Marketing analytics application Bizible just released a report on multi-touch attribution after tracking every single marketing touch for nearly 500,000 leads and analyzing how the various marketing touches affect: revenue, marketing cycle, win rates, and more..This post will dive into a few of the more surprising findings that are broadly applicable to companies with sales teams.

1. Search dominates ‘first touch’ leads

When looking at first touch, defined as the first point of contact a visitor has with the website, search (a mix of paid and organic) drove or the majority of leads — 56%. The next highest channel that can be directly controlled was social at just 5%. In fact, social, email, and display combined accounted for just 8% of leads.

2. Win rates varied across the board

Since all the companies in the analysis use a CRM, closed leads can either be lost or won. When looking at which first touch marketing channels at the highest win rates, Bizible found at direct was (though not surprisingly) the highest at 57% and search was second at 41%. However, display came in the lowest at just 12%. This means that the first marketing touch has a significant weight on the win rate and quality of the lead and opportunity.

3. Social dominates the marketing cycle

Marketing cycle, that is the time from the very first marketing touch to when the lead was converted into an opportunity (typically when the marketing cycle ends and the sales cycle begins), was dominated by social which was only 18 days. For comparison, search was 22 days and the worst was email at 54 days.

4. Referral generates the most revenue per deal

The first marketing touch of referral generated revenue 1.4x average while search was 0.9 and social the lowest at 0.73. Surprisingly, email generated more revenue per deal than search.

In summary, search is a powerful channel for B2B companies, but all channels have their place. The important takeaway is the importance of tracking customers to their first touch rather than last touch.