a stage is when the Account is already in flight in the life cycle. If an account becomes engaged, disengages, then reengages, I expect two MQLs, one active Campaign Member, and at least one inactive Campaign Member associated with a lost Opportunity.


Once the Opportunity is closed won and you have a new logo, it's up to you whether to count re-entries - although I would recommend you do so to take full advantage of potential upsell Opportunities.


Whatever you choose, be consistent.


Related posts

Join the Co-op!

Or