Part IV of our ongoing ABM series, “Making your dreams come true.”
Set up your analytics platform to learn what’s working and what is not.
Because Account Based Marketing is a highly focused program with a small number of (very) large prospects to be targeted, and because it is unlikely you will experience significant revenue from your ABM efforts within the first 12 months of the program, you need other ways to measure progress besides sales. Next year, you’ll have sales to look at. This year, you have engagement.
Measure engagement with a marketing automation platform.
Marketing automation allows you to measure engagement—if you set it up correctly. Whether you use Hubspot, Pardot, another platform—or Verdi’s favorite, Sharpspring—you need to begin with your list of dream prospects, the list of job titles within each prospect account. It’s helpful to create a persona for each job title and to articulate (if you can) the buying continuum for each job title. Eventually, you’ll want to evaluate your available content to match each situation, and to have the content available in your platform media library so it can be used as an offer for your marketing efforts.
Sample content matrix for content and analytic set-up.
You’ll want to set up your analytics, so you’ll know when one of your ABM prospects opens an email, clicks through to an offer, fills out a form, consumes content, and where he/she goes on your website.
In the early days, you’ll have little to go on, so be prepared to adjust your analytics platform as you gain information about your prospects and their response. Take a hard look at your email response, clicks, and conversions. Look at your banner ads to determine level of interest in your messages.
In the beginning of your ABM pilot, data is limited, but precious. Plan to meet as a team no less than weekly to share results from all sources—feedback from telemarketing, sales team input, prospect response to social media—especially LinkedIn, web activity, emails, direct mail, banner ads, and show activity—to see if you can spot an early trend. In large companies, you may notice a surge in their interest in your communications—leading to multiple Marketing Qualified Leads from targeted organizations. We know that not everything is trackable, but you should track what you can. As the program proceeds, you’ll be grateful for every morsel of information you can squeeze out of the data from your analytics engine.
Content consumption is king.
It’s important to have a content specialist on your analytics team, to suggest timely content that could help increase the velocity of the sale.
Verdi example: One of our ABM clients noticed an early email on ROI from their product attracted a good response. We suggested that they develop additional content for future offers, including an ROI worksheet and an ROI blog post.
Analytics will help keep your ABM program funded.
Because you are targeting your team’s dream accounts, and because ABM is a costly program, you’ll find a lot of management interest in your progress. Of course, that’s a good thing, but it means you’ll have to “manage up”. Setting expectations is the key to continued management support, and it’s a good idea to meet with senior management at least monthly to report engagement with your dream accounts, Marketing Qualified Leads generated, sales team POV, communications results as available, and learnings from the program to date. This management involvement will keep senior management aware that “whales” are being attracted, and the program is responsible. Not only will they get excited as you demonstrate progress with these large accounts—when it comes time to ask for additional funding, you will have senior management on board.
Next steps—keep reading, and call Verdi.
Once you have set up analytics for your dream Account Based Marketing targets, and you have some data to consider, it’s time to talk about fine-tuning the program. But that will be Part V of this series.
If you’d like to learn more about Account Based Marketing programs, and you’d like to see a demonstration of how it has worked with Verdi’s clients, click the button.
Note from Bob Green, Verdi’s ABM content guru:
I know when we launched this series, we said it would be published in three parts, and this is Part IV. We decided the subject of Account Based Marketing deserves considerably more discussion. So, stay tuned for part V—and beyond!