80% of the Top Climate-Tech Unicorn B2B Companies Missed This Crucial Step
After reviewing the top 10 climate tech unicorns of 2022 , two things are very clear. They all use analytics software to measure website traffic and customers. And 80% aren’t measuring what marketing channels are creating those customers.
The Problem With Analytics Software, A Restaurant Analogy
Businesses use website analytics software to measure their website traffic. All the companies I reviewed for this article use Google Analytics.
Analytics allows marketers to see how their customers came to the website. It could be from an organic search listing, a paid ad placement, or another website.
But there’s a big problem hiding within Google Analytics. It cannot measure how your target market is learning about your product.
Let’s illustrate the problem this creates using an analogy.
Let’s say I run a restaurant that’s located off a Main Street, USA. When someone comes into the restaurant, Google Analytics reports that they came from Main Street. That is true. But. That is not where the demand for my restaurant was created. In other words, the only thing we truly know is that customers used Main Street to get to my restaurant.
Where they first learned about my restaurant is completely ignored! What peaked their interest in my restaurant enough to come in is completely lost.
Without the data on how I created demand for my restaurant, how do I know what to do to get more customers?
For 8 out of the top 10 B2B unicorn companies I looked at, the answer is anyone’s guess (it’s certainly not backed by data).
The Answer, Measure Twice
Since analytics software can’t tell you where customers are learning about your product, what do you do?
Self-reported attribution can be accomplished easily by adding a mandatory question to your contact form, “How did you hear about us?”
The qualitative data and feedback learned directly from leads, can be eye opening.
Within The Vault™, Refine Labs IP warehouse containing proprietary data and demand gen playbooks, Chris and his team share results from their own company and clientele.
A recent LinkedIn post, he shows how analytics software states that 79% of website converters are coming from web searches. However, only 3% mention web searches using self-reported attribution.
The majority cited either Chris’ LinkedIn posts (41%) or podcast, Revenue Vitals (53%). This drastic difference continues through the sales process eventually affecting the business’ revenue.
In a follow up post, he again uses his own company’s data to show the difference between software and SRA using average recurring revenue (ARR).
Analytics software isn’t crediting the podcast with any revenue. But, using self-reported attribution, we learn the podcast brings in over 50% of revenue!
Without self-reported attribution, this data point, and its implications, would be totally missed!
If You Only Had One Dollar To Invest In Marketing…
Every marketer has been asked a version of this question by senior management at one time or another:
“If you had only one dollar for marketing, where would you spend it?”
Dispassionate, rational, “data driven” marketers look to their analytics software for answers.
And when they do, they make a huge mistake!
By only using analytics software, marketing leaders risk missing their most profitable channels. Channels like: organic LinkedIn posting, mentions in private communities, guest appearances on podcasts, and others.
Untracked marketing activities like these might be secretly fueling your inbound business and not getting the attribution for the revenue. When the ROI (return on investment) of these marketing activities is missing, they will get cut in favor of ones that do.
80% of the B2B unicorn, climate tech companies are at risk of crippling their future growth by overlooking key data from their leads and customers.
But here’s the good news. Just as you don’t need to be a “unicorn” (1 Billion valuation) to have this problem. You don’t need to be a unicorn to solve it.
You Can Start Measuring Right, Starting Today, A Real-Life Example
Cleartrace (link), is a clean energy software company based in Austin, Texas USA. They’re investing marketing resources into producing a podcast for ESG and sustainability leaders called, The Decarbonization Race.
How do they know this is the right marketing strategy?
In a recent LinkedIn post announcing their second season, Cleartrace’s VP of Marketing, Dana Dohse, discussed the many benefits of starting a podcast like being a finalist for The Cleanie Awards, how much employees like it, and so on.
But there’s another critical benefit she calls out. Cleartrace tracks self-reported attribution. And their podcast has become one of the top-3 reasons mentioned by their inbound leads.
Armed with this information, Cleartrace is able to invest in their podcast, building their credibility and brand while also proving ROI. A win-win.
Self-Reported Attribution: Start Simple
Getting started with self-reported attribution isn’t “all or nothing.” You don’t need complicated backend routing. You don’t need to automatically categorize answers or track answers to revenue.
Start simple and add a mandatory, free-text “How did you hear about us?” field to the contact form on your website. Collect the answers in a spreadsheet. And review the answers periodically (depending on volume).
As your company invests in events, podcasts, communities, sponsorships, or other difficult-to-track marketing, keep an eye on the answers you receive.
Combine these answers with your software’s attribution and use both data points to increase the impact of your marketing dollars.