ABM Metrics that Matter

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Introduction

Account-based marketing is focused on analyzing two types of data: funnel metrics (account behavior) and business outcomes (revenue). We track these behaviors not just within target accounts, but also among groups of accounts (segments). A fundamental part of ABM is to deliver customer centric experiences. We rely on segmentation strategy for that. Depending on your segmentation strategy, you’ll want to track and analyze your data by industry, company size, customer type or journey stage, etc. 

Funnel Metrics

Using funnel metrics we drive marketing impact – move target accounts through the funnel from awareness to conversion – to track behavior in order to gain insight into what works best and identify blocks to success and remove them.

Business Outcomes

Being able to measure marketing impact – connect marketing activities to business outcomes – is one of the key reasons marketers invest in ABM. We track upper and mid-funnel metrics in order to optimize, but we measure ABM success in sales and business terms: target accounts in pipe, wins, average deal size and funnel velocity. 

Putting funnel metrics and business outcomes together, we arrive at a full set of basic account-based marketing metrics. ABM analytics tracks and measures incremental changes in the following metrics within target accounts, segments and/or campaign audiences. 

full_funnel_metrics_graphic.png

Use Control Groups and Audience Comparisons 

Comparing audiences to each other over time and to control groups is an important analytical tool for developing audience insight. The table below shows the type of metric, the comparison methodology and the resulting insight gained.

Metric and Comparison Insight Gained
# of site visits before and after a campaign launch Tells you whether your ad generated awareness
# of site visits from target accounts versus a control group Tells you whether your target account list is relatively aware of your brand
# of page views from Healthcare versus Financial Service companies Tells you which verticals are more engaged
# pages/sessions from one campaign audience versus another campaign audiences Tells you which campaigns are better at driving engagement
Revenue generated from target accounts versus non-target accounts A measurement of ABM ROI

Typical Data Sources

Because ABM Analytics follows segments, funnel metrics, and business outcomes, you have to review a number of data sources in order to get the full picture. Generally, you should look at four major sources for target account data:

1. Demandbase: 

  • Account-based data, (company name, size, annual revenue, industry, geo)
  • Off-site behavior (trending intent)
  • On-site behavior (visits, page views, pages viewed, sessions, users)

2. Web Analytics:

  • Account-based data, (company name, size, annual revenue, industry, geo)
  • On-site behavior (visits, page views, pages sessions, users, bounce rates, goal completions)
  • Traffic sources (SEO, SEM, email, display)

3. CRM:

  • Accounts in pipe
  • Win rate
  • Average deal
  • Funnel velocity

4. Your Company

First party data or custom dimensions you want to track and report on, such as:

  • Account Owner
  • Account Tier
  • Relationship
  • Campaign Code

So, we know what metrics to gather and where to find them. Then what? Let’s take a look at a few examples of how we move from gathering data to gathering actionable insight.

Metrics, Analytics and Insights Defined

Marketers often use the words metrics, analytics and insight interchangeably. They are related, but importantly different.

  • Metrics tell you what happened. Metrics are raw data points that reveal incremental changes in how potential accounts are interacting with your brand. 
  • Analytics tell you where to focus. Analytics analyze performance by comparing metrics over time within and among audiences. 
  • Metrics + analytics = insight. Insight into performance tells us where we are doing well, and where we are in trouble. 
  • Insight tells marketers how to take action. Insight tells us what to do more of, and what to change.

How to Approach Insight Gathering

Here’s a framework for key insight areas you’ll want your ABM analytics to cover: 

  • Audiences and Firmographics
    • Looking for insights within and across audiences and firmographic data can inform your segmentation strategy, and/or reveal how well it’s going if you already have one. If you don’t know which industries to focus on, analyzing the firmographic makeup of the accounts that are visiting and engaging on your site is a good place to start. If your focus is on upsells, you’ll want to view your data through a customer lens.
  • Behaviors
    • Account-based marketing looks for insight across two key behavior areas: onsite and offsite. Onsite behaviors such as which target accounts have visited, how often, which pages they’ve viewed and which they bounced on, provides insight into the success of an ad campaign, landing page design, content strategy. Insight into offsite behavior such as keyword intent – or which topics your target accounts are interested in – can inform messaging, campaign design, SEO strategy and, importantly, sales strategy. Sharing account insight with sales – and having them prioritize their outreach accordingly – is a key part of ABM success.
  • Campaigns
    • When it comes to campaign insight, you’ll be looking for the same behaviors mentioned above, but within the context of a campaign: Which campaign targets are coming to the site, which are engaging, and what content they are engaging with. You’ll use these key insights to optimize campaigns and prioritize sales outreach.
  • Programs and Initiatives
    • Did target account engagement increase or decrease after we rolled out our new messaging? Which accounts should I invite to our Chicago VIP dinner? Did participating in that industry even increase awareness among target accounts? Target account behavioral insight can be leveraged to inform programs and initiatives across the marketing entire function from email marketing to field events.  

Taking Action

When it comes to taking action, you'll want to do one of two things: lean in on good ideas – those that are moving target accounts through the funnel and resulting in positive business outcomes, or pull back on bad ideas – those that aren’t. 

Let’s have a look at the full process--from metric-analytics-insight-action by looking at some examples. 

Metric  Analytics Insight
42% of target accounts engaged on our website this month Target account web engagement is down 10% this month compared to last month We need to boost engagement
.02% of target accounts in our ad campaign converted onsite last week The bounce rate on our landing page was higher than average Our landing page experience is sub-par
The CTR on our latest campaign was twice average The CTR doubled when we switched from abstract campaign imagery to human imagery Our target accounts respond better to human imagery in ads

Analytics Best Practices

  • Measure account activity, not lead activity.  The B2B consideration cycle begins well before any form fills may take place. Further, just 2% of users complete forms today, and those who do often enter false information. With an account-based approach, Account Based Marketers are moving from driving quantity (leads), to driving quality (account engagement and close rates). More and more Account Based Marketers are abandoning lead capture entirely. They see forms as impediments to further engagement and are increasingly ungating site content. 
  • Gather and act on insight from upper and mid-funnel metrics. While overall ABM success is measured by business outcomes, Account Based Marketers still have to move target accounts along the customer journey. Low measures of awareness and engagement, for instance, act as leading indicators – early warning signals that revenue targets could be missed. Upper and mid-funnel account performance tells marketers what’s working, what’s not, and where to focus on optimization.
  • Report on business outcomes.  Use analytics to determine which of your strategies and tactics result in things your CMO cares about – things like pipeline opportunities, sales revenue, increased average deal size and funnel velocity.  The bottom line is, report on the real business outcomes your particular business cares about.
  • When it comes to marketing attribution, think in journey stages. The B2B marketing journey is just too long and complex to assign revenue attribution to any single channel. However, by looking at each journey stage individually, ABM marketers are better able to see which parts of the marketing mix are most influential at each stage. 
  • Give your marketing ops and analytics talent an ABM mindset. The thing about ABM is that it’s account-based. This means you need to follow accounts as they go through the entire journey. That means following accounts through different systems and technologies like ABM platforms and CRM systems as they move through the buyer’s journey. It can mean managing data across tech silos, so ensure your talent resources are comfortable with that. If you’re able to manage your data across all systems, it’ll catapult you to the head of the pack when it comes to your competitors.
  • Align analytics with sales strategy, organizational structure and process. Account-Based Marketers may have some pretty slick arrows in our quiver, but we can’t close the deal. Our success is measured by sales success, so we need to align with our sales teams in a big way in order to be successful. The best way to align with Sales is to provide them with marketing insight that helps them to become more successful. And it has to be operationalized. Reporting to Sales which target accounts are consuming relevant content offsite, engaging onsite and what topics they are interested in is a must for any ABM practice. Getting Sales to prioritize their outreach accordingly is also a must. That requires organizational and process alignment.

 

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