19: Steffen Hedebrandt: Reaching B2B attribution nirvana

Steffen Hedebrandt is co-founder of Dreamdata.io. Transcripted borrowed from here.
For a deep dive into attribution see this article.

Today on the show, we have a super special guest. We’re joined by Steffen Hedebrandt. Steffen got his start in the world of marketing doing some SEO and some growth consultancy in the startup world.

He moved to Oslo in Norway to work in sales/BizDev for a company called Elance, which would eventually become Upwork after the oDesk acquisition. And he stayed there for three and a half years and moved back to Copenhagen and took a position as Head of Marketing at Airtame, a wireless HDMI product startup which John and I know very well.

At some point during your time at Airtame, you solved some pretty cool big attribution problems with some custom engines, and you started to get this itch about starting your own company. In the summer of 2019, you, Ole and Lars, both former SVPs of Trustpilot made the plunge and started DreamData.

So today the main takeaway: Gone are the days where enterprise companies are the only people who can solve multitouch B2B attribution and tools like DreamData are solving this for startups and SMBs.

So Steffen, thanks so much for being on the show.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Thanks a lot, Phil. Really looking forward to it. We’ve talked a lot about this topic before. I’m sure we’ll get pretty deep pretty fast.

Phil Gamache: Like myself, I’ve evaluated DreamData quite a bit, so I’m super familiar with the platform itself. Jon, I don’t know how much you know about it, but I wanted to kind of start off with your journey a little bit and go back to when you were working at Upwork basically, this big tech role and how different was that from your previous role in the startup world and what did you like most about both roles?

Startup vs enterprise

Steffen Hedebrandt: From the get-go out of university, I joined the Vintage and Rare, which is basically, or I don’t know if they exist anymore, but it was a platform for selling vintage instruments where kind of gathering shops and the shops would then put their instruments up there. And the first craft that I really learned after studying was really SEO because if you have 10,000 instruments, then you really want to have those instruments on top of Google instead of your competitors there. And, I just got super fascinated by actually how big an impact you can have when you understand that Google algorithm and how to friendly manipulate a little bit towards your own business.

But, that was an almost bootstrapped kind of project which led me to reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and dipping my toes into places like Elance and trying to hire people from India and try to connect them with the other freelancers you had in Europe and other freelancers you had in the US and then suddenly you have this web of people all over the world that you have to make work and that’s quite a challenge.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Fun story, my first job was, I put up a job for a person to add people on Myspace that’s set with a guitar in their profile image. Super non valuable, but it was just to test down. So our vintage and rare profile had more followers. I learned a ton there and we didn’t make any money, but we were greatly successful on Google and having been there for I don’t know how long the was, three years or so. I actually got approached by Elance as they were setting up their European office and asked whether I wanted to join that and try to promote Elance in Europe. And, me being a big fan of the platform, I thought, okay, well, I haven’t made any money in the last three years, so, let me go get a real job for a period.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, the music instrument platform was really fixing anything digital, this ads, SEO, et cetera, where Elance’s and Upwork was much more the traditional business development like doing PR, doing events, handing over a list of keywords that you would like to have targeted. And so it’s a much more you can, say hands-off than the nitty gritty of running your own a platform, but it was really interesting to try to be part of this classical California tech company and see that from the inside. It also got big so I think we were 70 when I started at Elance. And then, when it was Upwork, it was maybe 500. I think my true love lies around the smaller companies where it’s bigger from thought action, and you see the impact of your work much faster.

SEO and attribution

Phil Gamache: Something we talk with so much about on the show is the value of small companies. And well, just knowing what you like and the environment that works best for you. You touched on the SEO front. I think, as we talk more and more about attribution in this episode, SEO and attribution that they go together like peanut butter and salty water. It just is such a hard combination to get right.

How many times in SEO land are you talking to an executive and your trying to explain like the value of SEO and you’re like, hey, well, you know that dominating search rankings and owning thought leadership and the brand space that you have there. But then connecting those dots, I think, a lot of SEOs end up thinking attribution a lot because they want to really tie things to that revenue. Maybe you can talk a little bit about how your journey has brought you from SEO into the attribution?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yes. It’s like super critical spot on topic for attribution. And I think we also showed some of you, some of this stuff still when we pitched Dreamdata. The main attribution challenge is that there’s so few things that we purchase the very first time we experienced it. I’d buy an ice cream on a hot summer day right away. But even just a pair of running shoes you’d go to a couple of sites. You’d maybe switch between your computer and your phone, et cetera. And if we’re then talking B2B, which that’s what we address with Dreamdata, then we’re also talking maybe multiple months, multiple stakeholders, even your teams has multiple touches with the customer as well. And then, very quickly it gets really complex.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Just before I go to kind of how we solve it, what we really can see across all our customers is that all the organic traffic works really well to start journeys, but they’re so rarely the last step of the journey. So that’s where you end up in this disconnect between all the value you actually create by driving a lot of search traffic to the website. But then the sales people is the ones that convert the traffic, and then they get all the reward for closing the deals. But the deals might never have gone there if you hadn’t brought in all the traffic.

Data-drive path

Jon Taylor: And, we go to this data-driven path where we want to see direct lines and businesses becoming so data-driven that we almost detach ourselves from thinking through the real marketing picture. You’re right. You come in through SEO and then you download and nurture, you get a couple emails, a campaign, and then you purchase, and then it gets credit to sales call. You’re like, “Wait a minute, marketing was involved in this.”

Jon Taylor: I saw this in my consulting life. I saw a really bad analysis that proved that accountants were the number one customer that we had. But we were an engineering firm. They were just purchasing the product at the end like, “We need more accountants.” We do to pay our bills, but this wasn’t the actual journey.

Steffen Hedebrandt: It’s so interesting. What we are after all of us, it’s really just knowing the truth about what is going on. Because, when there’s transparency into what’s going on, then we can also do much more valid conclusions on what to do next and what to stop.

Data transparency

Phil Gamache: That’s the big word there, like trusting, having the transparency of the data, but also having buy-in from the rest of the folks in the company that they also believe in that data, attribution has such a dark reputation because a lot of folks just say that, a lot of offline purchases are never going to be tracked in this online world and attribution for B2B and for B2C isn’t a real thing. So when you were at Airtame and you were trying to solve this, and you built up some custom solutions for this, talk us through like that journey and how you solved those internally and how you convinced folks in the company to believe in the data that it was like legit.

The founding story of Dreamdata

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think that was a really interesting journey for me. And I actually have to correct you Phil, because we actually didn’t solve that attribution problem. Not before I met my two now partners. They were pitched by our local VC for me to talk to them just to hear them out. I replied the VC saying, “I don’t really think they can solve this, but I’ll talk to them anyway. Now we’re here.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So I started out joining this company Airtame that came out of a crowdfunding campaign. So, a day we’re spending several money on ads when I started there. And, over the past three years, we ramped that from zero euros a month to around $150,000 a month in ad spend. And what’d you see, is that in your initial spend, then you can kind of okay, do the gut feeling, okay, I turned that up and now we see more money. But as all low hanging fruits are gone, you’re firing on all cannons, then it gets really hard to understand whether adding another 10,000 Euros a month is worth it or not.

Steffen Hedebrandt: I found myself in… My practical solution was that, as long as I can prove that I’m not wasting money, then I can spend more money. Meaning that, you purchased the device and the website, so if the money I spent equal the money that we made through the ads, then it cannot be totally bad, but I had no clue about what was going on. I judged my marketing spend in the same month as I made the spend, which is completely stupid because, you know the journeys are like three or six months or so, but that was all I had. And that’s obviously not a smart way to do it because the dollar you put out today takes six months to kind of… You plant the seed until the sales guy closes the deal. And that’s why it’s so critical to have some kind of clue on how those dots they really connect.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, I met these two guys Lars and Ole who had been pioneering you can say, segment the CDP, almost like he was been pioneering it in Europe. He was the third ever enterprise customer at segment. And so at Trustpilot where he worked before, they had been storing all the data of the users on the website, in a database. And Trustpilot also had this problem of, it’s a review platform where companies set up a profile and then it took an average 12 months from the set up of the profile until they saw revenue. So they wanted to understand what happened in the period in between, sign up to revenue.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And as they solved this problem with the help of a CDP, then you could also start to ask questions. Is there a difference in the channel that they came in from? Is it better to be paid or organic or outbound? Who churns more, who has to hire LTV and so forth? We’ve been using segment as well and then we plugged in our data into this rough prototype that Lars and Ole had from Trustpilot.

What I could see there was actually, a good example is that, in the beginning of that year, I set up a content team with two writers, a videographer, a designer, and an editor for the team. And I’ve just been looking at [inaudible 00:13:33], looking at, our rank went up or we’re getting more organic traffic. But, the CEO would be like, but I can’t pay my salary [crosstalk 00:13:44] takes you guys have. But what we could see with that DreamData prototype was that for example, we had an alternative game, so Airtame versus another product, and we could see that those articles were actually massively valuable because ultimately, they ended up becoming into deal [inaudible 00:14:03] closed one.

Google Analytics can only get you so far

Steffen Hedebrandt: The only thing you can see in Google analytics is that those pages were visited. So the conclusion out of Google analytics would be to say stop that project, fire those people don’t do it anymore. But in fact, one article started journeys for $60,000 within a year. So that’s why it’s so extremely important that you’re able to connect those dots all the way from the first touch all the way through to revenue.

Phil Gamache: I think you were describing a situation that I’m sure most of our listeners are very familiar with, that tangle of attribution and proving the value. One of the things I’d like to talk a little bit about is, where does Google analytics fit in the journey. It’s almost table stakes for digital marketing, but you’re right, it could lead you to some very poor decisions if you’re not looking further down the funnel. How have you helped other people, or how do you approach the maturity curve from Google analytics into a segment, into a DreamData.io, into a HubSpot and connecting all these dots?

Steffen Hedebrandt: This is one of the biggest challenges we have at DreamData is, kind of educating the market, meaning that telling people that Google analytics is close to useless in a B2B company.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Let me start like this, do your customers purchase the first time they see something or do they need to do multiple research? Yes/No. Would they be using multiple devices in this journey? Yes/No. Would there be more people involved in taking this decision? Yes/No. Would your salespeople also be involved in this journey as well? And as you start to list all these bullets, then Google analytics starts to crumble quite severely.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So to answer the question, I think it’s also like an educational path and kind of an internet maturity thing. Because, now CDPs are blowing up and which helps people understand that you can actually have one person that then owns two devices that you can then start to understand if that one person, the next step is then to associate these people with for example, an account as you do in B2B. Does that make sense, Jonathan?

Technical problems

Jon Taylor: Absolutely. Absolutely. It describes the universe that I occupy all the time and other organizations. It’s also the technical issues. You described a scenario that even if you were a hundred percent aligned on everything, you’re saying there’s a technical issue. So I’m curious about the technical problems that you see. And obviously I’d love to hear more about how DreamData could solve that problem.

Steffen Hedebrandt: But it’s also kind of, it is almost like a consultancy expression, like change management process, because, man, now the CEO, he learned the Google analytics 10 years ago and it was actually okay 10 years ago because people only have a few devices.

There’s nothing more dangerous than a CEO and in Google analytics.

Jon Taylor

Steffen Hedebrandt: But you basically have to tell a lot of the organization that you have to unlearn what you know right now and think about stuff in a different way. That is one of the biggest challenges selling our tool. It’s kind of a new category, so there’s not a natural spot in the budget for software for it. So that’s kind of what we’re trying to carve out.

Attribution is a company wide journey

Phil Gamache: Yeah. Where that budget fits in is really interesting because, one thing that you’ve told me Steffen that really changed the way that I pitched attribution solutions internally is that, this isn’t a marketing problem to solve.

This isn’t just on marketing to prove is content driving this, or where trials starting from.. This is a company problem and we’re trying to figure out where the company is driving growth and we want to double down on those things and we want to figure out, what is driving trials?

And so instead of it just always being marketing have to like come up with this battle and we need budget for this, it should really be more of this holistic approach. We need to solve this as a company.

Steffen Hedebrandt: When you talk B2B, I think what this one is all about is actually being able to collect data of a full journey, meaning that you gather every single touch point then it’s an opinion about what was important afterwards, but it starts with you actually storing your data and putting every single touch into a timeline. And then it can be kind of opinionated, whether which attribution model or so to use, but it starts with you actually getting out of a habit of having these cowboy salespeople with a phone that just like all the people and getting them into kind of air coal or something else. Taking every single touch you have and make sure that it’s digital and make sure that it’s stored somewhere so you can actually start to model it at a later point.

Data infrastructure

Phil Gamache: It’s super cool. So we touched on a little bit like the analytics maturity path that some of these companies go through. We talked about GA and, we throw shade at GA, but for a lot of companies that are in that startup stage that are less than 10 people or less than 20 people, an end-to-end multi-touch attribution solution isn’t at the top of their list of priorities. They will just be using GA maybe they’re like upgrading and relying on some UTM codes to track and see last touch and first touch. But, the end-to-end model where you can have all those touch points in the middle and then aggregate all those to a domain level, that’s that’s where the sophistication of needing to set up the data infrastructure, or a data warehouse where you can combine all of those touchpoints together.

Phil Gamache: So why don’t you touch a little bit on the service side of DreamData, the Google big query service type of package that needs to get done before you can get to the Nirvana of attribution that the visualizations kind of present.

Steffen Hedebrandt: What we’re trying to do with our product is incredibly ambitious because we holistically want to have every single touch that any account has any place. So, the way we do two things you can say, and then we glue those two things together. One is that we have a script that you put on your website, and this script starts to assign anonymous IDs to every visitor. And then we start to record what is this anonymous ID doing? If that anonymous ID at some point identifies themselves through a form of demo call or download depo et cetera, then we ask for permission to go look at what they did while they were anonymous. And now, as we know who they are, we can also associate them with an account. So you have this multitouch profile of just one individual that it’s then put into the timeline of what does everybody from one account doing.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And this is all stored in Google big query. So, you build your history off every single visitor on your website. Where did they come from, where did they go and what did they look at and so forth. So you have those touch points component.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then the other important component is what takes place everywhere else in the organization, meaning in your CRM, in your automation system, in your outreach software, in your customer success software, in your calling software. Because those are also touches that is going towards one account, and you actually want to mix all of that up to find every single touch that is part of an account journey and then map that into a nice clean journey. And with all that in place, you can start to do this analysis that we as marketers like to do, meaning that how’s the ROI on Google ads? How’s the ROI on a specific Google campaign? You can do that because all the campaigns arrives with a click ID, and then we can look up the click ID and see if it was part of any one journey or not.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Same methodology applies to organic search as well. We use the tool ourselves a lot to do a business development because we can see which accounts are active and we can see who was it and what did they do from that account. So when your salespeople call them up, they will have something relevant to say, or when they send them a mail, they will know which campaign they actually reacted to and so forth. How does that answer?

Company level aggregation

Phil Gamache: That’s super cool. I think that there’s a ton to unpack there, for sure. One of the things I want to highlight there that I think DreamData does better than a lot of your competitors in this space is this kind of company level sort of aggregation. You mentioned so many touch points in the B2B world, there’s the end user who’s going to go on your website first and he’s going to look at a couple of blog posts, and then he’s going to send a blog post to his technical implementer. And then that person’s going to need to get the buy in from the director. There’s so many people in the company involved in that. And if you’re only looking at the purchaser and their journey, you’re not getting the full picture of who is that first person in the company who was on the website.

Phil Gamache: Can you touch on that, like super quickly? How does DreamData accomplish that? How are you able to aggregate those multiple touch points from different people all into one account and how are you doing this with reverse IP, everyone working from home now and not being in the same IP. How are you guys solving that.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Let me try to remember all the questions in that one question, otherwise remind me. If we start with the script on the website and the way we link users to accounts, we have a hierarchy assess CRM where we would look you’re up. So, normal CRM being obviously the first CRM, but you might also have HubSpot and you might also have Intercom and so forth. So, we get with the customer define what is the primary CRM, and then we’d say [inaudible 00:24:41] at a close IO and look to see in the CRM if we can find a connection there, then it’s sorted.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And if Jonathan comes along and he’s not in the CRM, but he actually started to sign up to HubSpot so he receives some emails, in there we then discovered that Jonathan is also associated to close IO. If that doesn’t work, then we can start to just look at the domain and say, okay, that domain is close IO. If that doesn’t work, then we have an access to an IP database that we look up as well. So we do all of these things simultaneously all the time.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, as we connect the user to to the company, then one user might have touch or in the timeline, touch one, three and five, and the other user would have touch two and four. So we organize it by timestamps, which activities took place. And that’s kind of how we overcome this burden of you putting your ad spend on one person and then his boss comes with the credit card afterwards and pay you.

Phil Gamache: Gotcha.

Account based marketing

Jon Taylor: One of one of the things that I observed when I did a stint as a Marketo consultant and marketing automations consultant, everyone’s talking about ABM. One of the things that there’s a little graphic that we’re all looking at here, we should tweet this out when we do the episode. But in my opinion, you also start to see this type of attribution unlocking other capabilities. You have the ability to then, hey, now I can do account based marketing, because I actually know what works. I have a buyer cycle that’s more sophisticated than just one ad for one person.

Jon Taylor: I also feel like you start to get permission to do things internally within the organization. Hey, let’s do some brand. We know that these things are working well, let’s do some brand advertising. Something small companies don’t always get to do. Do you want to talk a little bit about how you see this with your customers? You reach this Nirvana state, what starts to happen beyond just knowing more?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Let’s say that we are providing the best data set available to explain what’s going on. Still, then you need humans to act on what the data is telling you. And, sort of the best of the cases we have, people go out and act afterwards, meaning that, hey, this, a Google ads campaign is actually thriving. Deals, let me turn up the spend on that campaign and try to make similar campaigns even as well. Or it could be to say, discover those pieces of content that drives deals. Let’s do more of those. But we do also have customers who’s not kind of acting enough on what the data is actually informing them. So what we’re looking at now is to do some… Can we recommend stuff? This is like an outlier in terms of positive performance, do more of that. This is outlier in terms of negative, you should probably do less of that.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Somewhere down the line, as we pitch to VCs, we also talk about revenue automation. Whereas, we believe that this data set is the data set that knows the most about like the commercial bit of your business. Some, given we know this, then we should also be able to buy more of your ads, depending on early signals of how those ads are performing or not.

Steffen Hedebrandt: It could also be like stuff like what if scenario so say, we do a data model where you… You act like you set a budget to double, and then you predict how much revenue would come out of it. But that’s further down the line of stuff that you can do. But the data is only as impactful as the people who react to the afterwards, I think.

The futre marketing landscape

Jon Taylor: You touched on this earlier, and I think that was such a good point. You’re educating the market as much as you’re doing, you’re solving a technological problem. Marketers exist at this interesting intersection, the skillsets that marketers have often put us direct contact with the pain points, but sometimes technically, the problems are very hard to solve. I know I’m not a data analyst by any stretch of the imagination, so the idea of, I don’t know, predictive or alerting, or some sort of notification that helps to take some of the thought and some of the debate of these conversations. You’re sitting at the CEO table and you’re trying to figure out how to position this data. And, you’re also in your own head thinking, am I really the expert here? You kind of have that self doubt. How does a vision of your platform, I think, jive with that type of marketing future?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think actually, we like to think of ourselves as almost the CTO for the CMO or kind of, let’s take care of all this really hot stuff for the marketing people so they can just skim the cream and then do more of what works and stop doing what didn’t work. But the truth can also be painful sometimes. If we thought to tell people, look, this is actually not driving revenue, then that can also be a problem. That’s a cool thing here would be to kind of celebrate these lead ad campaigns that gathers a ton of emails, but when you look them up, there’s no connection to one deals at all, but the marketing agency would say it was a success, but because you got a 100 new emails or something like that.

Jon Taylor: Enter in hand wave brand-building right?

Product research phase

Phil Gamache: So, with kind of several customers now that are set up using DreamData, what insights can you share for our listeners on trends that you’ve seen across customers kind of on an early basis? I know when a customer gets set up, it’s probably a X amount of months until they start seeing data kind of populate. And, once the data warehouse is set up, share some insights on things that you’re seeing so far, what’s the typical time to revenue or what models do you see customers using the most?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I’ll try to say a couple of things. I think first of all, people are surprised by how long the research phase is or the phase where people are anonymous. People normally tend to understand from the moment we got that email into sales, then we converted within two months or so. But, the research phase is easily three or four months before that, which means a ton in terms of if you’re trying to hit budget in the last quarter and you haven’t done your marketing investment, then it’s too late actually to start the journeys. So, the ramp time of the seeds you plant are actually longer than you expect.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Then, I would say, all the stuff you can do that is focused on high intent is the stuff that actually kind of works. What I mean by that is, low funnel stuff is really where you should start. For example, an example is these alternative articles. Even though the volume is small, they’re insanely valuable because if you’re searching for an alternative to an already established brand, the intend you arrive to your website with is super big and I can’t probably make money on it. Where a lot of companies, they try to go for volume, or volume at the cost of your going wider as well. And a ton of those stuff is just waste of money.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, the overall trend is really that people have no clue about how valuable their organic and paid efforts are, because it’s not connected from when you are anonymous to close one deals. A lot of people are under investing in this stuff because they cannot prove it. So they are growing a lot slower than what they actually could be if they could see like five X, the return of what they’re seeing today.

The power of knowing what works can be scary

Phil Gamache: You touched on so many interesting points. As an SEO as well, we often get a bit of a rap for always going after a quote unquote, big keywords, high volume keywords. But when you see it at the end of the day, you’re always grounded back to, “Hey, you got to do more stuff for the customer.” They’re asking salespeople’s questions. We can answer them in a top of or bottom of funnel kind of posts. How do people react to some of this news when they start seeing, Oh crap, this isn’t working. I thought this was my… My ego is attached to this work as well.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Actually, what I was just about to say is that across our customers, Facebook really doesn’t seem to work. There’s components to that. One thing is that Google ads out of the box, that’s the clique ID, whereas on Facebook, you need to actually set a click ID manually, which makes it harder to attribute. But across the board, Facebook is really not driving a lot of B2B revenue compared to Google.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And yeah, as you said, Jonathan, that also leads to debates kind of, “Hey, I used to regard this as a success, but you’re saying it’s not a success. I don’t trust you.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: Another problem is that we will never get to 100% without an attribution tool. So kind of people sometimes freak out if they know one data point that should be in the journey that it’s not there. And they’re like, okay, good. I’m not using it then. Whereas, you should think about it more as a statistical framework that takes you from knowing 10 or 20% to knowing maybe 70 or 80% as to kind of when you act on the data, it’s still leading you towards a good place. But, they tend to freak out about, if they remember one single touch that, “Hey, I saw him at that place and he’s not in that journey.” And then obviously we need to do everything we can to get the data quality super high, but you’re just never going to get to 100%, not even with the perfect tool.

Deterministic attribution

Phil Gamache: Yeah. There’s podcasts like this one, there’s no intent attribution on podcasts. There’s no attribution on sending a text to your buddy who’s using this platform and asking him for a candid review on it. There’s always going to be these offline sources that a tool can track for every company.

Steffen Hedebrandt: 100%. We only do, you can say deterministic attribution, stuff we can prove happened. Like old school, what’s it called, the old school marketing guys that would do TV ads or radio ads. They would do these guesstimates of… I guess it’s causality that they say. I spent this money, now we make this money. And, whereas we’re in the business off, we can actually prove it. That was click, that was revenue, whereas the others, did you hear this Freakonomics podcast that came out a couple of months ago?

Phil Gamache: No, I don’t think so.

Steffen Hedebrandt: That was fun. But, they found out that for some companies, even though the best day was kind of Thursday or Black Friday or something like that, but it’s because it’s like correlate, then you spent more money on ads, but it actually is just because it’s correlates with this is the time of year when people spend more. There’s no impact [crosstalk 00:36:21].

Attribution models

Phil Gamache: Well, that’s crazy. Maybe we can end on this question. One of the things I see a lot about like debates around attribution is the modeling around it. When companies are building these custom solutions internally, they’re forced to pick one model. So a first touch or multitouch, or like W shape. What I think that DreamData does super cool is this ability to just quickly on the fly change your attribution model when you’re looking at a visualization. So can you touch a bit on why you guys went around that routes and, are customers loving that?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think this is actually kind of just out of the box. One of the biggest revelations that we give to people is that we help them compare attribution models. So say for paid, we’ll show you five different attribution models for the paid channel right away. So we’ll show you the first touch next to the last touch next to a dog reshape next to linear next to U-shaped. The answer is that depending on how you look at it, it’s true that the ad started the journey, but it’s also true that the ad was not the last touch. The essential bit is that you have all the information available, meaning you have the full journey and then you can then have different kinds of analysis purposes that you’re trying to solve.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Meaning that, if I want to understand which ads to buy more of, I think actually a first touch model is fairly legit to look at because you just want to see where the journey starts from. And then you want to do more of that. Whereas if you’re looking at it from an ROI perspective, maybe you want to do a W shape, meaning, so it’s touch first, conversion last conversion, et cetera. So my answer is always that you should look at all the attribution models before you decide on doing something because they all represent different parts of the truth.

How do you stay happy and balance work and life

Phil Gamache: I love it. We’ll end on this last question before we let you go,. We like to ask all our guests how they stay happy in their career and in their professional lives. You’re a super busy guy. You’re CRO of a company just founded a of years ago. You just got a nice big round of funding. Congrats on that, you’re talking to VCs, how do you manage all this stuff? How do you stay happy in your life?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Good stuff. I think I’m a little bit gifted also by being naturally motivated to continuously improve. But I guess by being in a startup, I’m just constantly motivated by, “Hey, here’s an idea. Let’s try and build it.” And then unfolding creatively is so rewarding for me. And then seeing the result, Oh, fuck that worked or that didn’t work, let’s try to do more. Can we beat last month and so forth?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think because everything is so transparent in a startup, it, matters a lot whether you show up or you don’t show up. That really, really motivates me. I just had a kid 20 months ago. I used to have a lot of time to then run or do CrossFit or something like that, which was a great outlet for me when you kind of feel, Oh fuck, I’m a bit full now. If you have time to do exercise a lot, because there’s a lot of natural chill coming after doing so, now with a kid that’s kind of… I think getting a kid has actually made me a lot better at prioritizing kind of like you’ve default to what drives revenue.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Also, I kind of thought you would spend time on, got to get this small thing right. Nowadays, does this correlate with more revenue in the end and then I stay focused on those tasks.

Phil Gamache: It’s such a good answer. I love the aspect around the kids as well. There’s this change in mindset once you start having children. As somebody in a fast paced startup you… One of my colleagues always says, I love this line actually. She says, “I’m super lazy.”What she means is that she’s not going to spend an ounce of effort on anything she doesn’t think is going to provide return. I love that perspective and I love the perspective you shared on happiness. I think there’s so much wisdom to unpack in what you just said.

Phil Gamache: Steffen, thanks to you. Tank you so much for being on the show, man. We’ll add in the show notes the website, DreamData.io where people can go check it out. I know you’re active on Twitter and LinkedIn, so we’ll drop links there, but thanks a lot for your time and really appreciate it.

Steffen Hedebrandt: I really appreciate the invite, thanks. 

Intro music by Wowa via Unminus

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