EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post by Brandon Redlinger, Director of Growth at Engagio
B2B marketers can gain credibility throughout their organizations by quantitatively proving their business impact on leads, opportunities and, most importantly, revenue. In the last decade, marketers have gained the ability to increase quantity, track movement down a funnel, and measure ROI.
However, in the last handful of years, we’ve seen a few dramatic changes in the way B2B businesses are going to market. Enterprise decision makers and buying committees expect more from vendors because of the increased demand from their board and advancements in technology.
As a result, there’s been a meteoric rise in the strategy we are now calling Account Based Marketing (ABM).
But with this rise In the modern era of marketing, it’s time for different success metrics. A new way of marketing calls for a new way of measuring.
That’s why Jon Miller and the Engagio team wrote The Clear and Complete Guide to ABM Analytics. This is the most comprehensive guide to modern marketing analytics. We dive into actionable tactics for qualitatively and quantitatively measuring marketing’s impact in complex deals with long sales cycles and multiple decision-makers.
In this post, we’ll dig into the new metrics for ABM and a how to start attributing impact of those programs.
The New Metrics for ABM
ABM metrics are different because they track accounts, not leads, they focus on quality not quantity, and they track impact and influence more than try to apportion ‘credit’. ABM is much more of a team effort than traditional demand generation.
In ABM, you must measure: coverage, awareness, engagement, reach, and impact. Let’s dig in a little deeper to each one.
Do you have enough of the right people in your database? How complete is your account data?
These metric tracks data quality and comprehensiveness and should inform your strategic plan. In other words, how many of your target accounts have you researched? Do you understand each division with your target account? How many accounts do you have account-specific custom content for? Have you identified the main stakeholders and points of contact within every account? Do you have their contact information?
Do your prospects know your company’s name and what you offer?
Web traffic is a good reflection of this — specifically, traffic coming from people within your target accounts. You should also track whether your key contacts are opening your emails, attending your events, and taking your phone calls.
How engaged and interested are your prospects?
The more time they spend with your company, the more committed they tend to be.
Measure the number of minutes that someone spends with your brand. Track when they are responding to your marketing programs, but also when they interact socially, when they use your product, and when they talk with your sales team.
Are you reaching specific target accounts? Where are you wasting your efforts?
Track success by channel — for example, in a webinar campaign, you’d measure success by event attendance. Track the percent of target accounts that have success in each program as well. Finally, track your focus — what percentage of all program successes come from key accounts?
Which activities are generating the right results?
Traditional attribution models are difficult to apply to long sales cycles with multiple touches. ABM requires looking for correlations between activities and key sales outcomes. Mine your data to find insights like, “Accounts in the top 25% of engagement have 18% faster sales cycles than those in the bottom 25%.”
You’re looking for deal velocity, win rates, average contract values, retention, and Net Promoter Scores. Ultimately, these insights help to demonstrate why ABM programs matter to sales leadership and the C-suite.
Attributing the Impact of Marketing Activities
Measuring impact has been Marketing’s holy grail since John Wanamaker famously admitted he didn’t know which half of his advertising dollars were wasted.
While B2B CMOs say measuring ROI is their top priority, less than 20% report having the capability (Forbes, 2016).
It’s finally possible for B2B marketers to ascertain programs that work and don’t, and how each affects revenue and profits. Armed with knowledge about individual and aggregated program ROI, marketers can use the insights to allocate budget for maximum impact.
ROI’s Purpose: Improve (Not Prove) Marketing
ROI is most valuable when evaluating marketing investments, not justifying marketing. Given the reality of budget limitations, CMOs need to make trade-offs about where to focus resources — and ROI provides a framework to improve these decisions.
Pro-Tip: Don’t use ROI analytics to “prove” marketing works, use them to “improve” decisions about where to focus resources.
Insight opportunity cost
When you spend time and energy justifying marketing, you waste time and resources. “Proving” marketing has an insight opportunity cost. Directed elsewhere, that same effort can create insight to improve marketing.
Most companies find profits increase when constrained analytics resources focus on improving key decisions, rather than proving Marketing deserves to exist.
The Golden Ratio
Many teams find “Pipeline to Investment” is the best way to judge marketing programs. Also known as Marketing’s Golden Ratio, this concept shows CMOs how much pipeline each dollar produces for individual program investments.
CMOs calculate Golden Ratios with multi-touch attribution by adding up total pipeline attributed to each program.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. How do you get started with ABM analytics? What people, processes, and technologies will you need along the way? How to start your ABM journey depends on many different factors.
To take a deep dive into mapping your account journeys, the new account-based funnel, the different types of multi-touch attribution models for B2B marketing, and more, pick up Jon Miller and Engagio’s new Clear and Complete Guide to ABM Analytics today!