There’s a reason that 73% of marketers plan to increase their ABM budgets this year. It’s well known that Account Based Marketing is one of the industry-leading strategies for B2B marketing ventures targeting mid and enterprise-level businesses. It’s important to understand where the data that supports ABM as a strategy is coming from however, and how to implement ABM for your company in a way that gets you the same results as the industry leaders. Here’s our guide for how to assess whether your ABM campaign is giving you the maximum return on investment possible.
What Does Good ABM Look Like?
1) Aim High
Work with marketing professionals to create a list of clients that yield the best possible return for your company, and weigh those against your brand’s current capabilities to create targets that you can reasonably expect to convert into sales-qualified-leads with a long-term campaign.
2) Build A Data Stack
Put money down to create a buyer’s journey for your ABM targets. This involves creating a custom data stack for each target that tracks metrics about that target, as well as their position in your sales funnel.
Utilize intelligent content syndication to nurture the lead in your ABM funnel gradually, without the need for a marketing specialist to take personal action every time new intent data is received.
4) Engage Sales
When targets near the bottom of your funnel, use CRM to notify a member of your sales team, and supply them with a long history of actionable data. Solid ABM includes consistent communication with sales management, enabling the sales department to close leads with efficiency and confidence.
Keep your momentum! Utilize the data stack you’ve already got in place, along with the automated marketing techniques that move targets down the funnel, and supply new targets with new content that’s appealing and informative.
ABM is working for your business if you’ve noticed a higher quality of new clients compared to clients gained through other methods, and any marketing firm should be able to deliver on this benefit of ABM. If your ABM campaign follows the five steps above, but you’re still unsure of whether the technique will pay dividends read on about all the other factors needed to calculate your ROI.
Understand the Upfront Costs to ABM
Well-planned ABM tactics tend to yield compounding returns. The longer your ABM campaign has been in place, the more your marketing team can optimize the technology stack that moves potential leads down the sales funnel. A major aspect of successful ABM strategy is marketing automation. While ABM is known to yield excellent return on investment, ROI will always be better for companies that currently have robust marketing infrastructure already set in place. Classic ABM relies heavily on content that’s specific to one, or few targeted accounts, and currently there aren’t any industry-standard processes for automating that content creation. As a result, your company’s content creation team will always be a limiting factor on how many ABM campaigns your business is capable of running, and how specific your targeted content can be. Choosing a stellar content creation service is one of the ways you can drive down the cost of an ABM campaign. The syndication of that content can be 100% hands free however, which means that every hour your team spends managing content syndication for your ABM campaign, your revenue is going out the window. As with most business ventures, ROI will increase over time after the initial phase of growth where the necessary software ecosystem is purchased, configured, and switched on. Starting with Automated Marketing techniques already built-out will significantly reduce the time and expense related with creating an ABM campaign.
Put Realistic Time Constraints on Your ABM Campaign
Many marketing service purveyors will claim a thirty-day turnaround on an ABM campaign that you launch through their services, but don’t be surprised if there’s an asterisk next to that line of text. For a company that’s using one-to-one ABM tactics, it’s possible to get a conversion within a month of a campaign being active, but ABM isn’t a marketing magic trick, and it’s unlikely that your first deal signed through ABM is going to cover the entire cost of the campaign. For most businesses, it will take two to three of those ideal, high-return new clients for your ABM campaign to outpace the ROI of your standard marketing practices, and it will take roughly one year or more to nurture those clients into sales-qualified leads. The great thing about ABM, is there isn’t necessarily much to pull the plug on if you’re not seeing excellent short-term results. Most campaigns have such low intermittent cost after their first creation that the only way to lose the ABM game is to quit playing.
Choose the Right Metrics to Follow Closely
Your KPI’s for an ABM campaign should match with the marketing strategy. ABM has never been about volume of conversions, but rather about quality of conversions. Every possible member of a target account should be tracked in terms of their conversions, and what sort of engagement they’ve had with your previous content already. Tracking whether your conversions elicit further engagement is a crucial metric, as is whether the content you’ve delivered is significantly increasing your target’s likelihood of becoming a sales-qualified-lead. There is a content side of ABM after all, and it’s important to find a way to track whether your content is appealing well to your target clients.
ABM has never been about volume of conversions, but rather about quality of conversions.
Find Your Bottleneck
ABM doesn’t work if your brand isn’t healthy. No matter how compelling your targeted content is, most enterprise-level clients won’t dear strike a deal with you unless they can find you easily on google. SEO is a buzzword that seems to have come and gone, but there are plenty of reasons why it’s crucial for an ABM campaign. Plenty of businesses with fantastic ABM in place lose clients because they don’t have the organic traffic to be taken seriously. Choose a company with over a decade of experience in SEO, that can ensure your brand image is strong enough to do business with clients that yield great returns. Lead Generation [lead generation service page link] is another important marketing tactic that is quickly becoming a standard pair with ABM. Depending on the product or service you’re providing, you can move targets down the sales funnel more efficiently if you offer them content that they themselves have asked for.
Quantify the Qualitative Gains of ABM
The first thing you should do when starting an ABM campaign is differentiate between the clients you gain through ABM vs. other standard inbound marketing tactics. If your company is delivering a product well and your brand identity is healthy, new clients should always beget new clients. Creating a way to track whether your new clients are a product of organic inbound marketing versus your previous inbound marketing efforts is crucial for determining how much you should be spending on each of those methods.
As mentioned, clients gained through ABM will tend to have a better perception of your business than those gained through other methods, and it’s likely they’ll be more willing to recommend your service to companies that have similar needs as a result. Referrals that can be attributed to a client that you gained through targeting marketing methods should contribute to your ABM ROI calculation, so that you can correctly assess your return. Word-of-Mouth marketing is one of the best means of improving your bottom line because it’s absolutely free, and it often makes sense to maximize the marketing techniques that enable referral-based leads because these again tend to drive higher-quality, higher-return clients towards your business.
Reach Out to an ABM Expert
It’s common to wonder when your ABM campaign is going to begin outpacing your other marketing initiatives, but don’t waste time guessing if things will turn around. While ABM may be treated like a single marketing technique, it consists of a network of marketing strategies used in tandem in reality. This puts larger companies and marketing firms with widespread marketing services at a marked advantage when it comes to better maximizing ABM return on investment. Read through our blog for more tips and best practices, or contact us if you’d like to speak to an ABM specialist personally.