The Simple Math for ABM Display Ad Programs

A growing number of B2B companies are planning, budgeting and launching ABM display advertising programs. One area where many customers struggle today is modeling out the estimated return on spend (ROI) from these programs.

As we work with a growing number of mid-to-large enterprise B2B companies, we have developed some rules and key metrics (we call it “Simple Math”) so you know you are scoring “small victories” from ABM display ads as you move towards your revenue goals.

 All marketing programs should have a direct positive impact on revenue.However, tying your  program spend to revenue outcomes is not always easy. It’s even harder when your products or solutions involve larger annual contract values (ACVs) of $100K or more, longer sales cycles of six to 18+ months, and complex buyer journeys over multiple digital channels.

     “All marketing programs should have a direct positive impact on revenue.”

If you are a larger global enterprise, you will need a well-thought out process to plan, budget, spend, eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies, and track outcomes across all  account-based paid media programs. We address this and related areas in our post on “The 5 Key Metrics of ABM Display Success” where we highlight these five top-level metrics:

Here’s a quick outline of what each metric tries to measure:

Account Coverage: Which Accounts That You Want To Target Are Even Reachable?

Account Awareness: Which Reachable Accounts Are a Priority for Driving Awareness?

Account Reach: Which Accounts Targeted Were Reached With ABM Display Ads?

Account Engagement: Which Accounts Engaged Via Ad Clicks & Website Visits?

Account Impact: Which Accounts That Engaged Became Opportunities or Deals?

While these top-level metrics are very useful to any global marketing team, how can you gauge success from a specific ABM display ad program, especially an initial ABM display pilot? How can you as an ABM or demand marketer start small and scale up your program in your area or region? What should you report back to your marketing & sales leaders so they agree with your assessment that the program is actually working?

The  Simple Model and Math for an Effective ABM Display Ad Pilot

Our simple model  and math calls for a 90-day program budget. You will want to serve ads to the right buyers and influencers at a large enough set of target accounts, so you can deliver meaningful volume of engaged accounts, and what we call “Sales-Ready Targets” to one or more of your sales regions, sales leaders or account owners.

Why Should Sales Care About “Sales-Ready Targets” and Not Just “Form-Fills”?

It’s now possible to leverage new cookie-based ABM targeting data from 3rd party data providers to gather very interesting insights from buyer activity, as they click on your ABM display ads, or visit your Company’s website as a follow-on to  an ABM ad program.

Your ABM account-level engagement reports can now deliver real “Sales-Ready Targets” even prior to the buyer or prospect filling out a form on your website.

You can share these reports on a periodic (say weekly) basis with the key sales regions or individual account owners that are being supported with ABM display ads into their target accounts. Or better yet, present this data directly inside your Salesforce CRM “Account” screen, as additional data on anonymous visitors or buyers from your Target Accounts. Your sales development reps (SDRs)  or business development reps (BDRs) can then use these new data points to prioritize their account-based outreach, as well as personalize their messages to the right buyers and influencers at each target account.

ABM display advertising has always been a challenge for B2B companies to measure for return-on-spend. And the ROI rarely if ever works out based on “Form Fills” alone! We hope our “Simple Math” based on accounts reached and engaged, cost per account reached, and cost per “sales-ready target” that your sales team can then use to accelerate the pipeline and close more deals is useful, as you plan for ABM display ad programs in the new year. Here’s wishing you an awesome Q4 and 2018!


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ABM Display Ad Secret: For Better Results, Try the “Marigold Effect”

Many seasoned gardeners know the power of companion planting. When implementing this type of planting, the companion plant often chosen is the yellow or orange Marigold flower.

With companion planting, marigolds have been proven to help the growth and performance of basil, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. Marigolds also a great companion plants to melons because they deter beetles. In fact, some scented varieties of marigolds not only deter beetles, but beet leaf hoppers, cabbageworms, Mexican bean beetles, and nematodes (microscopic worms that attach the roots of plants) as well. Some varieties even repel rabbits.

According to the University of Rhode Island Green Share program, the secret is in the strong scent of the marigold. Many insects and pests find food based on smell and the marigolds can mask the scent of various crops. So, if the adult cabbage moth has a tough time finding the crops by smell there will be fewer cabbageworms around the cabbage and other plants.

It has been said that the roots of French Marigolds release a chemical so strong that this marigold is an effective pesticide for several years after the plants have died in your garden or flower bed. The University of Florida Extension recommends planting a robust crop of marigolds one season before planting fruits or vegetables to effectively control nematodes.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service notes that marigolds also suppress some disease-causing agents.

Many rose gardeners also swear that marigolds help deter weeds and strengthen rose plants. The powerful outcome from certain types of marigolds—repelling insects and pests, suppressing diseases, and minimizing weeds—strengthens companion plants. The combination of marigolds with companion plants creates greater performance for all collective plants versus just growing roses, vegetables, or marigolds on their own.

That is the “Marigold Effect.”

While the Marigold Effect is often seen in the gardening community, I believe that it can be applied to the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) world with great results as well. One of the best ways that I see to create the Marigold Effect in ABM is with display advertising and retargeting. Continue reading

ABM Program Success: Four Tips from a Bass Fishing Tournament Winner

Bass fishing looks easy…that is, until you step off the dock into your boat and realize you have eight hours to catch as many largemouth bass as you can. The same holds true for Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It makes sense and looks easy until you have to dip your toe in the water and build out a pilot program.

The other weekend I was flipping the channels on the TV and came across an interview with a guy who had just won a bass fishing tournament. His insights seem to be just as relevant for successful Account-Based Marketing as they did for successful bass fishing. I’d like to share four of those insights with you and see what you think. Continue reading

Beyond the Hype: A Peek Behind the ABM Curtain Part 4

An interview with Russell Glass, Former VP, Products at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Kwanzoo: Looking at your background, it looks like you started in Sales, moved into Marketing, wrapped yourself around Products and Data–and found time to be an entrepreneur along the way. What impact do you think your early jobs had on the way you think about B2B sales and marketing?

Glass: I saw very early in my sales career the importance of capturing and pulling together conversations as well as the value propositions and benefits that my customers cared about—which helped in setting follow-up meetings and reminders, etc. Then as a marketer, I learned the value of organizing that aggregated data. Leveraging that organized data made me a smarter marketer. I see it today with Account Based Marketing (ABM). Understanding all the customers that a group of salespeople are engaged with, understanding how those customers are moving through the lead funnel and leveraging that data to influence your targeting and campaign strategy—ensures alignment and assures that marketing is not wasting dollars on companies that just aren’t in the conversation yet.

So, if you are focused on the bottom of the funnel, you want to focus on the people that the salespeople are talking to. If you are focused on the top of the funnel, you want to focus on the people that salespeople would want to talk to. All my early jobs and experiences came together to help steer how I think about B2B sales and marketing—and how I founded Bizo.

Kwanzoo: Yes, thanks for bringing that up. You founded Bizo. What is the impact that you think that Bizo has had on the B2B marketing and sales tech landscape? Continue reading

How to Approach Account-Based Marketing Part 2 – Selecting the Right Technologies

In Part 1 we covered how Account-Based Marketing (ABM) requires planning for success. Marketers need to think like their sales colleagues when building the ABM plan and target accounts. When the ABM strategy is created it’s time for you to identify the marketing technologies that will enable the strategy.

There is no single ABM technology solution

Selecting the right technologies to help your ABM initiatives is like determining whether you need to redo your kitchen. You have the core framework of a functional kitchen—so do you really need to invest in new cabinets, sink, countertop, etc. or do you just need one or two new appliances? Beware of the “shiny object syndrome.” Also, don’t go down a rabbit hole of thinking that there is one appliance that can meet all your kitchen’s needs. Several marketing technology vendors have produced fantastic content to help define ABM and best practices tactics. One problem with this effort is how many marketers think a couple of vendors’ views are the standard process for ABM technologies. Marketers are learning a specific vendor process through webinars, conference presentations, white papers, ABM certifications, and ABM online training—without doing their homework or due diligence. Continue reading