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 their chances by coming up with short-term objectives and return on investments.
Based on these efforts, results can be measured by the leaders, and accordingly, can come up with the decision making process.
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 is Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a business-to-business strategy that makes sure your team is not chasing after the wrong goals because of the wrong metrics. It focuses on specific accounts and groups along with targeted marketing campaigns.
Instead of reaching out to each and every customer possible, ABM focuses on reaching out to customers who are likely to add the most value to your organization.
The first step, as per the ABM approach, is to reach out to accounts who will be interested in doing business with your company.
More info: What Is ABM – A Quick Handbook
ABM is specifically known for these 3 facts:
- It aligns the efforts of marketing and sales, which is not possible when it comes to the traditional methods of marketing campaigns.
- Instead of targeting the bulk of customers for your business’s growth, ABM focuses on the quality of the customers – those who will benefit by engaging with your type of business.
- Instead of targeting specific campaigns on specific businesses, ABM targets specific people who will be interested in your product or service.
The best analogy to understand ABM is through fishing. Consider using a net in order to catch a fish. You will spend a lot of time doing the work, pushing the water with no guarantee of catching enough fish or enough big fish. Instead of using a net, if you use a spear, you might spend a little more time setting up the equipment and spotting the right fish, but in the end chances of catching the big fish, you eyed increase manifold.
This is the difference between regular marketing and Account Based Marketing (ABM). The former focuses on the volume, whereas the latter deals with precision which are exactly what a successful marketing campaign should look like.
Why is Account Based Marketing (ABM) so popular?
ABM provides accounts that will allow the most value for the sales team of your business. Instead of focusing on all kinds of possible customers, you only have to go after the accounts who will benefit you the most.
But choosing to go after the account is just the first part, you will require the right tools to be able to do so.
Most of the marketing techniques face the problem of not being able to learn about the target accounts and then reaching those accounts with the content.
Both of these issues are tackled by ABM.
Once your team has found out the target accounts they want to work with, they can then further deep dive into the profiles of specific people you want to reach within those accounts. This will further lead to messages that are highly personalized making it extremely an efficient method to make loyal customers.
Consider an example where a company as a part of their personalized campaign, prints out the customer reviews from the third-party site and sends it along with a personalized note and an e-book of their company. Now if that doesn’t persuade you to become a loyal customer then nothing else will.
That’s how popular account based marketing (ABM) is!
Why is it important to measure results, especially in Account Based Marketing (ABM)?
We have already established why, in general, it is important to measure results for any form of marketing.
It especially applies to account based marketing, because it is a very specific form of marketing which 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.
In order to understand the importance of ABM better, let’s see how it is different from measuring regular marketing campaigns.
How the Account Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns differ from regular campaigns?
Different metrics are used to measure the results of ABM campaigns. Let’s first understand how they are different from the regular ones.
1. Reversed Funnel
The traditional marketing approach to zeroing in your target audience goes something like this. You first attract a bunch of people, nurture them with offers and letters, and funnel it out by identifying the target audience who actually responded well to your campaign.
With ABM, the funnel is reversed. The very first step is to identify the target audience you think is likely to respond well to your marketing campaign. Once you know your audience, you take it further with all the other steps of the funnel, i.e. nurturing and attracting them with offers and details of your campaign.
2. Quality Over Quantity
By flipping the tunnel, instead of focusing on each and every step of it, the main focus shifts to just targeting the right account.
So, your main focus is always around what your target account will or will not like. For example, what kind of blogs will interest them? Will they find this piece of information useful? Is this the kind of event they will turn up at? What kind of content will they find more interesting? And so on and so forth. The whole idea is to put in efforts to make sure your audience finds it interesting and can engage with it.
In contrast, the traditional method of marketing will probably curate a bunch of content and wait for the right audience to latch on to it. So, although there’s quantity in terms of regular marketing, ABM focuses more on the quality.
This means 20 views on one blog will be nothing in comparison to the efforts put in regular marketing but not with ABM since the targeting was done for exactly that many number of leads.
3. Alignment of Marketing And Sales
So far, the ways in which companies have worked with the sales and marketing teams goes like this. The marketing team generates marketing qualified leads (MQL) which are then given to the sales team. From those leads, sales need to churn its own sales qualified leads (SQL). These are the ones that generate revenue for the company.
But this is not how ABM works. In the case of ABM, the marketing team already has leads in the form of targeted accounts. This means both the teams are aligned on the leads and so there’s no need for separate funnels. Hence, common metrics for both the teams.
What to consider when setting up your KPIs to measure and report Account Based Marketing (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 Account Based Marketing (ABM) metrics beforehand essential?
Setting up your marketing campaign’s KPIs are 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 it.
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.