Salesforce Campaign Influence: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know - Heller Consulting

Salesforce Campaign Influence: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

If your nonprofit uses Salesforce or Pardot (which is now called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement,), you might have heard about something called Campaign Influence. It’s a capability in Salesforce that helps measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

The possibilities for nonprofits to use Campaign Influence are exciting. However, when you begin to think about the various ways it can be applied to your organization, there are many considerations.

Let’s take a closer look at Campaign Influence: what it is, its potential for nonprofits, and some things to think about before using it for your organization.

What is Campaign Influence?

Campaign Influence is the Salesforce terminology for marketing attribution. Simply put, marketing attribution is about measuring the return on your marketing investment.

More specifically, marketing attribution is an attempt to assign credit or value to events or touchpoints (such as emails, digital ads, calling campaigns, or mobile outreach) that contribute to a desired outcome. The outcome could be a donation, an event registration, or anything else that has a measurable value.

In Salesforce, those events or touchpoints take the form of Campaigns. Outcomes are identified by Opportunities. The amount of credit or value that a Campaign receives relative to the total value of the Opportunity is called Influenced Revenue. This number can vary depending on the model used to measure influence.

Learn more about how Salesforce can help your nonprofit strengthen and grow your technology ecosystem. Read the guide, What to Know About Salesforce Solutions for Nonprofits.

What are Campaign Influence Models?

Different models (as well as time frames and rules) can be set up to determine if a campaign is influential and how influential it is. While you can build your own marketing attribution model, the out-of-the-box models you can choose from in Salesforce with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) include:

  • Last touch – 100% of the credit is given to the last influential campaign.
  • First touch – 100% of the credit is given to the first influential campaign.
  • Even distribution – Equal credit is given to all influential campaigns within your determined influential time frame.

You can choose to enable one, or more of these models, but you must set one to be the default model used that will reflect in your campaign and opportunity records.

How can marketing attribution and Campaign Influence help nonprofits?

Here are some of the benefits of marketing attribution and Campaign Influence:

  • Marketing and fundraising teams can collaborate more closely. Marketing can see how their efforts impact fundraising, and fundraising can quantify the effects of marketing efforts on the bottom line. Here’s a simple example: If you send an email campaign to ask for donations, marketing and fundraising leaders in your organization will probably ask how many donations and how much revenue was generated by that email. Marketing attribution helps you get to that number.
  • Marketers can examine the value of multi-touch, multi-channel efforts to determine campaign and channel effectiveness.
  • Marketers can make stronger cases for additional budget (assuming they are seeing positive results) because they can tie outcomes to efforts.

Considerations for using Campaign Influence

While the possibilities of marketing attribution are appealing, there are some things to think about when considering if Campaign Influence is right for your nonprofit.

Marketing considerations

As a marketer, it’s important to understand that Campaign Influence is somewhat bound by the nature of the platform that it’s built upon. Salesforce has its origins as a sales platform; therefore, it’s rooted in leads and contacts, which are at the bottom of the traditional marketing funnel. Pardot, or Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE), is a marketing platform focused on marketing automation, acquisition, and converting visitors to your website into known prospects who can then be cultivated with further marketing activities into leads and ultimately contacts.

So, as a marketer, you must think about the nature of your marketing activities and what you are trying to measure. Then, make sure that a) Campaign Influence can get you the answers you’re seeking, and b) you set up Campaign Influence properly to deliver the right answers.

Fundraising considerations

With your fundraising hat on, keep in mind that Campaign Influence is about measuring marketing influence, not fundraising activities.

For example, a fundraiser might feel that a half hour phone call with a major donor prospect was key to securing a donation commitment. And that person is probably right. But those types of activities are not part of Campaigns. They’re activities recorded on an Opportunity record, so there is no Campaign membership and therefore no related influence.

Therefore, if you set up the Campaign Influence using a “last touch” model, in which the most recent campaign receives all of the credit, a minor social media post or ad could end up getting 100% of the credit for a major gift if the donor happened to click on an ad the day after the phone call.

Find out if Campaign Influence is right for your nonprofit

As you can tell, there are several considerations to ensure that Campaign Influence is a good fit for your nonprofit’s needs and that you set it up correctly to get to the answers you’re seeking. But it can be worth it to gain the benefits of Campaign Influence in determining how well your marketing campaigns are performing.

If you’d like to learn more about Campaign Influence and the possibilities of this Salesforce functionality for your nonprofit, our team is ready to help. Contact us today to find out more and get started.

Watch My Session on Campaign Influence

I recently had the privilege of presenting at MarDreamin’ on this very topic! Watch the recording of the session below.

About the Author

Mike Kirkpatrick
Prior to joining Heller Consulting, Mike spent over 20 years in strategic and technical leadership positions in both nonprofit and higher education organizations. Drawing upon years of experience at the Canadian Cancer Society in marketing, online fundraising and digital, he... Read More
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