Success Metrics for ABM Campaigns

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Mark Donnigan

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August 2, 2023

Imagine trying to find your way without a map in a strange place. Sounds tough, right? That’s what it’s like doing Account-Based Marketing (ABM) without monitoring the right metrics.

The Role of Metrics in ABM 

Simply put, metrics in ABM are your compass to inform where you’re at and where you need to go. They show how well your campaigns are working and tell you where you might need to make changes. They’re important because they prove that your efforts are working and can help determine why your actions may not be yielding the expected results.

Metrics can give you a deeper look at how your audience interacts with your campaigns. They provide a helpful window into engagement, click-through, and conversion rates, which can show you how much your campaign is resonating. 

This is especially helpful for startups, helping them understand the cost of gaining a new customer and how much that customer might bring in over time. This understanding empowers you to make more informed choices about allocating your resources and how to improve your campaigns.

Ensuring the metrics you are tracking align with your ABM goals is crucial. If you’re trying to make more people aware of your brand, you’ll want to look at impressions, reach, and engagement rates. If you’re trying to boost your sales, you’ll want to keep an eye on conversion rates, how long your sales cycle is, and the size of your deals.

ABM isn’t just about cranking out more marketing campaigns—it’s about keeping track of how well they’re doing, learning from them, and making changes as needed. Picking the right metrics will keep you on track and help you grow. Without them, you could end up feeling lost in a crowded market. 

Key Metrics for ABM Success

Engagement Metrics 

Engagement metrics determine how well your ABM campaigns are reaching your target accounts. Tracking engagement lets you see which campaigns are working and which need to be tweaked.

There are several different engagement metrics that you can track, but some of the most important include:

  • Open rate: The percentage of people who open your emails.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The effectiveness of directing traffic to your website or landing pages.
  • Time on page: This reflects users’ interest in your content. 

Conversion Metrics 

Conversion metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) that evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. They monitor how your marketing campaigns convert visitors into leads, customers, or subscribers. Here are a few of the many conversion metrics that you can track: 

  • Conversion rate: The number of visitors performing desired actions like newsletter sign-up, event registration, or making a purchase.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): This is the average expense to gain a new customer.
  • Lead generation: This counts potential customers showing interest in your offerings.

Revenue Metrics 

Revenue metrics are KPIs used to assess the financial performance of companies. They monitor the revenue generated from your products or services and assist in pinpointing opportunities for boosting your revenue. Key revenue metrics to track include:

  • Total Revenue: The gross income from your products or services.
  • Revenue Growth: The percentage rise in your income from one period to another.
  • Revenue Per Customer (ARPU): The average revenue generated per customer.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): The predicted total payment from a customer throughout their business relationship.
  • Churn Rate: The proportion of customers discontinuing business with you annually or monthly.

 

Step-by-Step Guide for Choosing The Right Metrics

Choosing the right metrics for your ABM campaign is more challenging than it may seem and requires careful consideration and strategizing.

Here are some steps you can follow:

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

The first step in choosing the right metrics to track is clearly defining your campaign’s objectives. This means asking questions such as: 

  • What are we aiming to achieve with this campaign? 
  • Do we want to increase brand awareness, lead generation, customer engagement, or retention?

The responses to these queries will guide you in determining the appropriate metrics to gauge your campaign’s success accurately.

Step 2: Align Metrics with Objectives

Once you’ve clearly outlined your goals, start aligning them directly to the metrics that can help you measure your progress accurately.

Use this as an example: If your main goal is to boost your brand’s visibility and recognition, you should concentrate on metrics such as:

  • Impressions, which represent the frequency of your content being displayed, 
  • reach, the number of different people who see your content), and 
  • website traffic, the number of new visitors your site receives. 

You could also track social media mentions or the share of voice, which is the percentage of all online conversations about your industry that mention your brand.

Step 3: Set Benchmarks and Goals

Benchmarks and goals, while interconnected, serve different purposes. Benchmarking is the best way to measure your progress. A benchmark provides an industry standard or an average against which you can compare your results. A goal, on the other hand, is a specific, measurable target that you set for your campaign. 

Suppose you’re a startup aiming to grow your user base. In that case, a solid benchmark might be the average number of new users gained by similar startups in your industry, while your goal might be to exceed this benchmark by a certain percentage within a given timeframe.

Step 4: Choose Time-Bound Metrics

Your metrics should not only align with your goals but also be time-bound. This means they should allow you to measure progress over a specific period. 

For instance, instead of aiming to ‘increase your user base,’ endeavor to ‘increase the user base by 20% over the previous quarter.’ This provides a clear timeline for measurement and a trackable evaluation metric.

Step 5: Experiment and Adjust

Finally, feel free to experiment with different metrics. Over time, some metrics provide more valuable insights than others for your business. Therefore, regularly review and adjust your metrics based on the insights you gain.

Challenges and Pitfalls in ABM Measurement

ABM campaigns pose distinctive measuring issues. Using the same ABM metrics as traditional marketing may result in skewed outcomes. As the adage states, “Everyone is a genius,” but if one evaluates a fish on its capability to scale a tree, it will spend its entire existence thinking it’s stupid.

While ABM has its advantages, it also comes with challenges and pitfalls regarding measurement. Here are some of them:

  • Misaligned Metrics: One common pitfall is choosing metrics that do not aligning with your ABM goals. For example, website traffic as a primary metric may be less valuable in ABM, where engagement quality matters more than quantity.
  • Short-term Focus: ABM campaigns are often long-term strategies to build relationships with key accounts. However, many businesses need to avoid expecting immediate results and end up measuring short-term metrics like clicks and conversions. While these metrics have their place, they do not indicate an ABM campaign’s overall success.
  • Incomplete Data: Another challenge is getting a complete and accurate data view across all departments. Information silos can result in skewed data, making measuring ABM success difficult. For instance, if the sales team has data on conversions that the marketing team doesn’t access, the analysis of the campaign’s success will be incomplete.
  • Failure to Iterate: ABM campaigns should be dynamic, able to evolve based on the insights gleaned from the data. A pitfall to avoid is sticking to a set strategy without making adjustments based on what the metrics are showing.
  • Inconsistent Tracking: Another common challenge is inconsistent tracking of metrics. This could be due to the lack of a unified platform to track different metrics or irregular reporting periods, both of which can lead to inaccuracies and misconceptions about the effectiveness of the ABM strategy.

ABM Metrics Startups Need To Track and Why They Matter

Let’s picture a new startup – enthusiastic, hopeful, and ready to take on the world with its fresh product. They kick-start their journey with an ABM plan. But after a few months, they start seeing a problem. Their sales need to hit the mark, and their earnings need to meet expectations. Their team’s motivation takes a hit. 

Yes, they’re creating a buzz, but the financial results remain flat.

Upon introspection, they find the issue’s root: they need to focus on the right metrics instead of on the vital figures aligning with their business’s unique goals. 

They’ve been caught up in ‘vanity metrics’ – numbers that might look good on paper but don’t necessarily drive actual growth. The performance indicators they prioritized have led them astray, away from their true objectives.

To prevent this pitfall, startups need to ensure they’re tracking the right ABM metrics from the start. Proper measurement and analysis are like a compass that guides them through the often challenging journey of startup growth. 

The metrics they pay attention to can significantly improve their understanding of ABM campaigns’ effectiveness and steer sales strategy in the right direction. Here are the ABM metrics that startups should be keeping an eye on:

Number of Target Accounts

This metric provides a sense of your outreach’s scope. But, a shotgun approach can be wasteful and ineffective. Quality trumps quantity, so focusing on the right potential customers based on thorough market analysis will yield better results.

Social Media Engagement

Engagement time, website visits, page views, and click-through rates offer valuable insights into customer behavior. For instance, a new tech startup might monitor engagement with their product demo posts on social media platforms. However, beware of vanity metrics (e.g., likes) that might not translate into meaningful engagement (e.g., shares, comments leading to sales).

Sales Velocity

This measures how quickly a prospect moves through the marketing funnel to become a revenue-generating customer. A swift conversion process is desirable, but aggressively pushing prospects may cause friction and result in losing customers. Establishing trust and a solid relationship requires time, and exercising patience can result in a more devoted customer base and favorable word-of-mouth publicity.

Form Completions

A high form completion rate signifies quality engagement and interest in your product or service. However, balance is critical here. Forms that ask for too much information can deter potential leads. It’s about gathering essential information without overburdening the prospect.

Meetings Booked

Increased scheduled meetings suggest that your ABM campaign is striking a chord. But remember, it’s not just about quantity but quality too. It’s more beneficial to have a handful of meaningful meetings with high-quality prospects than a multitude with those less likely to convert.

Conversion Rate

One of the most vital metrics for ABM success. However, remember that conversions aren’t one-size-fits-all. Startups must delve deeper, examining factors like the number of modifications, engagement level relative to conversion rate, and conversion rate by channel. This helps to avoid the trap of celebrating hollow victories when quantity masks low-quality conversions.

Average Deal Size

If ABM accounts generate more significant revenue than non-ABM accounts, you’re likely doing something right. But keep sight of smaller accounts; they often require fewer resources and can add up to substantial revenue.

Upsells

Upselling indicates customer satisfaction and value perception. For example, a software service startup could track how often customers upgrade from a basic to a more feature-rich package. But beware, aggressive upselling tactics can harm your relationship with the customer and potentially result in churn.

Referrals

High referral rates reflect a happy customer base. This is a testament to your excellent customer experience and should be encouraged. You might want to think about introducing a referral scheme to encourage customers to recommend your services to their connections.

Churn Rate

Here, lower is better. A high churn rate could signal customer dissatisfaction or a competitive disadvantage. Especially for SaaS startups, retaining customers is usually more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Maintaining a balance between attracting new clients and keeping the existing ones is fundamental for enduring growth. Thus, prioritizing the decrease of the churn rate is essential.

Utilizing Metrics for ABM Optimization

Wise utilization of relevant metrics for ABM is indispensable to the campaign’s success. Key metrics such as conversion rate, CPA, lead generation, total revenue, revenue growth, RPC, CLTV, and churn rate provide substantial insights into your campaign’s performance.

However, these are just a few among the many metrics that could be relevant for your ABM strategy. Additional or alternative metrics may be more suitable depending on your specific goals and the nature of your target accounts.

Also, remember the value of metrics lies in their collection, analysis, and application. When correctly interpreted, this data can uncover your campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to make informed strategic decisions and constantly refine your ABM initiatives.

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