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Blog / How LinkedIn is Balancing Front-Line Metrics with Business Outcome Metrics

How LinkedIn is Balancing Front-Line Metrics with Business Outcome Metrics

Attribution models are essential tools that help marketers understand the impact of different touchpoints on consumer behavior. However, they can be complex and challenging to implement and often require sophisticated analytics capabilities. 

In this episode of The Undiscovered Metric, we speak with Emily Gustin, Senior Associate for Business Development at LinkedIn, to find out the latest on what marketers are looking at when trying to identify and judge their campaign performance, including with LinkedIn’s new Revenue Attribution Report. Emily has led LinkedIn’s marketing measurement and attribution partnerships in her current role for two years and has been with the company for almost six.


Watch the full episode here, or read about it below!

Finding the balance between front-line metrics and business outcome metrics

Many marketers measure performance based on the metrics provided in traditional platforms like CTR and CPM, but that only tells half the story. For B2B Marketers, conversion data is stored across many different platforms, and marketers need solutions that can move beyond front-line metrics towards being able to understand the full impact of performance on the business. 

Emily agrees. “I think there's been this really great shift from folks putting an overemphasis on metrics that I would describe as more front-line metrics, like cost per click or CTR (click-through rate), to moving towards these business outcome metrics. By business outcome, I mean anything that moves your business forward. So that could be revenue, that could be pipeline generated by your marketing, or it could be something like engagement with priority accounts.”


bronze-justice-scales-on-blue-background-anti-cor-2023-11-27-04-50-34-blogMarketers need to connect the dots to find a balance between top-of-funnel engagement metrics and business outcome metrics.

Focusing on the data that matters

Recent research found that 67% of CMOs are overwhelmed by the amount of data they need to digest due to the number of marketing sources and touchpoints, with 99% of CMOs now looking at 10 different data sources. 

CMOs may be seeking simpler metrics to facilitate decision-making and communication, but complex metrics provide a more nuanced understanding of the customer journey. So, are there any particular metrics that CMOs are missing when they're looking to demonstrate impact on the bottom line?

Emily responds, “To put a stake in the ground here, I do think that the most important metrics, what you always want to anchor around, is that final outcome that's going to move your business forward. That tends to be, at least in my experience with B2B advertisers, revenue generation. So I think that should always be your North Star. How much is each channel contributing to revenue? That is really the key, and you can tie all of your marketing to that.”



Revenue generated should always be the North Star for marketers.

Having a focal point is clearly important, but many marketers are pressured to deliver instant metrics for quick results to prove impact. Emphasizing short-term gains over long-term value can hinder sustainable growth and miss the broader impact of campaigns, so we need to find a sweet spot.

“The key is to focus on the data, focus on the long-term, focus on the outcome. The click-through rate, the cost per click, those are just little signposts along the way. You shouldn’t let them obscure the main goal and drive toward it.”

“I think oftentimes people are not as obsessed with the front-line and instant gratification metrics when they're measuring all the way down the funnel, to revenue and pipeline generated. I think when you have a little bit more visibility on how stuff is actually converting you're able to see that link pretty clearly.”

One of the key ways LinkedIn is keen to stress that marketers can measure revenue and effectively track business outcome metrics is through LinkedIn’s Revenue Attribution Report.

“The Revenue Attribution report - really enables marketers to look at those business outcomes. The way it works is a marketer goes and connects their CRM to LinkedIn - so after a secure sync from Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics - LinkedIn analyses those records in the CRM and then the engagements that happen on LinkedIn.

If the revenue that was driven to your business was influenced by LinkedIn, meaning that a member, clicked or viewed an ad and then that member is tied to an opportunity - either an open opportunity or a closed won opportunity for your business.” Emily says.

Read everything

While AI can uncover important trends and point us in the right direction, sometimes we have to rely on our own brains to bring in the external context. In order to stay competitive, develop tactics, and satisfy evolving customer expectations, marketers must stay up to date on industry information and trends. That often means thumbing through pages and pages (on a screen or… maybe even paper) of insights, opinion pieces, and news. Marketers who keep themselves up to date are better able to predict changes, innovate, and seize opportunities for a competitive advantage.

Animatedly, Emily adds, “I'm a voracious consumer of industry news. What I look at are the industry bodies, both newsletters and the .com sites, and the research that they put out. Stuff like eMarketer, Digiday, IAB, TechCrunch, Forrester — everything from market research to the forecasts and the predictions that are being made about the industry. I'm a big podcast listener too, because I listen on my walk into work every morning, and then I feel like I have a primer for my day.”

“However, talking to customers and partners could not be more important. I work in the partnership remit and speak to partners like Adverity … I think you have to get to the customer level, you can't always just read about it.”

Whatever sphere they get their data and trends from, in order to effectively act on this information and run successful data experiments, marketers clearly need to be precise with their metrics to measure the impact of their campaigns and identify what strategies bring the best results. Accurate metrics that focus on the long term allow for data-driven decision-making, optimization of marketing campaigns, and sustainable success.


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