Account-based marketing (ABM) has become the standard for B2B companies aspiring to structure their sales and marketing efforts more strategically. This hyper-focused approach, however, comes with its own set of challenges, particularly around measurement. While the concept of ABM is straightforward, the execution, especially the measurement and analysis of results, is often more complex.
ABM flips the traditional funnel, starting with the identification of key accounts and then nurturing them individually with tailored engagement strategies. Measuring the impact of these strategies can be daunting, which makes account-based measurement a critical, albeit difficult task.
Account-based measurement, in essence, is about assessing the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns. Here the emphasis is not on volume, but rather the quality of engagement and progression of key accounts towards sales-readiness and deal closure.
Unlike traditional metrics like click-through rates or the number of leads generated, ABM metrics offer a more detailed picture of how specific accounts are interacting with your content and brand over time. The goal is to understand and quantify the depth of engagement and its influence on the buying decision at a granular account level.
But why is this easier said than done?
Data Silos: One of the primary challenges is breaking down data silos across sales and marketing teams. With ABM, it is crucial that both teams are in lockstep—utilizing a uniform set of data points to measure account progress. Yet, organizations often struggle with fragmented data systems that impede a unified view.
Customized Metrics: Traditional metrics may not suffice for ABM since it requires customized metrics that reflect the unique engagement path of each account. This means redefining success indicators, leading to a need for more sophisticated tracking and analytical tools.
Long Sales Cycles: ABM generally targets high-value accounts, which tend to have longer decision-making processes. This prolonged sales cycle can make it challenging to track progress and measure engagement throughout—at every stage requires a different set of metrics.
Quantifying Engagement: Engagement in ABM is multi-faceted - it can include content interactions, event participation, social engagement, and more. Identifying and quantifying these meaningful interactions—across various channels and stakeholders—poses a significant challenge.
Attribution Complexity: The multiplicity of touchpoints in an ABM approach makes it difficult to attribute successes to specific activities. Knowing which campaigns are driving deals forward demands a level of attribution modeling that many organizations find tricky to implement accurately.
Scaling Measurement: As companies expand their ABM programs, scaling measurement mechanisms while maintaining accuracy and meaningful insights becomes an increasingly daunting task.
Despite the complexities, having a robust measurement strategy is vital for ABM success. Here’s how to approach building one:
Start by determining what KPIs truly reflect success for ABM campaigns. Often this includes account engagement score, account pipeline velocity, account influence revenue, and customer lifetime value. Ensure that both sales and marketing have agreed upon these metrics and understand how they will be tracked and reported.
Technology platforms specifically designed for ABM can be instrumental in easing measurement woes. These platforms can integrate data across various sources, track account-level engagement, and offer predictive analytics to guide ABM strategies. For instance, tools such as those created by Aomni can help orchestrate and measure targeted campaigns, capturing valuable insights in real-time. Leveraging such tech can simplify the complexity of capturing and analyzing the right data.
Quantitative metrics are important, but so are the qualitative insights. Regularly touch base with key account contacts, understanding their perceptions and experiences with your brand. These subjective insights can complement your quantitative data and provide deeper context.
Think long-term and look for incremental improvements. Given the lengthier sales cycles in ABM, measuring and celebrating small wins is necessary. This might include increased engagement from a hard-to-reach decision-maker or a positive shift in perception about your brand within a target account.
An agile ABM measurement strategy is a responsive one. Reviewing your strategies and metrics regularly can help you refine approaches and stay aligned with the dynamic needs of your target accounts.
While account-based measurement possesses its share of trials, it remains an indispensable part of executing successful ABM strategies. The precision and relevance of your measurement tactics can either validate or redirect your engagement efforts, ensuring that your ABM program yields the desired ROI.
Despite its challenges, account-based measurement is not insurmountable. With deliberate planning, and perhaps the aid of cutting-edge tools such as Aomni, you can paint an accurate picture of ABM influence and success. When done right, this strategic approach to measurement can play a pivotal role in the optimization and growth of your ABM efforts, helping your business realize substantial and sustainable results with its key accounts.