In traditional B2B marketing, new leads and opportunities are the main metrics used to measure the success of a marketing campaign. But account-based marketing, a strategy used by companies going after a small number of large target accounts, takes a more realistic approach.
Unlike a lead-based marketing campaign, in which a brand measures its success based on the quantity of individual leads, the very nature of account-based marketing (ABM) is to focus on the quality of leads. The reality for most companies is that individuals seldom make buying decisions in a silo. CEB cites that on average, there are 5.4 influencers involved in the average purchase decision. As such, ABM targets multiple team members at key accounts in order to reach a larger community. As David Ogilvy, the “grandfather of advertising,” once said, “Don’t count the people you reach. Reach the people who count.”
When measuring account-based marketing, then, it is incredibly important to have a set of metrics that create a deeper context for who you are reaching. Thus the traditional metrics—and framework used to measure it—are much less relevant. Here’s what you need to know about measuring account-based marketing.
Account-Based Web Metrics
The ABM model causes brands and marketers to collect and measure data much differently than they would with a lead-based campaign. In an account-based campaign, your brand’s main focus is to isolate the data of key influencers in each targeted account to see how your marketing efforts are working over time. With this method, account-based marketing metrics require marketers to segment data based on targeted accounts and key influencers within those accounts. Thus, the account-based metrics must measure web metrics by account and account groups, not just by visitor.
How to isolate and group visitors by accounts is critical to measure your account-based marketing. There’s two major ways this can be accomplished, both through IP addresses. One method is to look-up visitor’s IP addresses. Every visitor has an IP address. associated with an organization or account. Certain software and vendors can now provide capabilities to instantly match IP address to company name. Another method is to match an IP address to a cookie inserted in the email contacts in a marketing automation contact database. Either way, you want to work with an ABM firm who has the experience, insight and capability to distinguish and isolate key data.
After you’ve isolated the pertinent data from targeted accounts you’ll need to start measuring it. That’s where you’ll need to use specific, if not familiar, metrics. Here are the ones to look out for.
What do we mean be coverage? Coverage metrics measures the data quality and completeness of your ideal list of key influencers and target accounts. Essentially, coverage metrics should tell you the percentages of key names and target accounts you’ve reached out to, successfully or not. The key metrics to look out for are:
- The percentage of key influencers in target accounts you’ve gained opt-in permission with.
- The percentage of the total number of target accounts identified in your target market/segment.
Tracking and measuring coverage is essential to refining other parts of your marketing campaigns. For example, if you know that influencers in company Y responded to one page on your website more than any others, you can double down on that type of content in the future. Similarly, you can eliminate ineffective campaign efforts.
If you want to see overall results quickly and clearly, measuring your brand’s engagement is essential. Engagement metrics tell you whether your ABM campaigns—either through ads, content or elsewhere—engendered visitors to take interest and, hopefully, action. There are so many metrics to review under here—some necessary and some unnecessary. The ones that you absolutely need to pay attention to are:
- The total pageviews for each targeted account or account group is the fastest way to measure engagement and awareness for accounts and indicates interest. Additionally, specific interactions—such as clicks and downloads from specific pages per account—can indicate interest in specific products and/or services.
- The unique visitors for each targeted account of account group is a strong indicator of organizational interest. The more unique visitors per account that visit the web can more accurately gauge the interest of the whole organization, rather than the interest of one or two individuals.
- The bounce rate and exit rate for targeted accounts and groups creates a clearer picture of your overall web traffic. If the bounce rate is 90%, that indicates that a visitor was initially interested, but left the page quickly.
- Traffic sources by segment—either by direct traffic, organic traffic or referral traffic—communicate the places that are sending visitors to your site and are essential to measuring your ad performances, content marketing and more.
- Time spent on page is also a useful website and engagement metric to look. The longer a visitor spends with a piece of content or a webpage, the more likely they are to be converted.
- The click-through rates from ads to specific content, emails to specific content, general interest information forms and any other CTA forms.
- The number of conversions from secondary actions, which include actions like the number of exclusive content downloads, demo sign-ups and email subscribers gained from content downloads. This usually comes from whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, etc.
- The ratio of answer rates to sales calls.
- The length of call durations and email reply.
- The number of impressions from an ad or content.
Engagement metrics will help your brand understand which of their marketing campaigns are resonating with key decision-makers. And if you segment the data properly, you can understand which decision-makers at which accounts responds to which campaigns.
This is the one that really matters because it’s all about the Benjamins. Aka, how are the ABM activities improving sales outcomes? These productivity metrics closely correspond with your typical sales metrics. They look like:
- The sales-cycle length
- The average selling price
- The increase in revenue over a specific group of time.
- The customer retention rates.
- The increase/decrease in sales per account
- The lowered cost of sales and marketer per revenue dollar.
With these metrics in mind, you’ll be able to identify where your account-based marketing is failing and succeeding relative to previous campaigns.