A Marketer’s Guide to Salesforce Campaign Influence

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Salesforce Campaign Influence is how Salesforce Opportunities are associated to the Campaigns that helped generate them. It’s all about joining the dots between sales revenue (stored in opportunities) and marketing data (stored in campaigns) – and therefore, the fundamental connection in measuring Marketing ROI (return on investment).

Without Campaign Influence, how else would you find out the amount of revenue generated for a specific initiative? How else would you capture marketing sourced deals vs. other lead sources?

Campaign Influence can be a daunting topic for marketers who aren’t familiar with the nuts and bolts of Salesforce Sales Cloud. A common roadblock for marketers is to understand the two options that the Salesforce platform provides.

The dream of accurate, effortless ROI tracking can become real. To begin demystifying the topic of Campaign Influence, we can start by laying out the two types:

  1. Campaign Influence 1.0 (AKA Salesforce Influence Model) – the default attribution model.
  2. Customisable Campaign Influence – for more advanced, multi-touch attribution.

This post will go into explaining the key points about each and the differences, plus questions to kick start your thinking. This guide is not meant to be a technical guide, so you will find I skim over the actual implementation of campaign influence, and instead, focus on key characteristics.

Option 1: Salesforce Campaign Influence 1.0

As the default attribution model, it’s the simplest to grasp. With this model, you can:

  • Associate Campaigns to Opportunities, using the contact as the golden link.
  • Enable/Disable as you wish
  • Set an auto-association timeframe
  • Credit revenue to campaigns in a simple way

Contact Roles

The contact involved in the opportunity is that all-important link, but Salesforce will only pick this up when the contact is added as a ‘Contact Role’ on the opportunity. Contact Roles simply allow you to show that this contact is playing a role in that opportunity. Read more detail in this introductory guide.

Enable Campaign Influence 1.0

You can enable/disable the Campaign Influence feature as you wish. In Setup, search for ‘Campaign Influence’, and select ‘Enabled’. 

Auto-association

The next item is auto-association. Auto-association means that you can let Salesforce take care of forging the link between your opportunities and campaigns, based on time.

Campaign Influence is an extremely subjective topic, swayed by a number of factors with time often being used as a factor which can be calculated.

If an opportunity is launched in the timeframe of a marketing campaign, we can assume that the campaign influenced the opportunity. The tricky part comes when we have to set those time periods; how long after a campaign launch can marketing still influence new opportunities? (think: ‘how long is a piece of string?’). The allowable time lag will be different for every business, and should be discussed as a team.

You’re likely to find that certain campaigns should be automatically associated, and others not. Luckily, on the auto-association settings in Setup, you can set rules that only include (or exclude) certain types of campaigns for auto-association. Rules can be set based on any Campaign Object field. The rest can be linked manually by yourself, or another user. 

Crediting Revenue

Crediting revenue to opportunities is kept simple. The campaign on the opportunity ‘Primary Campaign Source’ field will receive 100% of the credit.

Option 2: Customizable Campaign Influence

This model is more advanced, for when your marketing has outgrown the restrictions of the Salesforce Influence model. Since Winter ‘17, Customizable Campaign Influence has supported more complexity and provided flexibility for marketers, by: 

  • Attributing opportunity revenue across multiple campaigns – how influence relates to the revenue share.
  • Choosing a model that best represents your marketing/sales cycles.
  • Tracking influence across sales cycles with multiple touchpoints.

Influence & Revenue Share

With Customizable Campaign Influence, you can split the opportunity’s revenue amount, and spread it to the correct campaigns according to their level of influence. This goes beyond the ‘all or nothing’ credit in Campaign Influence 1.0.

To keep things simple, what you need to keep in mind are two things:

  • The Influence (%)
  • The Revenue Share (Influence % of Opportunity Amount)

For example, you have Opportunity X which has the amount £10,000. Campaign A is said to have had a great influence on Opportunity X, pushing it over the line. You may want to give 50% influence to Campaign A. Campaign A’s revenue share is £5,000. Campaign B, on the other hand, did play a part but not to the same extent as Campaign A; therefore, you can attribute 25% to it, a revenue share equalling £2,500.

This is how it looks from the campaign view:

Models

You often hear about ‘attribution models’ in marketing ROI, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! It is just the phrase to describe how the weighting is calculated for each touchpoint (campaign).

I go into more detail in the post titled: ‘Pardot Analytics Update: Campaign Influence Attribution Models Explained‘, but just to quickly cover the 3 most common attribution models (which come out-of-the-box with Salesforce):

  • First-touch: focusing credit (opportunity revenue) on the campaign (touch point) that moved prospects through the awareness stage.
  • Last-touch: focusing credit (opportunity revenue) to the campaign (touch point) that moved prospects through the consideration/negotiation stage.
  • Even Distribution: giving equal credit to all the campaigns (touch points) that a prospect interacted with during the buying cycle.

With Customizable Campaign Influence, you can define the weightings for the first-touch campaign, last-touch, or stick to an even distribution model (where all campaigns have equal % Influence, and therefore Revenue Share).

How Salesforce Crunches the Numbers

  • Let’s remind ourselves of how contacts are associated with campaigns. As you can see in the image below, a contact (or lead) record is associated to a campaign through becoming a campaign member. This is a separate record that connects the contact and campaign, and is created automatically when you add the contact to the campaign.

Now, we can focus on one contact, who is a member of 3 campaigns (therefore has 3 campaign member records). Each campaign member record has a ‘Created Date’ field, and a ‘Last Modified’ Date’ field.

When calculating Campaign Influence, Salesforce uses these two date fields to determine the first & last touch:

  • First-touch: Salesforce looks at Campaign Member created date to decide which campaign was a contact’s first-touch with your brand.
  • Last-touch: Salesforce looks at Campaign Member last modified date to decide which campaign was a contact’s final marketing touch before closing. This is because the campaign member status would have changed most recently on this campaign member record.

You can see reflected in the image above.

Moving on to the high-level picture. In the Salesforce dashboard below, we can see three pie charts.

Let’s start with ‘Even Touch’ on the right. This pie shows that 810k was the ‘Sum of Revenue Share’, which could be rephrased as the total amount of marketing influenced revenue (in Salesforce Opportunities). The slices of the pie vary in size according to the value of the contacts that are in the campaigns (as members in Campaigns, and Contact Roles in Opportunities).

We can build on this in order to explain ‘Last Touch’. The largest slice is the bright blue, for the ‘2017 Fall Event’. We can say that this campaign made the largest contribution at the negotiation stage, right before winning the opportunity, because this is the last campaign to touch prospects before the opportunity/ies were marked closed won.

Licensing

This is for customers with both Salesforce and Pardot licenses. The advice is to contact your Account Executive to enable this feature if it has not yet been provisioned.

Summary: Questions to get you started.

This post has been a comprehensive guide to get you started on Campaign Influence in Salesforce.

To demystify the topic I have laid out the two types: Campaign Influence 1.0 (AKA Salesforce Influence Model) – the default attribution model, and Customizable Campaign Influence – for more advanced, multi-touch attribution.

It is advisable to start with the Salesforce Influence Model, to leverage auto-association and/or get salespeople onboard, and crucially, for you to get comfortable with reporting.

Beyond the default model, here are some questions to get you started on thinking about the future of your Campaign Influence tracking:

How granular do you need to go when splitting out the revenue from an opportunity across your campaigns? Are you able to define how significant the first touch, or last touch is to the opportunity? Does an even distribution model mask the true influence your campaigns are having on the opportunity?

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