Account-based marketing (ABM) continues to gain momentum as technology makes it possible to target customers in entirely new ways. SiriusDecisions found that 93% of marketers consider ABM an important part of their organization’s success.
Unlike traditional marketing, ABM does more than bring in new leads. ABM brings in new qualified leads that are more likely to turn into high-value customers.
Volume alone is never the goal of ABM. Instead, you’re after engagement, lead quality, and conversions.
Why are B2B sales cycles longer?
The length of the B2B sales cycle is long because of how many decision makers are involved in the buying process.
Researchers at Harvard Business Review found that before the purchase of a B2B solution, an average 6.8 decision makers must weigh in. Also, CEB found that the B2B buying committee typically needs to be 57% of the way to a buying decision before they’ll reach out to a sales rep. With that many stakeholders to convince, the B2B sales cycle can be as long as 12 months.
Account-based marketing can shorten the sales cycle because it specifically targets the key decisions makers necessary to close a deal.
With a traditional B2B lead generation campaign, you might attract a lot of leads at a lot of accounts. However, many will be a waste of time because they either aren’t at your target accounts or they aren’t on the buying committee.
Thus, if you want to close big deals quicker, you’re going to have to adopt a marketing approach that fits the B2B cycle. A good ABM campaign will focus on getting all key decision makers ready for sales with marketing touches that efficiently educate and engage them with content that shows how your product solves their pain points.
But since successful account-based marketing relies on the quality of your marketing touches, it becomes even more important that you measure results correctly.
Four ways to measure an ABM campaign
You must measure the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns in order to deliver the highest returns. But measuring the results of an account-based marketing campaign can be challenging.
In a traditional marketing campaign, you’ll run an ad for a week or two and then measure click-through and conversion rates. The same cannot be said for an account-based marketing campaign.
Monitoring click-through rates, website traffic, and conversions alone won’t be enough when it comes to measuring your ABM campaign. To gauge effectiveness, here are four ways you’ll want to measure your campaign:
1. Account coverage
In an ABM campaign, you’re not only trying to reach target accounts but also key influencers within each account. It’s important to track this because it will help you ensure your message reaches the right people in the future.
Account coverage includes two things:
- The percentage of key influencers you’ve been able to reach within each account.
- The percentage of target accounts you’ve reached within your target market.
Tracking account coverage will show the level of engagement it took to reach these accounts. It will also reveal what roles those individuals played within the organization and in closing the deal.
When both metrics are increasing, this means you’re reaching more key stakeholders and expanding your reach within your target market.
The goal of ABM isn’t just to bring in new leads but to engage high-value target accounts. You want to learn what content they find valuable and what is keeping them engaged.
By measuring engagement, you’ll gain a better understanding of what motivates your target accounts to take action. You’ll want to pay attention to the metrics on your targeted ad campaigns. This can include:
- Website engagement
- Social shares
- Email open rates
- Email responses
You also want to track actions like downloading a content upgrade, signing up for a webinar, etc. All of these metrics will help you determine how your ads are influencing your audience to act.
ABM is a long game. It could take time to see a significant increase in revenue, but it’s important to start tracking this from the beginning. You need to know whether your ABM campaign is actually converting your target accounts into customers.
To do this, calculate your average deal size on your ABM campaigns and compare it to the average deal size for traditional marketing.
4. Customer retention
We’ve talked a lot about bringing in new leads, but ABM is not just about finding new customers. It can also strengthen your existing customer relationships by re-engaging or upselling your current customer base.
So you’ll want to track how your ABM campaign is improving your customer retention rates. To do this, you’ll measure your recurring revenue and churn rates for your targeted accounts. Then you can compare that data with the rest of your accounts.
ABM is a powerful marketing strategy, which is why it’s favored by so many B2B companies. In fact, 87% of B2B marketers agree that ABM delivers a higher ROI than traditional marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that while measuring individual campaigns is important, you also need to measure your approach as a whole. That means comparing your ABM campaigns to your non-targeted campaigns. This will truly show you the effectiveness of ABM.
With proper measurement, you can see what parts of your ABM program work well and which need improvements.
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