As ABM Continues To Evolve In 2017, So, Too, Must Your Metrics
Account based marketing has become the biggest trend in B2B marketing this year. The fact that it’s so laser-targeted makes it infinitely more efficient than any other form of digital marketing today. That efficiency frees up budget that would otherwise be wasted on out-of-market impressions and engagement.This efficiency is also forcing marketers to rethink measurement. The increased complexities across the marketing stack have resulted in an evolutionary need to identify new measurement models. We not only need better validation of our performance, but marketers need insights to drive alignment with sales and increase engagement and revenue from our target accounts.Traditional marketing metrics just aren’t effective in today’s B2B marketing programs—and especially not with ABM. B2B marketers require a new set of metrics that addresses both the online buyer’s journey and multiple parties involved along the way. These new metrics need to help marketers do four things:
- Understand if your data and media are working to engage the right companies
- Validate that your media programs are driving engagement across your target accounts
- Optimize your delivery to drive further engagement from prospective accounts
- Optimize your other nurturing and sales tactics
Let’s walk through each of these four points.
Are Data And Media Working Together To Engage The Right Companies?
Of course marketers are always measuring engagement, but this metric typically focuses on the creative first and then, perhaps, the audience. For ABM, it’s critically important that we are, in fact, actually reaching the right accounts.
- You need insight into how your programs are delivering across your target accounts. Is all your media going to a few of your accounts, or being spread across a significant percentage of your target account list?
- How deep into your target accounts are you reaching? Are you reaching enough people across each account?
Are Your Media Programs Driving Engagement Across Your Target Accounts?
Do you know the impact of your media on your target accounts? At the management level, pipeline and revenue is what we all talk about. But these metrics take time to develop for B2B marketers. As marketers, we need more immediate insights to help us measure our performance. Being able to validate that our programs are driving engagement from our target accounts is the best measure of that performance.
Can You Optimize Your Delivery To Drive Further Engagement From Prospective Accounts?
As I said, it’s not about impressions or clicks. (If you noticed, I have never mentioned those words because they tell us very little about performance.) It’s about engagement. How do we measure and drive engagement? If we look at the different media programs and identify increasing levels of account engagement, from impressions through exposure, site traffic, and opportunities, we can start to weave that story of engagement around each account. This also helps us identify the gaps and determine which media channels we should be using to drive further engagement from our individual accounts.
Do You Have Insights To Optimize Your Nurturing And Sales Tactics?
In B2B, it’s critical to ensure your marketing efforts don’t end after activating your media. You must continue to nurture your accounts and make sure you have alignment with sales to have a more effective sales approach. Marketing automation and CRM systems were thought to be the solution. However, those tools are only as good as what you put into them. You need the right insights to drive more effective nurturing and sales tactics. Identifying the levels of engagement and topics that are surging at your target accounts will help identify the most effective nurturing and messaging tactics. After all, what we all want to know is: who to call and what to say.
With the right metrics in place, B2B marketers can better understand the path to purchase of their accounts and build programs that can accompany them on their journeys. ABM is an incredibly effective marketing practice, but it is complex, and it requires a data-driven strategy. As ABM catches on and grows, these metrics need to become a part of routine, everyday campaign reporting and analysis. When they do, account-based marketing will only continue to improve and drive the incredible ROI marketers are already starting to realize.