Do you ever wonder if your business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategies are working? At some point, most marketers run into the question of how to measure their results. It’s crucial to gain insight into the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, or you risk wasting precious time by repeating unsuccessful tactics. You may even lose clients.
Complicating matters, account-based marketing is a unique approach. It requires different metrics to measure outcomes. Account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on the whole account, rather than the individual, making it vital for metrics to consider multiple contacts and actions within each account.
Additionally, ABM faces the challenge of potentially long sales cycles that accompany large deals. It’s important for marketers to have metrics that can provide information during the sales process and not depend on waiting for a sale to close. Tracking information even before the sales cycle begins can help drive sales outcomes.
Fortunately, there is a solution to these special ABM challenges. By using the following five ABM metrics, marketers can better track and learn from their successes and failures.
Having a clear portrait of your current coverage builds the foundation for all other metrics. Coverage is the measure of how thoroughly your company has assembled contacts and permissions with target accounts: who you want to reach and who you’ve already reached. Assessing coverage will help reveal any contact or permission gaps in your target accounts that might cause marketing efforts to slip through the cracks. Without the right coverage, even the best strategies can fall flat.
To measure account coverage, make a map or chart of your contacts in each account. This will allow you to see where you may be missing important contacts within an account. Organize the chart with Level on one axis and Department on the other. Then look for key levels and departments within the account, and match them to your contact map. Are there any departments or levels with no contact? Work to fill in coverage and see better results from all your marketing efforts. This will allow you to see where you may be missing important contacts within an account.
Once you’re sure each account has sufficient coverage to accomplish your goals, gage your target accounts’ awareness of your company’s products and services.
Many marketing strategies are best delivered online; in fact, a company’s website is one of the most important tools in making a sale. Using your website to gather data can therefore be a major key to gaging awareness. One of the easiest ways to use your website to track awareness is to measure target accounts’ web traffic to your site.
You can do this by finding the domain names of visitors through reverse IP lookup and seeing which of these are associated with your accounts. Then create a log to track the amount of traffic from each of your accounts. This makes it much easier to see when traffic increases or decreases from particular accounts. Decreasing traffic might indicate a need to boost awareness about new products or services.
Another way to gage awareness is to look at website engagement and conversion metrics. What is your target audience doing on your website? Are they clicking ads? Are they taking the actions you want them to take – requesting information, filling out forms, or watching videos?
Track All Engagement
While web engagement is certainly vital to understanding your company’s solutions, tracking all forms of engagement will help you more completely measure campaign success.
A simple metric for engagement is the amount of time that each account spends engaging with your brand. First, make a list of all significant activities for each person who works for a target account, such as interacting with your company socially, using your products, engaging with your sales contacts, or responding to your marketing efforts. Then track the number of minutes that each person spends on each of these activities.
To analyze the results, add up all the minutes that each contact at an account spent engaging with your brand. The result will be a portrait of each account’s engagement over a specified period of time. Tracking engagement quarterly will allow you to see whether engagement is generally increasing or decreasing, which is especially important in the middle of a sales cycle.
Assess Campaign Impact
Knowing which specific campaigns are reaching your target accounts is vital to getting the most out of your ABM campaigns.
To assess campaign impact, begin by determining what constitutes a successful result for each campaign. For example, if the campaign involves an event, success is attendance. If the program is designed to deliver content, success is someone in the account downloading the content. Then, look at how each target account responded. Determining the percentage of target accounts that had a success will provide you with an understanding of your campaign’s reach.
The final metric to look at is the measure of how marketing strategies impact sales and revenue outcomes. Because ABM often deals with long sales cycles, it can be difficult to evaluate the precise impact of each marketing program on your sales. Instead of a cause-and-effect model, ABM influence instead uses a correlation model. Marketers should use the preceding metrics and look for correlations between marketing strategies and sales results, such as “accounts with key members who attended the event had contracts with a 7% greater value.”
Metrics for Success
Marketing is not an exact science. Measuring results is a complex process, made even more complex by the unique considerations of ABM. Rather than pinpointing exact results, each of these five metrics works as a part of an overall system.
When used together, marketers can create a more accurate picture of who they’re reaching, and how. This information will help you refine your strategies and target the right accounts with the right methods. Best of all, the insight you gain throughout the process isn’t limited to current clients. Rather, it will help you get the best results in the future, too.