ABM Metrics – it’s a journey


OK, so you’ve launched your Account Based Marketing (ABM) program, or are thinking about launching one. That’s great.

How do you go about measuring ABM success?

That’s a question many an ABM roundtable I participated in, or conversation I had with fellow ABMers, has revolved around. There are the obvious metrics: Program Engagement; Footprint inside the client organization; Relationship quality and quantity (with the right people, of course). But you know that’s not all, and that there must be additional metrics out there worth measuring, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  The good news is: You’re not alone. What’s more, as the ABM practice and the ‘art of the possible’ in marketing evolve, what we measure and how we do so, will also change.

There are a few things worth considering as you embark on your personal ABM Metrics quest:

  1. You get what you measure – if you’re measuring ‘the usual suspects’ of leads generated, qualified and accepted by sales, that’s what you get – only, that’s not necessarily relevant in an ABM environment, where your focus isn’t on quantity, but on very specific goals for each account
  2. Sales has a deeply-rooted allergy to “marketing speak” – keeping them engaged with you is key to the success of your ABM Program, so speaking a common language and having a “common currency” are a must – that includes what you measure and how you do so
  3. ABM isn’t a ‘quick fix’– many commonly used marketing metrics have a relatively short-term focus, yet ABM programs may take a long time to deliver

There is no silver bullet for ABM Metrics – it’s a journey

Some of the metrics you’ll arrive at will be pertinent to your business and the situation you’re deploying ABM in, some however, are universal, yet still often lack definition and good visualisation. Then recently, I had a conversation with Jon Miller of Engagio, and really liked they way he approached ABM metrics. Since then, he’s packaged it in a book: “The Big 5 Metrics for Account-Based Marketing“. So if you’re embarking on your ‘ABM Metrics Discovery’ – this is a good starting point. As a bonus, there’s a good overview of ABM services providers thrown in, too. Well worth a read!

Some final advice

  • Start with the end in mind (that applies to pretty much anything, I know, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do this)
  • Be clear on what it is you want to deliver with your ABM program; this may not happen over night, and it may evolve over time – just make sure all stakeholders are in agreement
  • Once you know what you want or have to achieve, the deliverables and with that metrics should become clear
  • Then it’s time to measure and visualise your metrics: Look at what you already have in house. If, like me, you’re lucky enough to work in a metrics obsessed team, chances are, there’s a dashboard already that you might be able to adapt, or build on; but most ABMers I spoke to start from scratch.
  • Experiment and be prepared to change and adapt to make sure that what you measure is right for your business and drives the right behaviours, and ultimately, results