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How should you measure account-based marketing?

Measuring demand generation has been refined to a science in the last few years. In Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Marketing Analytics, I wrote that marketing measurement should come down to two things:

  1. Aggregate impact on new pipeline and revenue, as measured by movement through a revenue cycle waterfall, and
  2. Return on investment from programmes (where the return is typically measured by pipeline creation using a multi-touch attribution methodology).

In other words, demand generation is almost always measured by leads and opportunities created.

But while leads and opportunities are important, they are not sufficient to measure account-based marketing (ABM). This is because in ABM:

  • Marketing needs to support, not create, pipeline creation, so the focus needs to be more on enablement and influence.
  • There is a potentially a very long gap between top-of-the-funnel lead generation and bottom-of-the-funnel pipeline creation, so marketers need a way to measure success through the middle.
  • The volumes are too low for traditional funnel metrics such as conversion rates.
  • A key focus is on driving revenue and pipeline at customers, and it’s not always obvious how to categorise an account that is a customer for one product and a lead for another.

Because of these factors, there are three additional categories of ABM metrics:

  • Coverage: do you have sufficient data, contacts, and account plans for each target account?
  • Engagement: what is the aggregate level of engagement for the account, e.g. web traffic, online interaction, attendance at events, and so on?
  • Productivity: how are the ABM activities improving sales outcomes such as sales cycles, average selling price, retention, and net promoter scores?

Modern ABM-ers need dashboards that show all these metrics, and they should be available on-demand – not requiring weeks of support from marketing operations.

Find more details about the metrics that matter in B2B Marketing's new Measuring ABM Best Practice Guide. You can also find some of the top tips here: