Imagine you’re steering a ship through uncharted waters, relying solely on a broken compass. What could happen to you? You’ll get lost in the sea and may never find the shore you are headed to.
Now, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) metrics collectively serve as your compass. And, of course, it shouldn’t be broken. Your chosen metrics should help you navigate your marketing performance successfully. Hence, refrain from using vanity metrics. They do not provide any actionable insights you can use for revenue generation.
54% of companies that carefully choose insightful marketing metrics gain higher profits than average.
So, how can you find metrics that truly matter?
Let us tell you: First, you need to identify which ones you need to avoid, AKA vanity metrics. Then, pick the most effective ones to measure your ABM campaign.
So, let us begin.
Get Away From the Vanity Metrics Trap
These metrics create distractions that often lead your business astray. They focus on counting sheer volumes instead of assessing real value or fixating engagement, creating an illusion of success.
Here are the examples of vanity metrics to avoid:
- The Illusion of Engagement: Content Likes
Vanity metrics like a high number of likes on a post suggest popularity. But, it doesn’t necessarily translate to genuine interest or conversion.
- Limited Insight into Customer Intent: Open Rates and Pageviews
Tracking open rates may indicate that your email caught someone’s eye. But, it doesn’t reveal whether the reader found your content compelling or if it led to further exploration.
- Feel-good Numbers Without Context: Running Total of Customers, Purchases, and Downloads
Software solutions, service trials, and apps are especially susceptible to this metric. The total count cannot decrease, failing to provide meaningful insights into your business’s performance.
- Unmeasurable Online Presence: Social Media Followers
It is another deceptive statistic. It does not accurately represent the quality or impact of your brand’s social presence. Moreover, it’s easily manipulated by purchasing followers or likes.
As you can see, vanity metrics provide a skewed view of your ABM efforts. It leads to misguided decisions and a diminished return on investment (ROI).
Therefore, you must avoid the vanity metrics trap and move toward a more informed, practical ABM analysis.
Essential ABM Metrics to Measure Success
With the vanity metrics deterred, you must navigate toward a strategic ABM measurement. All you need is to align your metrics with specific business goals, ABM marketing, and sales trends.
You can create a targeted framework for selecting the right ABM metrics.
Here’s the 2-step framework to follow:
- Define your ABM objectives. Are you seeking increased brand awareness, lead generation, or customer retention?
- Create a unique set of metrics to measure the success of each goal accurately.
Check out the illustration of different ABM marketing goals aligned with insightful metrics:
|Measuring Genuine Brand Engagement
|Account Engagement Score (AES)
|Considers multiple touchpoints
|A comprehensive view of how deeply an account is interacting with your content.
|Content Consumption Metrics
|Counts clicks and the time spent on specific pages
|Measurement of level of interest and understanding within your target accounts.
|Tracking Pipeline Progression
|Tracks account movement through the sales funnel
|Identification of key touchpoints and potential bottlenecks
|Conversions at each stage of the funnel
|Get a granular perspective of most effective efforts.
Make adjustments may be needed.
|Measuring Revenue Impact
|Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) ratio
|Calculate the cost of acquiring a customer
Compare it against the lifetime value in a ratio
|Assess the financial health of your ABM efforts.
A positive ratio indicates a healthy ROI.
Advanced ABM Metrics for Data-Driven Decision-Making
You know that personalization is the key to the practical ABM approach. That’s why
tracking customer behavior and account-level data is crucial for you. By doing so, you can enjoy all the pros of ABM, such as:
- Uncovering buyer behavior, patterns, and preferences
- Identifying decision-makers and influencers
- Personalizing engagement and content
- Predicting future behavior and identifying opportunities
- Aligning sales and marketing efforts
- Building stronger relationships
- Optimizing budget allocation
Seemingly, you can’t miss out on grabbing these insights. However, you need advanced ABM metrics to track your target customer’s behavior and each account’s data. A profound expert ABM agency can provide great help to you here.
These metrics should measure how strongly your accounts are engaging and showing, buying signals.
So, here is the list of advanced metrics that can satisfy the above mentioned requirements:
- The Number of Minutes
Track how many minutes a prospect spends with your brand. These minutes must cover when the prospect:
- Respond to your marketing programs
- Use your product’s various features
- Interact socially
- Talk with your sales team
When you combine these interactions at the account and individual levels, you genuinely measure the prospect’s engagement.
Thus, allocate a specific duration to each activity. You may not find out the precise minutes. In this scenario, you can use approximate durations for each activity type.
- Email opening: Approximately 2 minutes
- Content downloading: Roughly 10 minutes
- Webinar participation: Estimated at around 45 minutes
Further, you can visualize all these activities as an account timeline to use:
- During quarterly business reviews, accurately illustrate the impact of ABM marketing on the target account.
- Analyzing interactions/touchpoints that played a role in influencing the account after a deal closes.
- Most Engaged Organizational Parts
Monitor organizational engagement using a heatmap. Sum the minutes from each matrix cell and use color coding to indicate varying levels of engagement, like this example.
Use this visual representation to pinpoint:
- Highly engaged personas (darker areas)
- Areas requiring increased engagement (lighter spots)
Additionally, it helps identify which parts of the target organization need new content to engage diverse audiences.
- Account’s Heatmap vs. Ideal Heatmap
It helps find possible areas you might not be paying attention to. While it’s crucial to concentrate on primary contacts in an account, having a good mix of relationships is vital.
By comparing an account’s heatmap with your ideal one, find where you might lack engagement from an important person or group.
- Meetings Count
Tally the overall scheduled and conducted meetings at target accounts. Ensure an effective mechanism is in place to monitor and record these instances. This metric shows the number of sales opportunities.
- Aggregate Account-level Engagement
It involves totaling minutes spent by all contacts within an account. Keep an eye on the overall engagement trend.
For instance, you may find that target accounts spent 4,200 minutes responding to your marketing activities this quarter. And it is a 122% increase from last quarter’s value.
Explore the obtained data to highlight the following:
- Sales territories
- Industry segments
- Personas responding more and progressing ahead in the funnel.
It signals positive progress in the middle of your sales funnel!
The above metrics mainly focus on finding the most engaged accounts and other organizational parts.
You can amplify your search with technologies like predictive analytics and machine learning. These techs use historical data and patterns to identify high-potential accounts. Thus, it allows you to prioritize and target prospects with precision.
Through continuous learning, these tools adapt to evolving market dynamics. Thus, they ensure your ABM efforts remain strategic. Plus, it yields maximum impact on customer acquisition and retention.
These techs aid this data-driven experimental marketing approach in lead generation and campaign performance.
Balance Leading and Lagging Indicators for Holistic ABM Measurement
These two indicators are like the yin and yang to navigate the ABM landscape successfully. They ensure your campaign is impactful today and equally relevant tomorrow.
Leading indicators are like trailblazers—they hint at future performance, such as engagement rates and intent signals.
Conversely, lagging indicators are historical benchmarks, like conversion rates and revenue growth, reflecting past successes.
Now, why balance both?
It’s akin to driving with a rearview mirror and a GPS!
Leading indicators guide your strategy, steering you toward potential opportunities. Meanwhile, lagging indicators keep you on track by showing what worked.
For example, high click-through rates (a leading indicator) might predict successful conversions (a lagging indicator).
Similarly, the number of outreach emails sent (a leading indicator) can predict conversion rates (a lagging indicator) showing outreach effort resulting in desired action.
And, a Net Promoter Score (a leading indicator) may predict the customer retention rate (a lagging indicator).
Make them work together for a comprehensive ABM measurement strategy.
Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Advanced ABM Metrics
Your job doesn’t end at finding high-value and advanced metrics. You need to implement the metrics properly to ensure desired outcomes.
Thus, you need to navigate through your team members and the current marketing tools and technologies you use. There are many other challenges you may face. Here is the list of possible challenges and their solutions for a robust ABM strategy:
- Overcoming Resistance to Change
Challenge: Team members might resist leaving their comfort zones. It’s mainly because of their familiarity with existing practices.
Solution: Foster open communication, highlight benefits, and offer training to ease the transition.
- Cultivating a Metrics-Driven Culture
Challenge: Your marketing team may be working according to proven organizational tactics. Thus, shifting this mindset towards adapting dynamic decision-making based on data can be challenging.
Solution: Instill the importance of metrics from the top down. Emphasize how they help identify the strengths and weaknesses of ABM campaigns. Also, it shows how precise metrics empower the team members to make informed decisions at every level.
- Addressing Common Concerns and Misconceptions
Challenge: Fear of the unknown can hinder progress. Moreover, incomplete information on advanced metrics can cause the team to misjudge its effectiveness.
Solution: Tackle myths head-on and provide education on metrics you want to apply. You can share success stories to dispel doubts and common misconceptions.
- Integration with Existing Systems
Challenge: Your legacy systems may not be compatible and struggle to implement needed metrics. It can hinder seamless integration.
Solution: Prioritize systems integration planning and invest in compatible technologies. You must also seek expert consultation for smooth implementation.
- Seamless Integration with CRM and Marketing Automation
Challenge: Do your advanced ABM metrics align seamlessly with existing CRM and marketing automation tools? If not, then it’ll be impossible to use these metrics effectively.
Solution: Work closely with IT teams and utilize APIs for integration. Perform thorough testing of chosen tools to identify and address prevailing compatibility issues.
ABM marketing’s true success hinges on employing the right metrics. These metrics steer your campaigns toward measurable outcomes. Often, businesses falter, fixated on vanity metrics that stop genuine progress.
You must distinguish signal from noise. Embrace metrics that foster a data-centric culture.
Apply the metrics and tips shared in this guide to transcend distractions. They’ll help you ensure your ABM campaigns thrive purposefully and yield tangible, meaningful results.