Assuming you read my previous post, you understand the basics of ABM. So, let’s start with what you’ve completed since then:
- Vetted and segmented list(s) (both companies and contacts)
- Planned—and programmed—an appropriate contact cadence
- Developed a content calendar, mapped to your audiences’ functional roles
Next comes the most important part: Measuring and monitoring your program.
To Get Started
You may not have enough information to make decisions, so your program will have to amass some usable data over the first few months in order to make your findings actionable. Every program generates loads of data points, such as who opened which page and the number of times a contact has engaged your content.
In addition, it is common to rely exclusively on email as a delivery mechanism, but by its nature, this tool leaves roughly 60–80 percent of contacts untouched. So, if this is your primary delivery method, know that it is normal for numbers to be fairly low.
A Word of Caution
Don’t fall prey to monitoring a specific tactics performance, such as open email rates. This can quickly lead to an exercise in improving open rates, rather than an evaluation of overall account performance.
That being said, my rule of thumb is: If you can’t review every detail of each account’s behavior personally, and do it in less than a few hours, you may have too many prospects in your ABM program.
Who to Look For
Keep an eye out for two particular contacts within your ABM program: the Decision Maker and the Champion. These two contacts get you in the door. This is simply due to the fact that the Champion’s job can be made exponentially easier with your solution, and the Decision Maker holds the purse strings.
I’m not implying that the Influencers don’t hold sway. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, unless the Champion and Decision Maker are both sold on the idea, you won’t be hearing from them.
What to Look For
You may be wondering when the Influencers’ interactions come to play. They’re actually directly connected to the measurement of the other two titles’ behavior.
For example, if you see both a Decision Maker and a Champion engaging in your site and downloading assets, your next step would be to pan out your view to see if Influencers have hit your site or content in the recent days.
If they have, you can reasonably assume that a committee may have been formed to look at the solution, because as a group, they’re beginning to move into the pre-buy stage (or research stage, depending on how you label your marketing development cycle).
What you do next is the whole reason you monitor. You can:
- Put a “Red Zone” plan in place – a specific track of content that can lead them to the golden one-on-one opportunity.
- Turn the account over to sales for immediate action. Depending on how you’re aligned with sales, this may—or may not—be a good idea.
- Initiate separate processes for those who show a specific set of behaviors.
Following this behavior data daily, or at least weekly, allows you to engage at the right time with prospects who need your attention the most.
In our next post, we’ll talk about what makes content valuable.
Dan Hansen is a Senior Partner with Red House and a 30-year veteran of the marketing industry. In addition to holding a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University, he works in a marketing consulting capacity with Red House clients such as McKesson, Elsevier, Equifax, and AT&T.