Article | May 28, 2021
The disruption from 2020 has forced many companies across different industries and verticals to improve their digital potential, including technology adoption. Among the industries, account-based marketing practitioners had to adapt to change in 2020 – and fast because it created a host of challenges in B2B. Industries and businesses had to find the right technologies that allow growth, as companies now have to operate in the only digital world.
But, even in the time of uncertainty, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has gained traction. This is good news for enterprise tech vendors. Gartner estimates that expenditure on technology will rebound in 2021, with the enterprise software market predicted to surge by 7.2%. This seems to be a year of growth, improvement, and success for those organizations deploying account-based marketing as part of their B2B strategy.
In addition, one of the global data leaders, Acxiom, has experienced rapid sales growth from its technologically blended ABM program. Before considering a fully technology-based ABM strategy for 2021, it is crucial to understand how technologies fuel ABM growth.
Technologies are Fueling ABM Growth
Well, it's easy to understand and see how and why the technology-fuelled revival of ABM is taking hold. Let's see where B2B marketers are gaining profits. They are :
Driving improved deals, higher close rates, and earning more revenue
Winning strategic accounts in their industries
Getting higher ROI
Reaping benefits from additional marketing strategies
The 2019 State of ABM study by SiriusDecisions validates this trend in ABM results in:
91% of the B2B companies realizing larger deals by adopting technology in ABM.
92% seeing a higher percentage of qualified opportunities in ABM accounts than in non-ABM accounts.
More B2B marketers are moving towards tech-enabled ABM programs, where it was 62% in 2020 compared to 40% in 2018.
ABM in the overall marketing budget of companies surging rapidly.
With the rise in internet usage, which accelerated digital marketing, it was challenging to understand individual behavior. Now, marketers are empowered with account-centric targeting, measurement, and personalization across all their digital channels. Because marketers dedicate more budget to their ABM programs by upgrading technology stacks. It plays a significant role in making ABM scalable.
So, explore the critical technology trends propelling ABM today and shaping its future for marketing purposes in this blog.
How much does your tech stack matter?
The most influential tech marketing programs invest more in data, insight, and analytics. And that's because you have no hope of successfully engaging with your target accounts.
Despite the rapid acceleration of digital transformation in 2020, few organizations already have a mature tech stack. 25-39% of them used it for content syndication, sales automation, evaluation as third-party data, and reporting software.
By this, you must have understood that investing in technologies or technology that is attributing results supporting your ABM efforts is essential. But this doesn't mean the more tech you have, the more successful you will be. It's more a case of having the proper fundamentals (tech-wise) in place that deliver value.
Likewise, other tech fundamentals like intent data fully functioning (and ABM-ready) CRM are perhaps the most important tech pieces to have in place. They are listed under the top planned investments for 2021.
Here are five tech trends for ABM that will make a tangible difference in your business.
Automation Reduces Risks
To execute account-based marketing, marketers need to introduce automation to engage accounts through a handful of channels. Marketers can engage all the named accounts of the sales team and their long tail of target accounts through automation. This allows the marketing team to create demand in the accounts they're pursuing and alleviate the risk of putting all sales requirements in one place. This is possible by continuous demand generation through different channels, probably the less expensive ones (and alerting accounts from time to time to decrease the risk of missing out).
This way, your business will witness a more consistent and coordinated engagement of accounts between sales and marketing. So, ABM automation is a crucial aspect in reducing risks.
AI Introduces Personalized Customer Understanding
Businesses are witnessing the transformational impact of AI throughout the process, particularly in marketing. While marketers can easily get started with ABM by targeting a list of accounts, AI puts more power enabling them to confidently and precisely identify the accounts to pursue.
With AI, marketers can get their ideal customer profile (ICP) at a granular level. Tech-savvy marketers are using AI to analyze their historical sales and implement new strategies to achieve more in the coming years. In other words, AI helps marketers to leverage more information significantly from both internal and external sources to draw more precise models for their ideal customers.
AI is also enhancing engagement. According to The State of Engagement, 72% of marketers are expected to prioritize personalized messages and content to engage with customers. Nearly 40% of marketers plan to leverage AI and machine learning to enhance content used throughout the customer journey. So, through AI, marketers can personalize communications in a one-to-one way. This way, they can predict the content that most likely to convert readers across multiple channels.
As marketers continue to realize the potential of AI, you will see more rules-based ABM activities that AI enhances. This way, your marketers can efficiently target the proper accounts, engage accounts across channels to get insights to optimize programs.
Advanced Analytics Provide Attribution
Is your ABM strategy working? One way to find out this is by measuring its impact on the business through advanced analytics. With automated attribution reporting, marketers can find more opportunities, a longer pipeline of accounts, and higher revenue generation in the ABM context.
But why? Here are three reasons:
Marketers need to show that their partnership with sales to the target audience is working efficiently.
Advanced analytics will allow you to compare the efforts and results of one account vs. another to optimize the ABM program.
Most marketers plan multiple or blended marketing strategies. So, marketers running an ABM or practicing a blend of it, such as inbound marketing, need to know which investments are working. Advanced analytics can help them to allocate a budget for strategies being used for their business.
Therefore, it is expected to witness more touchpoints and data brought into advanced analytics becoming increasingly easier for marketers to consume in the future.
Chatbots' Demand in ABM
As per Salesforce, 69% of U.S. consumers prefer using chatbots when engaging with brands as it yields a prompt response.
A chatbot on your website can answer customers' basic questions every time. AI-powered chatbots can be used for customer support, expanding contact strategy dramatically with a controlled message. These chatbots have become so lifelike that many customers don't even know the difference. And chatbots offer the added benefit of gathering, analyzing, and providing actionable data to improve the customer experience.
How Can Marketers Harness This Potential?
As per SiriusDecisions' survey, more marketers are doubling their budgets and moving their ABM journey effortlessly. So, irrespective of where you are on your journey, you also need to make sure you always move ahead.
When it's time to include technology, be sure to select an ABM platform that supports your marketing journey now and in the future, as well. This means it should support multiple channels and marketing strategies, giving the flexibility to adapt and discover what works best for your organization.
Conclusively, look for a platform that can serve as the hub of your ABM technology stack. The ablest place to start is from a platform that will give you the ABM essentials and connect a wide range of technologies to encourage you to grow over time. This way, you can shape your future in account-based marketing in the best possible ways.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does ABM work?
Identifying which accounts (companies) you can target is the first step after creating a buyer persona. The next step is to market them using campaigns to attract potential clients. And then, measure the activities of your account-based marketing campaigns. Metrics, such as clicks, impressions, and page views, are easily measured.
Why is account-based marketing important?
ABM helps to assemble marketing efforts through multi-channels and analyses key accounts' status to drive more revenue. It also maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources and aligns sales accordingly.
How is AI used in ABM?
AI solutions in ABM can help the marketing team to make firm data-based decisions faster than before. The usage of chatbots helps to answer many common questions about marketing efforts and benefits. Also, AI tools can be used to track intent data as well.
"name": "How does ABM work?",
"text": "Identifying which accounts (companies) you can target is the first step after creating a buyer persona. The next step is to market them using campaigns to attract potential clients. And then, measure the activities of your account-based marketing campaigns. Metrics, such as clicks, impressions, and page views, are easily measured."
"name": "Why is account-based marketing important?",
"text": "ABM helps to assemble marketing efforts through multi-channels and analyses key accounts' status to drive more revenue. It also maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources and aligns sales accordingly."
"name": "How is AI used in ABM?",
"text": "AI solutions in ABM can help the marketing team to make firm data-based decisions faster than before. The usage of chatbots helps to answer many common questions about marketing efforts and benefits. Also, AI tools can be used to track intent data as well."
Article | June 17, 2021
As Account-Based Marketing (ABM) continues to grow and develop into a powerful marketing strategy, the conventional question remains: How to prove and measure my results?
Diving into your account-based marketing metrics to understand your results is all about asking the right questions. The metrics focus on quality over quantity. This means that looking at engagement levels above traffic volume and opportunities over leads have a close association with sales. Thus, it summarizes activity metrics and outcome metrics together.
If you implement a new sales methodology without adopting new sales metrics, you’ll have a much harder time tracking the progress of your marketing efforts. That’s why the companies, shifting to an account-based framework, should update their KPIs, as these are the leading indicators of success.
So, the account-based marketing metrics highly focus on the activity of an individual lead and look at crucial accounts that would likely drive the most revenue for your organization.
How are Account-Based Marketing Metrics Different?
The rate at which digital marketers have moved towards the ABM model by creating successful ABM campaigns is quite surprising. While many thought, ‘Will this thing stick?’ or ‘Is this just a whim that will go away in the future?’
But it’s 2021, and ABM has become even more popular in the B2B world as marketers see value in targeting accounts and not only leads.
Recent research from SiriusDecisions states that 93% of marketers consider ABM extremely important to their overall organizational success. With any marketing strategy, you are going to be asked whether your campaign is performing well or not. It indeed takes time for the programs to run for any marketer who has built an ABM strategy. So, what should you consider more in creating an ABM strategy?
Think quality, not quantity
A team working on the ABM model understands the priority—influencing customers who matter as crucial accounts. So instead of focusing on new lead creation, ABM focuses on activating and engaging the right leads (even if it’s smaller in number).
Similarly, your ABM team needs to focus on growing revenue from every single account. This means what would your team value more: ten random marketing professionals downloading a whitepaper or having a meaningful conversation with a decision-maker?
It’s About Engagement
SiriusDecisions states that there has been a 24% increase in the average B2B sales cycle length since 2019. It means that the larger the deal size, the longer the cycle. With such a lengthy process, you need to measure what’s happening during the progressing phase.
So, how do you do that?
It is engagement on which you need to focus on. Track how deeply the right account gets engaged with your brand. This way, you’ll have a measurable way of showing development in your business.
Engagement in ABM results in immense benefits for most businesses. Here is a list of the latest ABM statistics that shows companies that utilized the strategy saw incredible results, such:
200% rise in ROI
50% of sales teams were more productive and able to optimize qualified leads
30% boost in revenue
66% augmented the number of leads generated
83% saw amplified engagement from targeted leads
Shorter sales cycles grew by 27% and more
However, such benefits of implementing an ABM strategy are only the results of a successful ABM approach, as it’s not an easy task for every organization. The only way to ensure that your business’s ABM efforts are successful is by meticulously monitoring the most important metrics.
The 4 Crucial Metrics to Track
Reading further, you will come across the six crucial types of account-based marketing metrics.
How are your prospects get interested and engaged?
The more attention they pay to your company, the more committed they tend to be. Measure the time they spend with your brand or on your website. Monitor when they respond to your marketing programs socially or when they use your product and connect with your sales team.
As one of the account-based marketing metrics, the amount of engagement will be the closest and essential. Therefore, your focus should be to measure how contacts are involved with your content, including the type of content. The following areas will help you understand it deeply:
Email metrics: Track the activities of your audience with your email marketing campaigns. You will want to know the open and click-through rates and look at the number of responses received from each email. Also, how email recipients are sharing your messages with others.
Social metrics: You can check with contacts from your targeted accounts if they have liked, shared, or commented on your posts. Are they following your business page and social accounts?
Consumption rates: Similarly, you can look at how contacts from your targeted accounts consume your online content, specifically information provided on your website and blogs. This shows several page views, average page time, and specific content being viewed and downloaded.
Offline Activity metrics: Beyond your digital information, track your targeted accounts engaging with you offline. Are they attending events you sponsor, readily contacting, and responding to direct mail?
Therefore, these account-based marketing metrics' primary goal is to know where your contacts are in their buying journey. In fact, through these metrics, you can uncover what information (content) your website lacks to support communications in their research.
Do your prospects are aware of your company’s name and offerings? Web traffic is an ethical reflection of keeping prospects aware, specifically, traffic coming from within your target accounts. You should also track whether your contacts are opening your emails, attending your events, and contacting through calls, or using any other medium you provided.
Are you able to reach specific target accounts in the right way? Where do you lack in your efforts?
These account-based metrics help you to track success by channel. In case of point, in a webinar campaign, you would measure its success by analyzing event attendance. So, track the percent of target accounts that have successfully enrolled in each program as well. And, finally, track your focus. What is the percentage of all program successes coming from key accounts? This will help you understand how many target accounts reach you through your ABM campaigns, ABM strategies, and other marketing functionalities.
Your marketing strategy’s influence on a targeted account will be measured mainly by your interactions with each account. However, some of the account-based marketing metrics mentioned above will help check your ABM strategy's influence metrics. But the big question is whether your efforts are working or not. To understand this, you need to evaluate some parameters such as:
The conversion rate for contacts in your targeted accounts
Converting of your targeted accounts in the marketing funnel
Frequency and volume of meetings or calls with each account
With whom you have the discussions— account influencers or final decision-makers
Finally, the results of your meetings
These parameters will divulge what efforts are working and where you need to change your approach or the information you provide to make your business successful.
Types of Account-Based Sales Metrics
Marketing and sales often measure success differently. Account-based metrics can help bring these closer by aligning their focus on a specific list of target accounts.
With an Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) strategy, there are two types of metrics. These would help you understand whether your sales team is performing well in an account-based sales plan or not.
Activity-based sales metrics
You need to check and understand whether your sales team is doing various marketing activities in the right way or not. This will be specific for each account to be targeted and includes activities like task completion, emails, contacts per day, account coverage, meaningful conversations, and appointments.
Outcome-based sales metrics
It is generally considered under post-sale account-based marketing metrics. Now the time is to track the result of the activities mentioned above. Also, include the rate of accounts accepted from the pipeline created and revenue generated.
In short, the goal is to measure the monetary value of each transaction and to track your performance and successes over time in business. This information is also helpful in identifying new accounts to target.
To know how read through in the next!
Measuring value is more important than your total sales volume, as it is a part of ABM metrics. The goal is to understand the worth of each account to your bottom line—how they compare to other accounts and see the performance of each sales representative. In this context, your account-based marketing metrics should uncover the following:
What is your average selling point value?
What is the average account sales volume?
What is the swelling value of each account?
What is the total sales volume?
How much revenue generated?
What is the value of each deal?
Having a clear answer to these aspects reveals the most tangible insights into your results. By looking at specific accounts, you can measure where you are growing, where opportunities exist and show underperforming accounts. Thus, it will make your work accordingly.
As account-based marketing metrics measure quality over quantity, retention is one part where this comes into play. In addition, it measures the possibility of a targeted account and their satisfaction level.
Measuring retention is a decent indication of the strength of your account relationships. Accounts that stay for a long term are generally satisfied. Thus, they provide the most value to your business.
On the flip side, dissatisfied accounts won’t stay with you very long. But they are virtuous indicators of areas you need to change and improve — either with the process, products, or account types.
The most crucial account-based marketing metrics is your return on investment (ROI). Eventually, you measure your ABM campaigns and marketing strategies—if they are effective. So, ROI is the percentage of your investment to earnings.
What makes these account-based marketing metrics so challenging in reality? Several factors influence each transaction or sale. Take a step back and consider these questions:
Has your closure rate improved over the past month, quarter, or year?
On average, how long does it take to close a sale?
What was your ROI for each campaign you launched?
The purpose behind considering these aspects is to know what marketing campaigns were successful and better understand inclusive marketing and sales effectiveness.
Putting all ABM Metric to Work Together
A successful ABM strategy requires various activities, technologies, and outlooks for B2B marketing or demand generation. Here, the use of ABM metrics becomes important for measuring pre-sale success and revenue potential. For this, B2B marketing organizations should monitor post-sale metrics to track client satisfaction.
Therefore, by monitoring the entire ABM funnel, you can incessantly optimize marketing activities and improve customer relationships for your business.
Conclusively, account-based strategies present an incredible opportunity for organizations to make marketing and sales more relevant, focused, and effective. However, to apprehend the benefits, it’s important to measure what matters.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is account-based marketing success measured?
To measure account-based marketing success, here are some important ways:
Understand targeted accounts and needs
Regularly check content analytics statistics
Rate of interactions
Amount of in-depth conversations
Sales cycle lengths
What are excellent ABM metrics?
Awareness, engagement, conversion, and outcome are some of the excellent ABM metrics. Putting them together, a business can arrive at a complete set of elementary account-based marketing metrics and attracts more customers.
How are ABM campaigns measured?
The value of your ABM campaigns is scaled by the lifetime value of each targeted accounts. When measuring these, elements such as customer retention, awareness, reach, pipeline velocity, and influence are responsible for making an ABM program successful.
What are key metrics in marketing?
The various key metrics in marketing are:
"name": "How is account-based marketing success measured?",
"text": "To measure account-based marketing success, here are some important ways:
Understand targeted accounts and needs
Regularly check content analytics statistics
Rate of interactions
Amount of in-depth conversations
Sales cycle lengths"
"name": "What are excellent ABM metrics?",
"text": "Awareness, engagement, conversion, and outcome are some of the excellent ABM metrics. Putting them together, a business can arrive at a complete set of elementary account-based marketing metrics and attracts more customers."
"name": "How are ABM campaigns measured?",
"text": "The value of your ABM campaigns is scaled by the lifetime value of each targeted accounts. When measuring these, elements such as customer retention, awareness, reach, pipeline velocity, and influence are responsible for making an ABM program successful."
"name": "What are key metrics in marketing?",
"text": "The various key metrics in marketing are:
Article | February 20, 2020
When you give customers a great experience, chances are they’ll keep coming back for more. Today’s top CMOs know customer experience and customer retention are interlinked: they’re crucial ingredients in the recipe for business success. In fact, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits between 25% and 125%. In recent years, account-based marketing (ABM) has emerged as an effective way to engage and retain customers from high-value accounts. A good ABM strategy is like a recipe it requires a set of great ingredients and well-timed actions to really work. That’s why our partners at Terminus whipped up a set of ABM recipes to help you delight your accounts. A number of these recipes call for marketing automation as a key ingredient to manage email campaigns, automate lead follow up, and more.
Article | March 20, 2020
Account-based marketing (ABM) has gained a firm foothold in the B2B marketing world. According to Information Technology Services Marketing Association, ABM is defined as “treating individual accounts as markets in their own right.” Basically, you as a marketer are taking personalization to an elevated level. Making the leap into ABM marketing is highly recommended to improve your marketing ROI, but without proper planning, finding success could become a struggle. The only way to reduce the potential risks associated with virtually any strategy is to develop a comprehensive game plan. Effective planning will result in increased buy-in from upper management, effective training and development, acquisition of the right ABM tools, the accurate collection of data, and ultimately a boost to your strategy success.