How do you reconcile new names vs. accounts in conversion calculations?

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How do you reconcile new names vs. accounts in conversion calculations?

We are new to Marketo, in fact we haven't even started using (ex Pardot users).  One of the challenges I face in general is how to effectively track conversions using accounts vs. people.  I'm just starting to unpack Marketo's definitive guide to marketing metrics, and they clearly outline this problem in one of the sidebar call outs but it's not obvious how they solve for it.  

As a B2B vendor, companies (accounts) buy our products, not invidividuals.  So while in one sense the number of people interested in a specific activity such as a webinar, is a measure of that webinar's success, what matters to Sales and our ROI is how many new company prospects and opportunities we can create.  Here's the basic challenge:
  • If webinar A generates 100 new names and within days we have qualified 3 new opportunities, we might say there's a 3% conversion
  • If in those 100 names there were actually only 60 different companies
    • Our lead generation for that campaign or activity is really only 60
    • The conversion rate however is 5%
  • What if a different executive from one of the accounts that became an opportunity attended webinar B three months ago and then recommended his team member investigate further?
    • It's fair to say that only 2 opportunities were generated from webinar A
    • It's also fair to say that now 3 months later, the conversion rate for webinar B has increased
  • What if that time lag was greater than 3 months?  1 year?  2 years?
My questions
- what do you do as a best practice for calculating conversions in B2B sales (how do you reconcile accounts vs. people in the above fashion)?
- how can this be managed in Marketo - can individuals be associated with accounts?  Does that have to happen in the CRM (SalesForce in our case)

Thanks in advance.
One other question out of curiosity  in the Definitive Guide Marketo talks about Paid Names.  This might be what I have previously referred to as an acquired lead, but I have a feeling Marketo's definition is slightly different.  Does anyone know how they define a paid name?
2 REPLIES 2
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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: How do you reconcile new names vs. accounts in conversion calculations?

Scott,

I believe a Paid Name is any lead that directly cost money, like CPL.

Marketo isn't designed to track Accounts except if you setup Account Tracking in your RCM, but even that doesn't really show you much unless you have RCA.

As for time lag, there isn't a specific time range in Marketo for attribution - unless you set this in RCE during the report. Usually I set my time frame for attribution to 270 days in SFDC or whenever I can.

My preference is to use leads because Marketo thinks in terms of leads.

You can, however, use Accounts as a basis, especially if you have a list of Targets. But you'd have to run this report in SFDC and have a good method of updating the Account to "Client" status and also ensuring that each Contact has the right status after a Win or Loss. Most clients I encounter have no idea how to pull a report on their active Clients because the data is bad.
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Re: How do you reconcile new names vs. accounts in conversion calculations?

RCM, RCA, RCE?

So it sounds like Marketo is no better than Pardot in this regard despite what I was told during the sales process.