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HubSpot's Original Source: A Critical Field for Marketing and Sales

Matthew Deal

Any marketer knows how critical data is for producing effective digital campaigns. This is especially true for paid media campaigns that require multiple layers of data tracking to understand what's working.

Imagine a marketer setting up a LinkedIn campaign for an upcoming webinar.

This marketer might review some of the recent campaigns to see which ads produced the most conversions, which ads produced the most revenue, or the location of those webinar attendees. We have multiple data points that we care about, so it makes sense to look at all those aspects. Yet, looking at these past campaigns might not give the marketer the data they actually need for a successful campaign for that upcoming webinar. 

Data is the backbone of any successful digital marketing campaign, and making informed decisions based on that data is what separates effective marketers from the rest. It's not just about collecting data but also analyzing it to identify patterns and trends that can help improve campaign performance.

Course corrections based on data insights can be as simple as tweaking ad copy or adjusting targeting parameters or as complex as restructuring the entire campaign strategy. The key is to be flexible, adaptable, and always willing to learn from the data to continuously optimize and improve your marketing efforts.

But the point is this: you need to have attribution for any chance at improvement. 

Just looking at that LinkedIn ad data without attribution is the equivalent of trying to fly a plane with your eyes closed. You need accurate data to guide and optimize your campaigns. 

So, how does this marketer find that data? With the HubSpot Original Source field.

This critical tool lets you get that attribution data in HubSpot and build better campaigns. Understanding the Original Source gets you the most bang for your buck, getting you closer to hitting all of your goals. 

Read this guide to learn how you can start building better campaigns just by understanding how your contact originated.

HubSpot Attribution

For marketers with access to a customer relationship management (CRM) system like HubSpot, the possibilities for attribution are limitless. With HubSpot, you can take your data analysis to a whole new level, allowing for even more precise optimization of your campaigns. 

A man with short brown hair explaining the Original Source field in HubSpot to two colleagues, a black woman and a man with red hair.

However, first, you must understand how contacts and deal properties in Hubspot work. 

Objects and Properties in Hubspot

We need to discuss an important point: contacts versus deal properties in HubSpot. 

If you're familiar with HubSpot at all, you'll know that there are four primary objects:

Each of these objects will contain its own properties that are appropriate for that object (and don’t make sense for other objects). 

For example, a contact typically has a first name, but companies do not. A company would have an industry, but contacts would not.

Regarding attribution, it's important to remember that each object in HubSpot has its own unique set of properties and data points. This means that attribution needs to be specific to each object. You need to consider the relevant data points for that particular object.

It's critical for demand generation leaders using HubSpot to consider the difference between contact vs. deal attribution. When you can separate that difference, you can have better data on all the campaigns you run. 

HubSpot Contact Attribution 

Most marketers will want to focus on contact attribution first.

The reason is simple: for most business-to-business marketers, contacts are the first steps toward getting deals. 

It's no secret that generating marketing-qualified leads attributed to marketing efforts is a standard key performance indicator for marketing teams working in HubSpot. Analyzing the digital sources of contact creation in HubSpot can unveil the effectiveness of your current marketing endeavors, making it an invaluable data point to measure the strength of your digital marketing efforts.

At Vaulted, we routinely review this type of data to gain insights into our client's marketing campaigns and make informed decisions to optimize them further.

HubSpot Deal Attribution

We've discussed the marketing reasons for reviewing contact attribution, but let's shift to another critical object: deals.

When handling attribution in HubSpot, it's essential to understand that some properties related to contacts will map out to specific properties on deals.

This means that specific data points are collected when a contact is created. This can include the Original Source or the marketing channel that brought them in, which will be carried over to any deals that are associated with that contact.

With deal attribution, we can relate marketing efforts to sales. 

This knowledge should be invaluable to both the sales and marketing departments. 

The marketing team, in particular, can use this information and report on it in a number of ways. Below are some examples of what marketers can do with this data! 

Evaluating Marketing Channels

Viewing the actual revenue produced from a particular marketing channel can be a great starting point for discovering more effective methods of generating leads (or generating leads at a lower cost per acquisition).

Adjusting Paid Media Targets

With HubSpot attribution, you can easily track which paid media channels, and targets generate the most revenue and conversions. This information can help you make informed decisions about where to allocate your ad spend and which targets to focus on.

A screenshot displaying a pie chart that illustrates the breakdown of the Original Source field in HubSpot.

Using our original example of a marketer working with LinkedIn campaigns, you may find that one particular ad that’s targeting a specific job title outperforms all other ads. With this insight, you can adjust your campaign to allocate more budget to that ad and target that specific job title more aggressively. 

Revising Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is crucial to any effective marketing strategy. It allows you to identify and prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and potential value. With HubSpot's deal and revenue attribution feature, you can take lead scoring to the next level by incorporating actual sales data into your scoring rules.

By analyzing which leads or contacts ultimately convert into deals and generate revenue, you can refine your lead scoring criteria to better identify high-value prospects. This can help you focus your marketing efforts on the most promising leads, increasing your chances of converting them into customers.

For example, suppose you, as the LinkedIn marketer, find that leads who engage with a particular type of content or attend certain webinars are more likely to convert into paying customers. In that case, you can adjust your lead scoring criteria to give those actions a higher score. On the other hand, if certain actions or behaviors seem to have little correlation with actual sales, you could add negative scoring rules.

Ultimately, by using deal and revenue attribution to refine your lead scoring rules, you can ensure that you're prioritizing the leads with the highest potential value while also optimizing your marketing efforts to generate the best possible return on investment.

HubSpot Original Source Property

Luckily, HubSpot does a lot of the legwork for you for correctly attributing digital sources, and it all centers around one specific field: Original Source. 

According to HubSpot, these properties "tell you where your contacts come from, including how they came to visit the website, or how they were created or updated via offline sources."

This feature is a powerful tool that automatically records the traffic source of new contacts and links it to their contact record. Through this function, Original Source simplifies attribution and allows marketers to gain valuable insights into their campaign and sales effectiveness for marketing qualified leads.

A man with a bun hairstyle attentively reviewing HubSpot's data reporting from his desk.

Original source is a starting point for attribution, but categorizes web traffic into specific buckets:

  • Email marketing
  • Organic social
  • Referrals
  • Direct traffic
  • Organic search
  • Other campaigns
  • Offline sources
  • Paid search
  • Paid social

While the Original Source categories in HubSpot are a great starting point for attribution, they can be too broad to provide specific insights into campaign performance. For example, the "paid social" category could include ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social platforms. This makes it challenging to know which platform generates the most leads or revenue (or it could track all of your social media).

 That’s why it takes a little bit more work to get the data you need from the Original Source field to improve your campaigns. Below, here is our process at Vaulted to help you get the most accurate data. 

HubSpot Tracking Code

Just a side note that this original source (or latest source properties) will only function if you have the HubSpot tracking code installed on your website.

Original Source Drill-Down 1 (and 2)

Fortunately, two other fields are used for additional attribution details.

These two fields, Original Source Drill-down 1 and Original Source Drill-down 2 provide more granular insights into the Original Source of your contacts.

For example, Original Source Drill-down 1 might indicate that a contact came from a specific LinkedIn ad campaign, while Original Source Drill-down 2 could provide further detail on the specific ad or targeting criteria used in that campaign.

HubSpot page showing how to use the Original Source field.

By combining Original Source, Original Source Drill-down 1, and Original Source Drill-down 2 fields, marketers can better understand the original channel that created a contact.

This information can be valuable for optimizing and improving targeted marketing campaigns. It provides actionable insights into what's working and what's not, allowing marketers to adjust their strategies for better results. With this level of attribution detail, HubSpot users can get a complete picture of their marketing and sales process. This bigger-picture view of your campaigns allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses for continuous optimization and improvement.

Latest Source Field 

For marketers dealing with long buying cycles, you can do even more to improve attribution. The Latest Source fields track the most recent source that a contact or deal has been associated with. This helps you understand how your contacts interact with your brand across different channels and touchpoints.

Leveraging Latest Source allows you to fully utilize the omnichannel customer journey to your benefit. For example, a contact may have initially discovered your brand through a Facebook ad but ultimately converted after receiving an email newsletter. You can see how different channels work together to drive conversions and revenue by tracking the Latest Source.

This information can help you optimize your marketing strategy and allocate resources more effectively. So don't overlook the Latest Source field in HubSpot— it could provide valuable insights into your customer journey.

Just like the Original Source fields, there are also three Latest Source fields:

  • Latest Source
  • Latest Source Drill-down 1
  • Latest Source Drill-down 2

By tracking both the Original Source and the Latest Source in HubSpot, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your revenue attribution and optimize your marketing strategies accordingly. This information can help you allocate resources more effectively, improve lead scoring and segmentation, and ultimately drive more revenue for your business.

Putting it All Together

Using both Original Source and Latest Source (plus their drill-downs) can help companies to identify which sources and touchpoints drive the most revenue and conversions, allowing them to allocate resources more effectively and focus on the most promising leads.

Moreover, the Original Source and Latest Source fields can improve lead scoring and segmentation. By incorporating actual sales data into lead-scoring rules, businesses can prioritize high-value prospects and focus their marketing efforts on the most promising leads. This can lead to increased conversion rates and higher revenue.

In conclusion, by utilizing the Original Source and Latest Source fields in HubSpot, businesses can gain valuable insights into their marketing and sales process, identify strengths and weaknesses, and optimize their strategies for better results. Plus, that marketer working on LinkedIn ads can get the data they need to run a truly successful campaign for the upcoming webinar. 

Need More Help Running Campaigns with Hubspot?

Of course, this is just one of the processes we use at Vaulted to run better, more data-rich campaigns. When you work with a Hubspot Partner agency like ours, you’re choosing to work with a team that can tailor, adjust, and guide you towards a better HubSpot strategy. More importantly, you’re selecting a growth partner that can help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re managing a complex sales cycle or getting started with demand generation for the first time—our expert consulting and marketing team is a natural extension of your internal team.

Our team is dedicated to creating tangible results with an integrated approach to marketing, branding, and web design. We believe in the unlimited potential of our clients and collaborate with them to transform vision into reality. 

Our web designers use branding and design to align your values and business strategies with your customers' needs and perceptions. Vaulted does this to help you tell your story to the right people.

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