Measuring ROI of ABM Campaigns

In our previous pieces on Account Based Marketing (ABM), we discussed the benefits of ABM as a GTM strategy as well as how to choose the right tools to implement it. In this post we’ll discuss how to design and measure the impact of campaigns once your organization is bought in.

1. Define Clear Objectives

 Before launching a campaign, it’s crucial to know what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to show ROI from a pilot to grant you a bigger budget to pursue this strategy from your executive team? Are you aiming to increase revenue from a specific set of accounts, improve customer retention, or enhance cross-selling opportunities? We like the framework SMART for setting objectives - that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

2. Define Metrics

Once you have your objective, decide what metrics will define success and failure. We recommend picking metrics that quantify the campaign’s impact on a specific stage of the sales funnel, but also in context of the broader revenue pipeline.

Funnel Specific Metrics:

It’s helpful to have metrics that span across the stages of the funnel, as it can take many touch points over a longer period of time to convert a customer. 

  • Awareness: impressions, reach, brand mentions, leads generated
  • Consideration: click through rate (CTR), likes, shares, comments, time spent, content downloads, meeting with Sales booked
  • Conversion: conversion rate, cost per Conversion (CPC), return on investment (ROI)

Revenue and Pipeline Impact:

The ultimate long-term goal of any marketing campaign is to grow pipeline and revenue. Even if it takes time for new leads to progress to revenue-generating accounts, having concrete pipeline and revenue goals orients your team toward always thinking about the bigger picture. Here are some examples:

  • For Q1, 80% of new opportunities should come from ABM Campaigns
  • Within 6 months of implementing this ABM Campaign, we should generate $10M in new pipeline that we can attribute to it 
  • Within a quarter of trialing ABM tools with our Sales and Marketing team, we want to see a 2X improvement in average opportunity value

Account Level Metrics:

Unlike traditional marketing campaigns, some ABM campaigns will target just a few high-value accounts. As a result, the most important metric for a specific campaign could be specific to moving one big account further down the funnel. Here are some examples of how we take metrics from the past two sections and focus them at the account level.

  • We want our Top 3 targets to spend at least 1 hour engaging with the personalized content we created for them 
  • We want 3 of our Top 10 new targets to book a meeting with Sales within a week of this campaign
  • We want our #1 target to agree to a pilot contract within a month of this campaign
  • We want to have 3 of our Top 10 targets generate $1M in new pipeline that we can attribute to this campaign

3. Iterate

 ABM Strategies are often rolled out in phases to an organization, with leadership giving ABM teams more budget as they see ROI. As such, you should continuously revisit goals and metrics as you have more context on what’s attainable. For example, if you start with a trial to see if the team gets value out of ABM tools, a goal to start with might be to have [x]% of your sales team using a lead scoring platform in the next month. Over time, that goal can be that [x]% of new leads come from that ABM platform.

5 Companies that Made it Work:

In this segment, we’ll spotlight five companies that achieved success through diverse ABM campaigns.  These companies had varying levels of executive commitment to ABM as a strategy, and their campaigns spanned multiple stages of the sales funnel. 

1. Qualtrics

Qualtrics, a premier Experience Management (XM) platform, doubled down on ABM after reaching $1B in revenue. Here’s two examples of how they utilized 6sense to boost conversion.

Linkedin Advertising Campaign

6sense revealed that 55% of accounts in Qualtrics’ database were scored “weak fit” relative to their ICP. Upon this realization, Qualtrics realigned their US Linkedin ad spend to only “moderate” and “strong” fit accounts. 

ROI:

  • 4.4x improvement in conversion of campaign members to opportunities
  • 2.6x improvement in average opportunity value
  • 66% reduction in cost per opportunity
  • $1.7M value in incremental pipeline growth across two quarters

Website Personalization with Drift

Qualtrics also wanted to make sure their website was personalized for target accounts instead of just leading each prospect to the same generic forms to schedule a call with Sales. They segmented audiences based on intent data from 6sense and created personalized Drift content playbooks for each group. For example, if an account was in early discovery stages with Qualtrics, Drift would show more informational content to familiarize the target with their solutions vs more aggressive sales messaging for companies later in the funnel.

ROI: 

  • 150% lift in email capture rate 
  • 38X increase in conversation to opportunity rate

Following the success of this campaign, they set the higher-level goal of driving 25% of future pipeline through 6sense.

2. IBM - Supercharging Top Funnel Generation from the US Open

IBM is a multinational technology company that offers hardware, software, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, consulting and cybersecurity solutions. 

In 2023, IBM partnered with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to provide AI-generated commentary on the US Open, powered by IBM Watsonx.

Demandbase identified the most impactful accounts for IBM to prioritize after the event.

ROI:

  • Identified over 9500 accounts to follow up with, 3X the number they captured with similar events in the past years
  • Identified 200 top accounts from that pool, double the number from previous years

They then worked with Sales to create personalized funnels based on intent for these top accounts.

3. Snowflake - Testing 1:1 ABM for Top Accounts

Snowflake, the leading cloud-based warehouse provider, wanted to customize their customer experience across every touchpoint in their campaigns, from BDR emails to informational content from the marketing team. Prior, their BDRs were hosting content on their desktop that became outdated quickly, and the team knew that customizing messaging to each account would be the key to ABM success.

The marketing team started by creating omnichannel tailored experiences for 30 different accounts across display ads, emails, signatures, and web pages. They paired Uberflip’s content personalization engine with Terminus’ campaign manager to target key decision-makers in their top accounts with 1:1 ABM. This not only allowed the marketing team to control the content journey for each customer but also provided insight into the effectiveness of each piece. Given the early success, Snowflake scaled their usage to 1,500 1:1 campaigns.

ROI: 

  • Engaged 100% of 1,500 target accounts
  • Identified 300 accounts driving 50% of content consumption
  • 14% increase in email clickthrough rates
  • Landed top target account with no previous traction or engagement

4. Auth0 - Showing the ROI of 6sense Adoption with a Sales Team Pilot

Auth0, a prominent authentication and authorization platform, showcased the efficacy of ABM through a pilot where they gave a handful of Account Executives access to 6sense.In less than 6 weeks, this group of Account Executives sourced an extra 28 opportunities that increased pipeline by $3 million, finding it most effective for retargeting accounts that had gone dark. As they rolled it out to more of the sales team, Enterprise Sales Directors found 6sense most helpful for determining key signals that predicted wins and losses. 

Following the success of this pilot, Auth0 rolled out 6sense to all the Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Market Development Representatives (MDRs) in the Americas and European regions. 

ROI: 

  • 80% of new opportunities came from companies flagged by 6sense as in the Purchase/Decision stages
  • Average Selling Price (ASP) increased by 25%

Auth0 is a great example of how you can implement ABM in phases within your organization, show ROI in a pilot, and then set more ambitious goals for a full rollout. Notice how the pilot metrics focused on usage and adoption across the sales team, and the full rollout metrics focus on concrete impacts to the pipeline.

5. Series C stage Fintech Company - Testing 1:1 ABM with an Email Campaign

Tofu recently worked with a leading Series C tech company that specializes in Accounts Payable (AP) automation. The company had previously experimented with 1:few ABM by personalizing some content based on broad sector, but wanted to test the efficacy of 1:1 ABM for individual accounts, and do so at scale.

They used Tofu to generate hyper-personalize email sequences and landing pages for hundreds of accounts across different sectors, highlighting specific and unique details for each that would resonate like the products or services offered, history of the company, or intel on specific pain points that account experiences related to accounts payable.

ROI: The company compared the impact of the 1:1 ABM personalized emails relative to the control group. The Tofu personalized emails saw a 250% increase in the open rate and click through rate to the company’s website relative to the control group. The time on page increased by nearly 300% and the team saw an immediate increase in qualified leads through 1:1 ABM personalization.

With the positive results from the initial campaign, the company immediately started scaling their ABM program across different sectors and account lists. 

These five success stories illustrate the efficacy of ABM campaigns across a spectrum of industries and strategies. We hope it inspires you to harness the power of ABM to drive substantial gains in your sales pipeline.

About Tofu:

Tofu provides a unified platform for creating hyper-personalized, omnichannel campaigns at scale that converts leads for B2B marketing teams. Tofu leverages your brand guidelines and segmentation (personas, industries, accounts, keywords) and uses generative AI to create unlimited variations of on-brand content for ads, emails, social, landing pages, blog posts, case studies, sales enablement, and any other content needs. We use insights and analytics to create a feedback loop that optimizes campaign performance and increases conversion on each channel.

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