By Joe Brannen
Many B2B companies have started employing account-based marketing (ABM) instead of more traditional marketing tactics to better align and personalize their marketing efforts to their buyer personas and identify where their accounts are in the Buyer’s Journey. This tactic has become so effective that 81 percent of North American B2B marketers claim to be using ABM, according to #FlipMyFunnel and B2B News Network. If you are currently using or planning to use ABM, what metrics are you tracking—and which ones should you consider adopting?
Account coverage measures two things: how many accounts you are reaching and who you have actually reached. This is a key metric to track because it can serve as the base of your strategy. It’s what you will use to align your marketing efforts to the actual personas and to ensure the right message reaches the right account contacts. In order to properly get a bead on your account coverage, you should be looking at things such as:
- Which contacts belong to which account
- How many of those contacts have been touched
- Where those contacts currently sit within the Buyer’s Journey
Once you know the makeup of a current account, it’s time to answer every marketer’s favorite question: Are your leads engaging? Conversion metrics are going to be important for determining engagement. To properly gauge engagement, you will need to ensure that your tracking mechanisms—whether Google Analytics, your marketing automation platform, or a third-party service—are in place and working properly. It’s not a warm and fuzzy feeling when you push a campaign out the door and later realize you have no way of knowing what part of it did or didn’t work. And when it comes to ABM, you’ll definitely need to know how engaged your prospects are in order to take appropriate next steps.
Sure, your prospects may be engaged, but are you reaching your intended targets? Although having an ABM campaign with a lot of activity feels good, it becomes bittersweet if you don’t reach the right prospects. Tracking reach can further determine whether your efforts were worthwhile and help to plan or adjust future campaigns. It also helps to know what channels are generating the most interactions among your targets so that you can reach those prospects more quickly in the future.
Impact and Influence
If you are tracking all of the above metrics, you’ll know which prospects you are covering, how engaged they are, and what channels are most effective. Now it’s time to determine which activities really impacted the buyer’s journey. You’re already putting together a solid, modern ABM campaign. Why use outdated batch-and-blast tactics? It’s important to determine what action or set of actions will effectively move your prospects down the funnel before you execute a campaign. Are engaged contacts more likely to speak to sales or sign up for a demo after a webinar? Or maybe you have an interactive quiz that has been killing it lately.
Take things a step further by measuring the outcomes of your ABM campaigns against some of your other campaigns or established benchmarks. Did prospects in your ABM campaign close more quickly? What was the deal size? This may mean that marketing and sales get a little cozier than usual, but this will ultimately benefit both departments and increase collaboration.
Although ROI may not be the most pleasant metric to track, it’s important to know whether your ABM campaigns are worth the effort you put in. If your campaigns are costing a good deal of time and money but are only turning out a few hot leads, you may want to tweak a few things. Although the bulk of your campaign is effective, maybe it would be just as effective if you reduced your ad spend? Or perhaps you have an internal thought leader who can reach the audience just as well as the external speaker you brought in? Tracking ROI can also demonstrate the need for new technology to streamline your campaigns, meaning that the shiny piece of MarTech you’ve been after for months might finally be within your grasp.
But measuring ROI isn’t all doom and gloom—tracking this metric can also prove to your leadership team that your ABM efforts are working and fueling growth. It’s just another feather in your cap and leads to buy-in for future campaigns. Plus, since your campaign was obviously a success, you can use parts or even the campaign as a whole as a template for future campaigns which will save time and effort in the future.