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ABM Attribution 101: Find What’s Working (and What’s Not)

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May 02, 2022

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy that targets a small group of accounts rather than targeting a market as a whole. Marketers design and execute their account-based marketing campaigns around these hand-picked accounts, planning personalized touchpoints throughout the customer journey to ensure that their messages resonate and move prospects down the funnel. In order to measure the success of these efforts and continuously iterate on your campaigns, you need ABM attribution.

With proper ABM attribution in place, you can clearly demonstrate ROI to your key stakeholders and maintain their buy-in. Let’s dive into attribution and see how it can help drive success in your ABM campaigns.

Why ABM Attribution Is Important

Yes, you can easily look at the number of sales opportunities and closed/won deals you’ve generated to determine if your ABM program is successful overall. However, it’s important to take an even deeper look at the metrics across all of your channels and touchpoints so you know what works and what you could improve upon. This is where ABM attribution comes in handy. ABM attribution helps you understand account-level metrics so you have the full picture of which channels and messages are working and why a buying committee ultimately chose (or didn’t choose) your product or service. Plus, it provides a source of truth and closes the loop between the marketing and sales teams so that both understand the effectiveness of their efforts.

But strong ABM attribution isn’t only helpful for improving your future campaigns. It is equally important to measure your ROI because ABM is such a large investment—according to Forrester, the average ABM budget is around $350,000 and is expected to rise. You need to ensure you track every last dollar and hour spent on your ABM efforts to clearly track your ROI and optimize future spending.

How to Run a Successful ABM Program

A successful ABM strategy typically involves the following steps:

  1. Determine your ideal customer profile (ICP) aka the companies that are a best fit for your solution using attributes like company size, industry, and job level.
  2. Segment your target accounts based on which companies you want to really focus your ABM efforts on; top-tier accounts will likely have higher intent and previous interactions with your company.
  3. Create buyer personas or fictional representations of who your ideal buyer is based on existing customer data. Your personas should include attributes such as job title(s), goals, challenges, needs, and influences.
  4. Use your research and personas to create personalized messages that meet a prospect where they are in the buyer journey.
  5. Review your campaign data and iterate based on results. This phase should be a recurring step in your ABM program so you can continuously improve your tactics and drive better results.

Once you have your personalized messaging drafted, you’re ready to deploy it through your chosen ABM tactics. Consider using a combination of the following tactics for your ABM campaign:

  • Personalized email: When done well, email is a simple yet effective way to engage with your prospects. Make sure you’re using highly personalized email copy and subject lines so that 1) you’ll stand out amongst a sea of emails in a prospect’s inbox and 2) you’ll provide content that resonates and makes the prospect want to engage with your business.
  • Direct mail: In today’s digital-first world, direct mail can be more unexpected and therefore may leave a lasting impression on your prospects. This is a valuable tactic to engage with key contacts at your target account, especially after you’ve had some meaningful engagement with them (e.g. an initial sales call or a demo).  
  • Website and landing page personalization: This is by far your most important ABM tactic, as all of your other channels will drive prospects to your website or landing page at some point. Whether you’re creating a landing page personalized for just one target account or making your homepage a dynamic landing page, be sure to speak to a prospect’s interests in your headlines, calls-to-action (CTAs), and copy.

ABM Metrics to Measure

Once your ABM campaign is up and running, you need to properly measure it to attribute your successes and identify room for improvement. This means setting up tracking for your campaigns and their various channels. You also want to ensure that this tracking is set up for each individual tier/segment of accounts so you can pull even more in-depth insights.

If you use an attribution tool for this tracking, set up a cadence where you're regularly monitoring and reporting on the successes of these efforts through various lenses. For example, which campaign is effective for X segment of your target accounts, and which segment is it not? Which messages work for Y segment, and which don't? Is Z channel a good use of budget for any or all tiers of accounts, or should we ax it altogether and move more money over to another channel that is performing better? By looking at your metrics from as many angles as possible, you’ll be able to answer more questions about your ABM program and share better insights with your organization.

While ROI is the principal ABM metric you want to measure, here are other metrics to look at in your attribution:

  • Engagement rate. Between email, direct mail, and landing pages, there are many different touchpoints where you’re trying to engage with your target accounts. Measuring the engagement rate of these touchpoints by channel can help you determine which tactics are working for your ABM program and which you need to iterate on (or stop altogether) in the future.
  • Average deal size. Because ABM is all about focusing on the highest value accounts, you want to see if your efforts are paying off in terms of average deal size. According to SiriusDecisions, 91% of companies using ABM see an increase in their average deal size, and 25% of those companies see an increase of more than 50%. 
  • Win rate. After running your ABM campaign, see how your sales win rate is affected. Since your ABM efforts are focused on accounts that are a best fit for your solution, you should aim to see an increase in win rate as you convert more ABM leads into customers.

How to Move Forward with Account-Based Attribution

Attribution is the best way to determine whether your ABM campaigns are successful so you can allocate resources effectively. Investing time in analyzing your ABM metrics will pay dividends by highlighting the tactics that work best for your business.

One ABM tactic that continues to be successful for marketers is website and landing page personalization. Learn how Snowflake’s ABM team increased landing page conversions by 60% by using Intellimize to deliver a highly personalized experience to each target account. 

Interested in improving your ABM program? Check out these other helpful posts to get started: