For marketers, the real struggle is measuring the effectiveness of programs backed by data analytics. And this is exactly where investments get stuck.
It has always been a ground challenge for marketers to show the impact and outcomes of marketing strategies. Very clearly, the measurement of success is confusing and not straight-forward. Unfortunately, marketing success measurement is a thorny old issue, and marketers want – and need – to get this perfectly right, but the slow progress can be totally frustrating. But progress is slow and measurement isn’t easy.
For Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programs, cracking the measurement ‘nut’ is not that difficult. Being closely aligned with the customers on ensuring success that translates into demonstrable outcomes for marketing and sales audiences. It helps to prove the capability to measure impact, secure and justify the future program spends, underpin the campaign credibility, and to even win awards.
In the world of account-based marketing (ABM), measuring and communicating the real impact and value of ABM investments is the major challenge for practitioners.
Findings from the ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association), the leading ABM advisory body, and other benchmark research groups continuously demonstrate that ABM brings enhanced ROI compared to other types of B2B marketing. However, ABM experts don’t feel they efficiently measure their return on the concurrent ABM investments. In a recent webinar held by ITSMA and Fujitsu, a surprising 83% of respondents confirmed that they thought measuring ABM was either difficult (58%) or unbelievably difficult (25%), with one of them confirming that they’d completely given up.
By following a robust framework for aligning and measuring – backed by the ‘3 Rs’ for ABM – Relationships, Reputation, and Revenue – the marketing teams can attribute important metrics to the business’s critical strategic growth drivers.
- Identifies and associates with key stakeholders
- Deepens the relationships for innovation and insights
- Develops referrals, references, and advocates
- Drives preference considering named accounts
- Builds awareness and knowledge across new buyer groups
- Enhances internal credibility
- Expands and accelerates the sales pipeline
- Sells latest offerings and enters new terrains of the organization
- Increases velocity, win rate, and deal size
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for applying these three ‘R’s to the ABM programs. Measurement is a journey, and every business is different and has an ABM strategy and a well-defined approach that aligns with the pre-agreed business goals.
Besides, various stakeholders within the organization value detailed granularity levels, so the data needs to pitch different stories accordingly. ABM practitioners need to focus on working out the specifics for the stakeholders to report.
That said, as a starting point, it’s important to consider the below points while reviewing the current process and structure for accurate success measurement:
The measurement criteria must be pinned back to the overall business strategy
- Consider how one could take existing measures for the ABM program to reprioritize and reorganize them based on a detailed and appropriate timeframe to match the ABM roadmap
- Revisit the existing KPIs to merge with the ever-evolving business approach to measurement
- Identify the gaps in processes, data, and metrics that prevent one from achieving a robust measurement framework
- Assure the measurement cadences implemented are scalable enough in terms of working across diverse functions and data sets
Initiating and building attribution and measurement framework into ABM strategies from the start is crucial but extremely challenging. Technologies like AI might go some way to ease this pain.
To conclude, it is important to remember that what gets measured is not the only one that gets done; the journey plays a vital role too. Repeatedly, businesses witness that a stout framework to measure outcome-based metrics, aligning the “three R’s” is the best way to demonstrate ABM’s actual value.
It also is critical to scale ABM, simplify it, and show progress against the business goals set out. It’s time for ABM leaders to wake up to the measurement challenge once and for all to enhance each ABM strategy’s impact.