Account-based marketing is getting bigger in 2017 – some 92% of B2B marketers reportedly find ABM an “extremely” or “very” important for marketing efforts, and 84% of marketers have claimed that they expect higher revenues from account-based marketing campaigns than from other strategies. However, despite high adoption rates, many marketers and companies are stumbling with failures in their ABM campaigns. Where do they fall short?
Since most companies and marketers are still on a learning curve with account-based marketing, more than a few fail miserably, and especially in these three major areas where they can make mistakes while starting account-based marketing campaigns. Here we have defined three major areas marketers go wrong while starting up ABM activities.
No marketing decision can be made based on bad insights data – that’s why in order to avoid mistakes and attain success, marketers must keep their data clean and right to be able to target their customers well. Marketing experts advise periodic health-check of the data and investing in refining the dataset from time to time. “One of the biggest marketing culprits for using bad data is account-based marketing. It makes sense that spending money on targeting the right leads would be most efficient, unless your definition of ‘right’ is, in fact, wrong”, said Anne Gherini, the vice president of marketing at Node. Additionally, it is also important to conduct a third-party customer analysis to determine if the data is right.
Wrong account selection
One of the gravest mistakes that can disrupt any account-based marketing program is wrong selection of targeted accounts. Most companies heavily focus either on sales so that accounts will look good for sales professionals instead of choosing accounts which will actually generate revenues, or they choose accounts that look good through marketing perspectives, but which eventually make it difficult for their teams to generate buy-in.
To avoid account selection mistakes and to choose the right accounts from a list of large set of accounts, here we have several “golden rules” that will make the selection process easier than ever:
Product relevant: Narrow down on accounts which have business needs and specifications which match the kind of services, solutions or products you sell. The more their solutions match, the higher the chances of converting those accounts.
Competitive advantage: Target those accounts for account-based marketing campaigns that are already using or engaging with your competitors’ products, solutions and content. Thus, with sales conversion and ROI, you will stay ahead of the competition.
High yield: Zero in on those accounts that are expected to yield larger values than any other accounts. These high-value accounts will generate huge ROI in the long term.
Strategy relevant: Another foolproof strategy of choosing the right accounts for your company is to select those that are perfectly aligned with your marketing strategy.
Once you select the right accounts, you need to make sure that all key individuals involved in the buying cycle are included in the selection process and that all of them are agreed upon by both the marketing and the sales team.
Account-based marketing is significantly different from other traditional marketing strategies. While the objective of traditional marketing efforts is to maximize on high-quality leads within the stipulated budget, ABM marketers narrows the focus down to targeting and identifying specific key accounts, personalizing on those key accounts, and landing them. That’s why metrics of those marketing activities vary in different ways. Some of these differences include:
Metrics in early stages
Apart from one major metric that marketers need to keep track of in varying stages is an account score that identifies individuals playing major roles in buying cycles. This metric also helps determine the readiness to buy among those individuals. Thus, this metric will help companies and marketers measure the overall engagement of key stakeholders and reconsider strategies, content, and program in the mix.
Website traffic: Include this measure in your ABM campaign to trace number of visitors from target accounts are visiting company websites, microsites, product pages or campaign-driven sites as well as their personalized web experiences, including their engagement with the content of your site, the number of downloads, any specific desired actions and purchases made using the website.
Ad impressions: In addition to the traffic and clicks at your site, it is also important to keep track of impressions of views on your ads. Take account of both impressions and click-through rates on your ads running on social channels, via search engines, local business channels, or other marketing channels to measure the performance of ads to see and roll-up the interests and engagement coming from targeted accounts.
Now that you have advanced to the next stage of your campaigns and your target individuals from key accounts started visiting your site, web pages and ads, you need to measure and analyze the quality and quantity of engagement, interactions and performance of your various ABM programs to identify how accounts are interacting with marketing and sales teams, moving toward the sales flannels – hence, these metrics need to be considered.
Engagement: Are visitors browsing through all the web pages of your website, through all phases of buying cycles? It is important to trace their digital footprints to know if your informative and educational content interests your visitors. Are they looking for your offers after visiting your educational content? Check out the count of visits to analyze if the target buyers are engaging with your content.
Campaigns and channels: Marketers need to collect the insights from all the marketing platforms that you rely on. Use these insights to measure and analyze the performance of your campaigns and whether you can predict that prospects will convert.
CRM: Look through the CRM platform linked to the account-based marketing campaigns. Dig in and excavate information from the CRM platform that your sales professionals might have recorded. Analyze and see how the data can be used to assist in your future marketing efforts.
In addition to these metrics, marketers also need to sit with the sales people to get more data on how key individuals of targeted accounts are interacting with the programs and content.
Late Stage Metrics
Then, there are those late-stage metrics which help marketers measure and analyze performance, revenue to know how marketing and sales team have succeeded in influencing targeted accounts. That’s why they need to take these following metrics under consideration:
Opportunities: Check out how many qualified leads resulted from your campaigns – this number of generated opportunities will help you determine the prospects who match the criteria and how valuable every opportunity is for your campaigns and the sales team.
Size: Measure the average deal size by the average selling price or ASP of converted opportunities from accounts. Make sure the deal size of the account is greater than other accounts.
Penetration: Check out how many people or major individuals of the targeted accounts are listed in your database. And also see how many of them have opted-in or registered with your newsletters/communications.
Wins: This metric helps measure the number of opportunities converted as the percentage of total conversion of opportunities. Make sure the number should be greater for target accounts than default accounts.
Velocity: Velocity will measure the time it takes to close any particular opportunity and become a customer. You should work to make sure the velocity is smaller for target accounts than for other default accounts.
Another major account-based marketing mistake marketers must guard their campaigns against is lack of integration and collaboration between major teams and departments involved in the process. At the same time, they also need to integrate other programs required for ABM campaign such as, event marketing to track how individuals from the accounts interact with events and collect insights from corporate event marketing teams, content marketing strategies and premium content that help in building relationships with targeted accounts, various paid advertising programs and other programs that create engagement and create opportunities.
To get more updates, tips and ideas on account-based marketing strategies and campaigns, you can talk to our ABM experts via (408) 502 6765 or connect us via our social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.