Main Menu

Fathom's Blog

A Sales Acceleration & Digital Marketing Blog


Reporting ROI & Attribution in Marketing Automation

By | May 10, 2013


John Wanamaker

Reporting on campaign ROI (return-on-investment) has traditionally been among the least successfully practiced marketing automation techniques (and at least one survey bears this out … to the tune of 39% “successfully practicing”).

A lack of campaign ROI reporting is generally associated with a lack of “closed-loop reporting,” which connects Web analytics to CRM systems in order to show leads and customers generated from website visitors. Another reason for incomplete ROI reporting is the inability to track multi-touch campaigns, i.e. all the “touches” a lead or customer may have with your marketing. Good marketing automation reporting opens this window into a visitor’s “conversion events,” from the first all the way to the last.

More advanced features may show information about customer segments; allow custom, sharable reports; and save time that would otherwise be spent manually crunching data. Other advanced reporting features include:

  • Lead scores (once you set up the criteria for quality leads)
  • Keywords from search results that brought converting visitors to your site
  • Social media integration
  • Financial reporting

These are all in addition to standard visitor information like company, email address and phone number.

Already have CRM reporting? That’s great, but you may not be getting the marketing numbers you need. Consider the following 4 reasons from Prashant Kaw of Opfocus for using marketing automation reporting over CRM reporting for the measurement of marketing ROI:

  • Capturing web-based conversions
  • Showing newly acquired names/touches in a given time period (vs. Salesforce’s splitting contacts and leads)
  • Storing touch-point data more cheaply than Salesforce, where it may not be that useful for sales anyway
  • Tying marketing spend to ROI

If your goal is to avoid John Wanamaker’s quandary about wasting advertising dollars, then this kind of reporting goes a long way toward assuring confidence in your marketing budget.


Check out our helpful 14-pg. marketing automation primer.

The Case for MA


Image courtesy of the Library of Congress’ George Grantham Bain Collection.



About Paul Richlovsky

Paul brings a writing and teaching background to his marketing career, where he's been happily active since 2006. After spending his early years serving clients as a Web copywriter and account manager, he currently leads Fathom's own content strategy in collaboration with sales, marketing and others across the company. He is an enthusiastic marketing automation practitioner and active member of the Cleveland Marketo User Group. He also serves as editorial director of Fathom's website and blog and has written/edited multiple guides on marketing, including for audiences in healthcare, higher education, financial services, retail and manufacturing. He previously was lead blogger and managing editor for, a resource for individuals interested in career-focused education. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon." He is particularly interested in usability, readability, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.


Request an Assessment

Let us take a look at your current online presence.


Get Blog Updates


Interested in Writing for Our Blog?

Tell us your idea.

For Us