Is your ABM program giving you the business outcomes you expect?

2020-07-01T08:56:58+00:00

ABM marketing can have a fundamental impact on organizational policy and business goals in a way that no other marketing methodology can quite match. According to ITSMA’s 2018 report, Raising the Game with ABM, 77% of marketers claimed they were achieving 10% or greater ROI from ABM, while 45% were achieving more than double. 

These are great, measurable results – is your marketing team delivering this level of return? And if they are, do they know they are because they knew what they wanted to achieve and they’ve measured their results?

Measurement is challenging and so on the 22nd June in response to customer demand, we launched our ‘Measuring what matters in ABM’ guide, written in conjunction with ITSMA, to provide marketing teams with the tools they need to drive, and demonstrate, return on investment of their ABM programs. 

In this, our second blogpost in a 3-part series, we’re going to provide some recommendations for Heads of ABM to help them get more out of their ABM strategy. Because the fact is, your team may be running some great campaigns which are engaging with customers and showing results against activity-based tactics, but are the outcomes what you need at a senior level to demonstrate alignment to business outcomes and drive your organization forward?

As we described in our first blog in this series, measurement is a major challenge, regardless of where you are in your ABM adoption or what size or type of organization you are.

But help is at hand: by following a recommended framework for measurement, and aligning to the ITSMA “3 Rs” for ABM – reputation, relationships and revenue – as described in this guide, your marketing team will be able to attribute important metrics to the key strategic growth drivers of your business. 

And it works. The majority of marketers doing this already have seen improvement in their ABM strategy from focusing their measurements on these three categories. 

But this doesn’t happen overnight. 

Many marketers appreciate that long-term growth relies on continuous monitoring and constant improvement in the “3 Rs” of marketing.  It’s not just about near-term revenue. 

Understanding how best to move the needle with your most important accounts takes time to develop. But aligning outcomes to reputation, relationships and revenue demonstrates that marketing is a strategic function, not support, and can demonstrate significant impact to a business. 

Is marketing accountable for performance?

In ITSMA’s ‘Measuring What Matters’ research, 84% of executive leaders said they expect marketing to be accountable for performance. Executives should expect data that reports on marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline, or the nurturing and management of sales leads. Yet only 3% of all marketers in the same survey are able to directly tie all, or nearly all, marketing activity to business results. This is where the need for a good measurement framework comes in. With this, and the right tools and systems in place, marketers are able to deliver marketing data that leaders can rely on to make decisions. 

Some of this is down to communication within an organization. It’s a two-way street. It’s up to you to communicate with your marketing team to tell them what your business goals are and what you need to meet those goals, and it’s down to your marketing team to communicate what business metrics they are measuring and provide a meaningful analysis. As Valerie Beaulieu at Microsoft rightly told us, “It’s hard to have a dashboard if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve.”

Our key recommendations for executives looking to get more out of their ABM strategy:

  • Communicate your business goals to your marketing team – set out what you want to track to ensure they happen
  • Plan in regular catch-up sessions with marketing to track progress. If you want to see immediate results, tell them. They can plan some short-term wins to demonstrate ABM can work
  • But, understand an ABM strategy grows and takes time. Your measurement framework must develop hand in hand with your strategy
  • Have you invested enough in the right tools and skills in your team to develop your ABM approach? According to ITSMA research, 82 percent of organizations will increase skills through internal training of existing marketers – do you need to allow for a retraining program to fill gaps in skills capabilities?
  • Are you aware of (and planning for) the latest technology? ITSMA research reveals that 61 percent of companies expect to use AI for account insight and 43 percent for measuring ABM and attribution
  • Is your current measurement pinned back to your business strategy?

In the next and final blogpost in this 3-part series, we will drill down further with advice for ABM practitioners.

Our ‘Measuring what matters in ABM’ best practice guide to measurement, co-authored with ITSMA, provides practical solutions and insights to ABM-ers and executives looking to take the measurement of their ABM strategy to the next level. If you’d like to talk to us about how Agent3 can support ABM and enhance your measurement, please email paul.mackender@agent3.com 

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