Measuring B2B marketing results has changed today, just like the method of marketing has. From selling products using simple traditional ways to using online tools to measure and report account based marketing, the face and shape of marketing have shifted or rather evolved through the years.
No matter how many changes occur, the basis of marketing has and always will be the same; that is to market a product and sell it to the consumer. This is where measuring the result of any kind of marketing effort comes into play.
Is Measuring The Marketing Efforts Really Important?
Every organization’s goals revolve around earning more money and increasing revenue. Any company can increase its chances by coming up with short-term objectives and return on investments.
It especially applies to account based marketing, because it is a very specific form of marketing that focuses only on the target accounts and interacts with them. So, measuring the results will give very clear answers, making the targeting much easier than it already is.
Take a look below at the most important components of these measurable outcomes:
1. Return on Investment (RoI)
Any company invests a certain amount of money into marketing. But the real return of investment is when the prospect buys the product, which results in profit for the organization. In simple terms, it’s when the efforts put in by the company produce more than what they started out with.
2. Customer Lifecycle
The customer life cycle is defined by the stages a customer goes through to become loyal and returning one. This starts from them considering, purchasing, using to finally maintaining the product. Every company should keep this cycle in mind when creating the cost distribution. After all, returning customers are the major reason for any company’s success.
3. Business Plan & Flexibility
One of the biggest reasons for any company’s success doesn’t revolve around the past. In fact, constant evaluation and a business plan based on consistent data checking are how companies achieve the success mark. Regular checkups keep the success of a company intact.
A productive plan requires an extensive examination of the data, along with the valuable feedback of the employees. A productive plan is built to be flexible and can be changed if required.
4. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
It is an index that is used to reveal the average cost in order to gain new customers. The CAC is used to determine how much a company invests to attract its customers on a yearly, quarterly and monthly basis. This is considered important since it directly affects the company’s revenue. Lower the CAC higher will be the revenue.
5. The Human Factor
No matter how many tools and metrics you have, the human touch of your staff can never be replaced. The experience your staff members hold is of immense value and they know exactly how to use the data. This holds true especially when it comes to implementing processes, which makes your employees feel valued and important to your business’s success.
What to consider when setting up your KPIs to measure and report ABM?
1. Metrics and Goals: Align Them Both
Consider this- Many companies avoid using ABM to attract new business, rather the focus is more on retaining the clients and upselling it to them. In this scenario, the KPI should not be to look for new accounts. This will result in a long search of clients for your sales and marketing team with no relation to the final outcome which is required by the company. And so for this particular instance, churning rate and recurring revenue would be a better KPI.
Also when you are aligning your metrics and goals, make sure to keep away from the useless metrics such as social media followers and website visits. Focus only on quality because the idea is to measure how effective you are in targeting individual accounts.
2. Adopt a Strong Measurement System
Measuring ABM metrics is nowhere near the way it is done for standard metrics. There needs to be a system in place that will not only allow you to measure the metrics for ABM but also, prepare you beforehand for the pitfalls you might come across while measuring it.
For instance, you might want to compare the results of your ABM campaigns with that of the regular marketing ones. Refrain from doing so, since getting results from ABM takes time. So, do not focus on collecting enough revenue in the start itself because with ABM your plan might not fly.
This is why a strong and robust measurement system helps in showing the rest of the people that you are making progress. This will go a long way when the time comes to finally demonstrate the results of ABM.
3. Focus on Who is Engaging With You
ABM is all about the target accounts. So, if you are hitting on the wrong accounts, then your efforts are going waste. Set some metrics that engage you with your customers. Look out for companies who do respond to your content, the people within that organization and see how frequently are they engaging with your content. And this is how you will be able to find how far you are getting along with hitting the right target accounts.
Why is setting Up ABM metrics beforehand essential?
Setting up your marketing campaign’s KPIs is extremely important. Mainly because it:
- Helps in communicating your goals
- Holds the team accountable for its performance
- Provides a clear system to measure your performance
…especially when it comes to account based marketing (ABM). Want to know why? Here are 3 reasons that will help you understand this better.
1. Results Take Time
Many people don’t like this metric but it is the best way to move forward. As a business, you must discuss the expectations and results of the campaigns. Since ABM is not about quick wins, it takes time. It is always better to discuss and lay out the KPIs beforehand with the execution team. This is something everyone in your organization will have to get on-board with.
As for setting the KPIs in different stages, in the beginning, you can focus on how well you are interacting with the audience. Then when you have reached towards the end of the strategy, see if your audience is engaging with you or not. And whether or not the potential leads have turned into loyal customers.
This is how you will see the results getting reflected in the revenue reports as well.
2. Incentivize The Right Behavior
Since ABM is relatively a newer approach when setting up marketing campaigns, make sure everybody in your team knows what it is.
This can be further made clearer by setting the metrics. This way your organization will know what goals and metrics need to be achieved, instead of getting confused by them.
3. Align the Marketing and Sales Teams
Although this has been discussed above as well, this point applies everywhere. Both your sales and marketing teams’ efforts together define the success of ABM. Instead of using the method of MQL and SQL, it is better to combine both the teams and work towards achieving common goals.
Again in this case also, make sure to set the metrics beforehand so that you and your teams, both are on the same page.
How to measure the Account Based Marketing (ABM) results?
In order to measure the metrics of ABM, you will need to quantify the value of your idea placed on the experience and the impact it has made on the sales. It’s not going to be an easy task, but there are 4 factors through which you can do this.
This is a metric you, as a business, will consider for yourself, like how many accounts you can cover. This could also be a way to measure the prospect like how many profiles from the right account you have been able to reach out.
Some of the other questions you can be asking yourself through this metric include the number of accounts that fit your ideal customer profile or if you have enough data to reach out to the right account or were you able to identify individual decision-makers from your target accounts.
Through the traditional method marketing you will be able to look at the click-through rates and all, but the deep dive, statistical information will not be covered by it.
Measuring whether your audience is interacting and engaging with your content is what this metric is all about.
An effective way to find this out is through measuring time spent on consuming the content, the total span of the content consumed, the volume of it like how many assets did your audience visit, the intensity of the engagement which means if they are progressively interacting or not and their attendance during online and offline events.
This is true that the success of an ABM campaign is measured through the revenue that has been collected, but still, there are a few metrics through which you can know how well your campaign is doing.
- First is sales velocity, where you check if the sales cycle of your program was too short or not?
- Second is the win rate, where you check if the conversion rate of ABM accounts is more than the non-ABM accounts or not?
- The third is the deal size, where you compare the deal size of ABM accounts to that of the non-ABM accounts.
For an ABM program that has a large number of target accounts, it will be useful to consider “marketing pipeline” also as a metric. It is used to find the number of accounts whose contacts have engaged with your ABM program.
The impact is measured after the engagement step. The number of people who have engaged with your account will be the ones creating an impact.
Some of the questions you will ask include: engagement results in an interaction, opportunities that are coming from your ABM program and how many meetings are being generated by the program.
How to report the Account Based Marketing (ABM) results?
Now that you know how to measure the results of your ABM program, it is time to understand how you report them.
There is a straightforward model that you can use to compare. You just have to create an extremely simple table in order to demonstrate the impact your ABM program has created and in turn how it has affected your business model.
You start by making columns of the average contract value, win rate, sales cycle length, retention ratio and net promoter score (NPS).
Then you compare the value of these factors for target prospect accounts (acquisition), target customer accounts (expansion) and non-target accounts.
Account based marketing (ABM) is not your usual and traditional approach. It is a new and effective approach that gives you the result you want.
It is a shift of mindset from marketing qualified leads (MQL) to marketing qualified accounts (MQA). It is indeed new for a lot of teams, which is why the change will not be sudden.
So, make sure to do the shift as an organization taking all your teams along with you.
Map out your metrics and make sure your team is also aligned with it.
Since ABM is all about the right targeting, it is absolutely important to have an account based strategy in order to measure your programs’ success.
Now that you know the many benefits of having an ABM program, it’s time for you to make the shift from the traditional marketing method to a more targeted one. Be patient and get ready to see the magic of ABM measurement in the form of increased revenue of your business.
Originally published on March 7, 2020. Updated on March 10, 2022.