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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