The 5 Key Metrics for ABM Display Success

As Account-Based Marketing (ABM) makes its way into core demand gen practices at B2B companies, a key challenge many marketers face is establishing a simple framework for measuring program success.

The ultimate measure for any ABM program is the impact on revenue. However, tying program spend to revenue is not always easy, especially if your products involve a larger annual contract value (ACV), longer sales cycles, and complex buyer journeys over multiple digital channels. It’s therefore essential to establish multiple metrics to track for any ABM program, that serve as markers for you, that you are on the right lane, leading you all along towards your goals.

At Kwanzoo we specialize in ABM display and retargeting programs. Over the past 6 months we have launched multiple ABM display programs across geos (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia) for many mid-to-large B2B enterprises. We run several account-based targeting strategies (cookie-based, IP-based). Our customers’ program goals range from prospecting, to customer upsell / cross sell, competitive switch, partner influence and more.

Over time, we have developed an ABM display program reporting model and framework. It focuses on 5 key success metrics and serves our customers well as they invest in and expand their programs:

Tweet This: The 5 Key Metrics of ABM Display Success: Coverage, Awareness, Reach, Engagement & Impact #ABMDoneRight

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

The first step to any ABM display program is identifying your universe of target accounts. This may be based on direction from your CEO and top-level leadership, the GM of your division, or a theses developed between your demand gen / field marketing team & sales.

Once you have this “master list” of accounts, your ABM display partner should be able to provide you with an Account Coverage Report that answers these simple questions:

– Which accounts on your master account list are reachable with cookie targeting?
– Which accounts are reachable with IP targeting?
– Which accounts are unreachable via both cookie and IP targeting?

Your ACR should ideally provide other interesting information as well:

  • How many cookies are available across your reachable accounts for specific job functions, titles and levels of interest?
  • Do you have a large enough cookie pool available to construct an ABM display program of reasonable scale? After all, you want to drive meaningful outcomes in terms of engaged accounts that you can deliver to sales every week.
  • Do you have an adequate number of reachable accounts for each segment (industry, company size, sales region) so you can construct an ABM display program that supports one or more specific sales teams?

Your Account Coverage Report (ACR) thus provides valuable insights that drive your next set of planning and budgetary decisions towards an ABM display program execution.

Tweet This: ABM Display Key Metric #1: Account Coverage: Which accounts that you want to target are even reachable? #ABMDoneRight

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

Now that you are armed with key insights from your Account Coverage Report (ACR), it’s time to select the specific accounts that you will setup for ABM display ad delivery. These are the subset of your master account list for which:

  1. You have the necessary program budget available and
  2. Your demand gen / field marketing team has determined is the prime set of accounts that are likely to convert the fastest, or of greatest interest to sales.

Prioritization of accounts may occur with help from predictive tools (Infer, 6Sense, others) alongside in-depth discussions with your sales team(s).

The bottom line: these are the key accounts where your team agrees, that you need to invest and serve ads for increased brand awareness. These are the accounts with greatest potential, where with the display “air cover maximizes your sales teams’ chances of success in pursuing conversations with key buyers and influencers at the accounts when they are in a buying cycle.

Tweet This: ABM Display Key Metric #2: Account Awareness: Which accounts are a priority for driving awareness?

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

Serving ABM ads to a set of target accounts is not an exact science. The number of available cookies can vary greatly from one account to another. Online cookies also expire over time, and the numbers can fluctuate from month to month. Similarly the available set of business IP ranges can also vary greatly across accounts.

While your ABM display provider can leverage existing ad serving best practices, to limit how many ads are served to each matched cookie, or matching business IP in any month, the fact is that you will still want to track how many ads were delivered into each account, and assess the distribution of your overall ad delivery across your target accounts.

This way you can correlate account level engagement that you see to ads served. If certain accounts were underserved with ads, you can partner with your agency to setup a separate ABM display program for such “underserved” accounts, to boost ad delivery.

Alternately, if certain other accounts are seeing excessive ad serving relative to an overall metric for average ads served per account, you can remove such accounts from your currently active audience segments. Then reallocate your media budget otherwise planned for these accounts to use with your existing target account lists.

Key tips for effective account reach:

  • Make sure you develop a process (along with your agency partners) to understand your account-specific reach, regardless of targeting tactics (IPs, cookies, retargeting, social, email)
  • Correlate account reach to account-engagement metrics (see below) so once you have achieved the engagement goals for that account, you can dial down ad delivery.
  • For IP targeting, the available inventory of ads fluctuates greatly based on the geo location of the account. Expect longer pacing (i.e. duration of ad serving) to hit your volume goals in overseas markets (EMEA, APAC, LATAM) than in North America.

Tweet This: ABM Display Key Metric #3: Account Reach: Which accounts were reached with ABM ads? #ABMDoneRight

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

Account Engagement Reports (AERs) are the set of accounts from which prospects are showing interest in your brand, and engaging via clicks on your ads, or by visiting your website after viewing your ads. AERs can be segmented to your sales teams, or to each of your SDRs and AEs. Where they really help is in enabling your sales teams to prioritize their outreach. The format of the insights in these reports and how they are available to sales are entirely dependent on your ABM tech stack. The easiest way to make them available is via shared spreadsheets. As marketing automation platforms start to offer core ABM capabilities (e.g. Marketo ABM) ask your ABM display providers re: their plans to integrate their account-level engagement information into marketing automation and CRM.

Tweet This: ABM Display Key Metric #4: Account Engagement: Which accounts engaged via ad clicks & website visits?

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

The hardest metric to measure is the impact of ABM display programs on the creation of new opportunities, or acceleration of your current pipeline towards a closed/won deal. Properly measuring this requires applying both attribution and weightage to ABM display based interactions from target accounts, to the pipeline movement of those accounts in CRM.

Many B2B companies are leveraging B2B attribution platforms (Bizible, BrightFunnel) to begin to measure ABM display program impact more effectively. Marketing automation platforms (e.g. Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics) and CRM analytics tools (e.g. Full Circle Insights) are other options for measuring ABM program impact, especially as your target accounts engage with your brand across multiple online channels.

Tweet This: ABM Display Key Metric #5: Account Impact: Which accounts turned into opportunities or deals?

ABM display has proven to be a quick way for many companies to get started with ABM overall. All you need to do is finalize a set of accounts that your sales team wants to engage quickly, serve up targeted ads to those accounts, and measure engagement and downstream revenue impact, through more effective sales outreach.

We hope these 5 Key Metrics help you achieve lots of success with your own ABM display program efforts at your Company. Here’s wishing you an awesome 2017!

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