The data you need to measure B2B growth with Ole Dallerup
From your website and CRM, to paid platforms and social media, there is so much data available to marketers. But despite all this data, it’s still frickin’ hard to understand what drives revenue. That’s why in this episode, we caught up with Ole Dallerup, Founder and CTO of Dreamdata, to learn about measuring B2B growth.
- What data you should collect to understand B2B growth
- What key metrics you should pay attention to
- Typical reports a B2B company should have
- How B2B data is different from B2C data
- Some limitations of Google Analytics in B2B cases
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Marketing Analytics Show, the podcast that helps you get better at marketing analytics. This podcast is brought to you by Supermetrics. Over half a million marketers use Supermetrics to move data from popular marketing platforms, such as Facebook, Google Analytics, and HubSpot to their favorite analytics reporting and data warehouse tools, including Google Sheets, Excel, Google Data Studio, Google BigQuery, and more.
Give Supermetrics a spin and start your 14-day free trial at supermetrics.com. I’m your host Anna Shutko. And today our guest star is Ole Dallerup, a founder and CEO of dreamdata.io, a B2B attribution tool, and a revenue data platform.
In this episode, you’ll learn what data and marketers should collect, join and sort in order to understand B2B growth, as well as the key metrics to pay attention to, typical reports that B2B companies should consider recording, and the audience for each report. The difference in the data you need for B2B and B2C companies, and some limitations of Google Analytics in B2B cases. I hope you’ll enjoy this episode. Thank you so much, Ole, for joining me on the show today.
Thank you. And looking forward to having a talk with you.
All right. Awesome. Yes. I’m very excited about this episode and let’s turn to the first question. So, what data does a marketer need to collect, join and sort in order to understand B2B growth? And what are the key metrics there to pay attention to?
So, I think that’s always… Well, the real answer is really complex, I think, but what we are seeing more and more marketing teams started caring a lot about is actually revenue. I think marketing teams always cared about revenue, but more teams are starting to actually try to understand how their activities and their acquisition of customers impact the revenue, to understand that more directly.
And that’s what we are doing there to help those marketers. We help them to collect the data of all activities their customers or leads are doing. And so that’s one source, like tracking activity on your website, but this type of activity can also come from other places like your CRM system. You probably also have some activity data there.
Maybe you have a system that’s not your CRM, to register people that attended a webinar, attended a conference. These days, maybe less conferences, but still. Maybe you have a system to send the way you’re sending emails and are discovering whether your leads and customers are opening and clicking the emails.
All those activities are the activities you’re trying to understand and see what are those activities are helping us drive growth? And by growth, more and more marketers are talking about revenue. How do we impact revenue directly, both short-term and long-term?
Yeah. Awesome. I do love the revenue orientation there. And now just to follow up, you were talking about different types of data that you need to collect in order to be able to accurately assess the course of action. So now, could you please tell us what are the main differences between the data you need to collect for B2B companies versus the data you need to collect for B2C companies?
So at a high level, if we start there, then for a B2C company, we’re trying to track the individual user who is the person who is going to buy from us. At a B2B level, then we’re trying to track the company and all the individuals who are involved in making the decision to buy the product.
The larger the deal deals, of course, the longer journey. I think that counts for both. But particularly for B2B, we’re seeing the journey is very long. I think the decision of buying multi, either hundred of thousands of dollars software, or just $10,000 software, is often several months. The journey can be very long. I think we are seeing a lot of our customers having journeys of everything between one month and 18 months long on average.
And so, you have to track and understand activities over a long period of time with B2B. B2C, I mean, I admit if you need to buy a car, that can also be a long decision. But in many cases, B2C is a little bit shorter. So, it’s probably the easiest way to understand, you’re trying to understand classical ecommerce, where you are buying your shoes, your clothes, your electronics. Those kinds of things are often happening relatively fast. And the journey towards there is shorter.
And so typically here, you look not that far back and the activities to get you to buy are things that happened maybe last 30 days or similar. And that makes it much easier to track. And then, on the other side is the user who you are tracking is also the decision-maker. It’s also the one with the money. It’s all the personas you have to care about it, that one individual.
Whereas in B2B, you have to care about multiple buyers. Maybe there’s legal involved, maybe there are some tech people that are involved that need to validate. There are at least often experts. Then there’s the decision-maker who is the boss, or who is the one with the money. There are multiple personas and they are often different people. And that’s the biggest difference between B2B and B2C.
All right. Yeah. Great. Now, let’s talk a bit about the reports. So what are the typical reports a B2B company should consider creating? And maybe you’re just talking about legal and different kinds of stakeholders involved. So, if you could tell us more about the audiences. So say, if we create those different reports for a B2B company, who is the audience for each of these reports then?
Yeah. It, of course, depends on your company. And so you should definitely consider whether all types of reports fit your company as a specific, but around you want to try to understand what’s the journey customers are taking and what are the touchpoints that are leading to an acquisition? How do you acquire the customer? What are the channels you acquire?
And so, I think this is a little bit the same report. I mean, it’s probably different nuances, but it’s the same report. You’re trying to understand what happened towards a purchase that people have come from Google Ads, that they come across the conference is important. What activities led to us acquiring the customer? And here, I mean, this leads towards attribution. The first version of it might not be attribution. Here you’re just trying to map up what people are doing before they become customers.
So that you can start segmenting that saying, “Okay. Well, actually, all our good leads, they come from Google Ads. Or all our good leads, they might come from Google Ads, but they convert as soon as we present them with some emails or sales call them or whatever they are doing.”
I think then often also, what I’m seeing in most B2B companies is doing some level of data enrichment to do segmentations of the companies they’re doing businesses with. I mean the most classical way is by segment, by country, industry, maybe the number of employees, those kinds of things.
So they start having an understanding about are there any industries that are particularly good for us, trying to understand, okay, which are the good leads when we look at lifetime value? What are the good leads then if we talk about the short term revenue, the deals we just closed? What are the good deals then?
Also, then you can start optimizing all your content and your tactics around acquiring customers, but also so that you can ensure that the sales get the right leads, that are those leads that are most likely to both close and turn long-term business for you.
And then the last piece, what we’re seeing some companies, but probably more and more companies starting caring about is the personas. It’s trying to understand which personas are involved in the deal, which has to be involved in the deal. Well, like us, we are selling an advanced data product, so we often need to get… the decision-makers are often marketing. But often we need someone involved coming from the data side of things and understanding the data and what can we do there.
And we often need to have legal. I mean, the larger the companies, the more legal will be involved to ensure data processing, all those kinds of things are in order. And that’s important for us. And so we would, early on, try to map those personas. So we have an understanding of how we can get access to them when the time is for that? I think more and more are doing that. And so that’s probably the last grouping of reports I would say most are doing. Yeah.
Great. Yeah. Thanks for sharing. I think that’s a very, very good way to think about all these different reports. And now let’s talk about one piece of content your co-founder, Steffen Hedebrandt, actually shared. And it was very, very interesting to me because he outlined several limitations, Google tools like Google Analytics have when it comes to measuring B2B growth.
You talked about some of them previously. And so some of the things he mentioned were, for example, revenue. So marketing spend should be judged by the revenue it generates. And definitely do agree with that statement.
However, in most B2B companies, revenue comes when a salesperson signs a deal with the customers. Google Analytics has no insight into the process. And Steffen also mentioned lifetime value in his post. So for most B2Bs, all growth activities are depending on the LTV. And it’s a part of the question to make those different turn on investments, but you, unfortunately, cannot see these LTV in GA. So, continuing on that, could you please tell more about these and maybe some other limitation you’ve noticed Google Analytics has?
Sure. I mean, so the first thing people have to recognize is that Google Analytics tracks people. And so, Google Analytics is a good tool when you’re trying to track and then do it to a person. What is that person doing on your website? Maybe also your mobile app, if you have that. And so, it’s a good tool to do that. It can see where you acquired the customer if everything happens in your app or on your website. And so for that, Google is an excellent tool.
Now, when we’re talking about revenue, it’s relatively obvious to understand that, well, in a B2B world, actually there’s not one buyer, there are multiple personas you need to be involved with. So tracking the revenue on those individuals is actually very hard to do in Google Analytics. And it would probably also be partly wrong, or even at least you would need to do some level of attribution of how you divide the money on all the personas inside Google Analytics.
And so, that’s where the limitation starts. Revenue for a B2B company in Google Analytics is… Well, I don’t know how you would do it, but I think that would be very hard to map out. But also you don’t get an insight of the company. So you get the insight of individual users and what they have done, but you don’t get the insight into the concept of an account or a company.
What is the company doing on Google? Which companies should we start acting on? Which companies are doing things? You don’t get that. I think then additionally, Google Analytics is limited really to the application and the website. And so, for many and maybe particularly for B2B companies, that’s a bad thing because a lot of activities happen as offline marketing in various formats, such as events, or webinars. Or it happens as a sales phone call, or support who’s helping out the customer, being a success in a trial or similar.
And so, you want to track all those kinds of details because they matter. We see some companies where actually that support is a key decision, or a key department into driving trials and making them successful. And if there’s no one to do that, well, then you lose some of that revenue.
And if you don’t have a way of measuring it, then some could tend to say, “Hey. Well, support, that’s just as cost centers. Now we have COVID. So let’s shut down some of the areas that don’t impact our short-term revenue and shut down, for example, some of the support.” Well, that could easily be a bad decision. If you actually spend a lot of resources on support to acquire new customers. Then you’re also cutting a leg on your growth channel.
So having that understanding in detail, we also often see relations between your help desk website, organic searches you’re getting to those, and to sales. Again, you want to invest in the things that drive revenue for you. And if you don’t have that holistic view across all your business systems, whether that’s websites, applications, or your systems like your CRM and help desk systems. Then you easily lose some of the important details and you end up, both at a high level and a detailed level, making large mistakes.
And that’s why generally I don’t think Google Analytics can be used for B2B companies for anything else than trying to acquire more traffic. That is the metric you can use Google Analytics for and drive that. I don’t think that’s one of the important metrics as a marketer.
Yeah. I think those are really, really good points. Thanks for sharing. And I especially liked the one where you were talking about the individual users versus companies. I do think that is actually true, that Google Analytics does actually track more data on a user level. But it’s very important to put this user in the context of the organization first. Now, if we talk about the data sources part. So say if you decide to switch from GA to other data sources, then would these data sources just could be or would be in your opinion then?
I mean, it depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to drive revenue and that is you want to move your marketing team into being responsible for driving revenue and not just being responsible for driving traffic or conversions. And that’s actually what we see most. Very often, we see marketing teams being responsible for driving conversions. That is their responsibility.
Then also, often in those organizations, when marketing is responsible for that, they actually don’t have that large influence at a strategic level. Sales makes the decision there. If marketing wants to have the last seat at the strategic table and with the top management team, I think the teams we’re seeing having success there are teams that are very good at proving that marketing is driving revenue. And that is their job.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to look at traffic, by the way. It just means that your primary KPI is how much revenue drove this month, not how much traffic we got? But when we talk about the data sources, for me, it’s all your business systems. I think they are super crucial. So, that is your CRM system, your help desk system, and of course, your marketing automation system. That’s the maybe three primary systems.
Then it’s your tracking on your websites and applications, mobile applications if you have that. Which typically people do with… Well, it depends on what kinds of tools you’re going to use to analyze this. If you’re going to use Dreamdata, well then, we have the availability of that. But there are other CDPs or we have other CDPs. But there are CDPs out there that can do this for you as well, segment.com, where you can track the data directly into a database.
And similar, you would probably pull in data from your paid media. Whatever paid media you are using. I mean, most are using Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you’re in the B2B world, I mean, I would use tools like Supermetrics to pull that in. And when I say pull in, I think you can try to look for tools that can do all the work for you. Dreamdata, we are trying to do that. Or you can try to look for tools like Supermetrics that help you pull in the data into a database, whatever you’re using.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Google BigQuery but doesn’t have to be your pick. Get all the data in there so you can start reporting on it. And the report can start at any level. I mean, maybe you start by making one uniform report of how you’re spending across all your marketing channels.
Maybe you start by understanding clicks. How many clicks did you acquire from all those different channels? And then, you move into using tools such as Dreamdata, or you start doing something to understand the more complex attribution, starting doing more rich data analytics on it. You start building a uniform data model.
So joining all your customer data across all these systems, so that you find one uniform view of looking at the company. You find all the contacts under that company across all those different systems and you try to do that. And that you can do yourself, which people often do with data warehouses, such as BigQuery and Snowflake. But if you want to not do that, then take a look around, tools that can help you.
All right. Awesome, Ole. Thank you so much. And I really love this. It’s such a comprehensive way to look at all the data and put it into context. I really love it. So now, can you please tell us where the listeners can learn more about you if they wish to?
Yeah. That’s very easy. If you want to hear more about us, then go to Dreamdata.io. That’s our website. Sign-up for all our ebook newsletter, and then you can follow us or request a demo, of course. Then, we’d love to talk with you if you have these problems, understanding a bit more how we can help you.
All right. Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Thank you. Pleasure.
And that’s the end of today’s episode. Thanks for tuning in. Before you go, make sure to hit the subscribe button and leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening. If you’d like to kickstart your marketing analytics, check out the 14-day free trial at Supermetrics.com. See you in the next episode of the Marketing Analytics Show.
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