ABM

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

What should I measure in Marketing?

As I mentioned in a previous post, as a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’  Let’s dive deeper into ideas of what to actually measure.

We typically see two models depending on whether you are trying to take business decisions from measurement OR if you are trying to ‘account’ (or justify) marketing investment.

Model 1 – CEO/Board reporting

  • If your board of directors or CEO are interested in marketing reporting, they are going to care a lot about cost of acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies. Lifetime value is also a valuable metric to consider when it comes time for acquisition costs – in a SaaS model, measuring lifetime value by cohorts can be helpful.  These are typically manual measurements vs. system measurements.
  • The cost of customer acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies is a manual calculation vs. a system calculation yet is very valuable for board level reporting. This acquisition can be more valuable if done by cohorts.
    • It goes without saying the CAC to LTV ratio from the above figures is also worth showing a trend on.
  • In the maturing stage of a SaaS company (i.e. beyond 7 years old), they’ll eventually want to see a decrease in total marketing investment relative to that of revenues – ideally revenues should be climbing at a significantly faster rate at that point relative to that of marketing investment.
  • Measuring performance in cohort retention in SaaS models are a must do – but again need context. Often times we’ll hear of 90% annual retention rate celebrated yet if you look at the cohort retention rate over say a 3 year or more span, the retention rate in cohort will average more like 66%.  Marketing has a huge upside in influencing retention in these longer cohort areas as a small change in retention adds to a substantial bottom line improvement; however, most marketers have very little incentive to invest their time here vs. acquisition.  This is where looking at compensation plans is critical.

Model 2 – Head of Sales/ Marketing Reporting

  • Sales may be more interested in what you in marketing are sourcing although in our experiences, this conversation can be tricky with a head of sales because you are ‘accounting’ for how a deal gets sourced – be careful with this one politically!
  • For those Account Based Marketing fans, Account engagement could be another CEO or Sales metric to measure – we’re seeing that boards of directors in SaaS companies are not yet asking for this metric, yet for an account based strategy, it is a leading indication of success.
    • Account engagement can be measured a number of ways or tiers – from an account with a contact that has some level of engagement beyond an email open (for example, download, webinar attendance, booth visit, demo – a ‘success’ metric’).
    • It can also be measured as an open stage 0 or stage 1 opportunity against the account, preceded by some period of time with a campaign attached to the contact related to the opportunity.
  • If you are measuring a lead based approach, there can be a variety of models to consider – first touch, last touch, and multi-touch are the most common.
  • Multi-touch attribution is best handled by 3rd party software in addition to you your marketing automation platform and CRM system. For multi-touch attribution, there are a variety of models to consider – even touch across all points, a W touch model, or you can with some software packages rank/rate the touches based on frequency.
    • In our client base, we have experienced vendors like Full Circle, Bizible, Terminus, LeanData, Engagio, and Calibermind to name a few.  Each have its strengths and weaknesses.
    • We also see Tableau or a visual tool layered ontop of an SQL database.
    • Lastly, Excel which has been around since the 1800s is also a tool we see deployed (just seeing if anyone actually reads these posts lol).

What are you measuring in Marketing today and how are you measuring it?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

First of a 2 part series. 

As a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’   The temptation is to race right to the visual presentation level of dashboards.   However, it’s best to start with getting context.

While it’s probably the right question to ask, it’s often a difficult question to answer without context.  However, there are usually common questions to consider on the journey to this answer.

  1. Let’s start with the first one – what is your reporting objective?

There are two typical models of reporting objectives – first is to make business decisions from the reporting, the second is to make Marketing as a function that is accountable for their impact.

Our next article will dive more deeply into what to actually measure.

  1. What role are you in?

This can be complex – if you are ‘doing the work’ vs. ‘delegating the work’ there is a tendency in our clients of ‘doers’ to provide vanity metrics to their boss – web page visits, clicks, downloads.   ‘Doers’ that get promoted make that vanity metric connection to business impact – retention rates, new revenue growth, etc.  ‘Doers’ that also ask to get their compensation tied to pipeline performance are ahead of the curve relative to their peer set.  If you are the ‘C’ level leader of Marketing, the next post will dive into what exactly to measure from a business impact perspective.

  1. Who owns Salesforce?

This is a key question because getting marketing attribution done right relies on Salesforce process and methodology.   If marketing is the ‘owner’ which we find in about 30% of the cases, the ability to orchestrate change is much easier.  As a ‘guest’ in Salesforce, you then rely on others to help you execute that change.   Dashboarding inside or outside of salesforce could also be a function of who owns it and where is the information most credible.  We typically recommend dashboarding inside Salesforce.

  1. What state is your data in?

With data decaying at 3%/month due to people changing jobs (in a good economy!), a database without governance is like ordering a year’s worth of milk supply at your home thinking you will be good forever on your milk diet.  Data is at the heart of sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, and inside sales effectiveness – so much productivity is lost here because ‘no one owns the data’.  This is a critical function that also drives attribution.  So it’s prudent when measuring to know the exact state of your data.  We often recommend creating a dashboard for this data.

  1. What is your selling motion?

Are you a transactional sale?  An enterprise sale?  A sale involving partners?  A sale that has cold to qualify with a BDR function?  Each of these has dramatically different attribution needs and/or use cases in measurement.

 

What are you seeing as common questions or issues in measuring marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Myths of Account Based Marketing

I recently compared notes with Kelvin Gee, Sr. Director of Modern Marketing Business Transformation at Oracle, on myth’s on Account Based Marketing.  Even though Oracle owns Eloqua, his points are quite valid across any size company using any automation platform.

  • Kelvin: The first myth is that account-based is only for big accounts, and while that might be true, that’s where the account-based is most intense, with the data and processing technologies today we can scale account-based all the way down to pyramid. So not just the tip of the pyramid but the middle layer and the bottom layer. So account-based at scale is what we’re trying to prove out today.
    • Jon’s opinion: Kelvin makes a great point for non-transactional, b2b purchases, in theory ABM can extend throughout the funnel.  The challenge is scaling in a personalized way throughout the funnel, as well as prioritizing the most meaningful accounts in the funnel.

  • Kelvin: The second myth is that account-based is just a tactic. Sometimes people think that, oh if we just run an executive event or dinner for particular account, that’s account-based, but no, account-based is actually a strategy, a fundamentally different way of how marketers do business and it takes a different approach in terms of who you’re focused on, the tactics that are in play, the orchestration with the sales and then how you measure your stuff is completely different. So that’s why it’s really a strategy and not just a series of tactics.
    • Jon’s opinion: another great point here by Kelvin and one where we see a number of other outside agencies ‘muddying up’ the tactics of ABM vs. defining a true ABM strategy.  Thinking through the right plays and right treatment for types of accounts is a much different thought process than executing a tactic.

 

  • Kelvin: The last myth is that most people call it ABM, and what we’re trying to do is change the nomenclature internally because if we just say account-based marketing or ABM, sales will just think, it’s just another marketing campaign, it’s the campaign of the month or campaign of the day and again, if account-based is truly a strategy that aligns different parts of the organization including sales and customer success teams, as well as other parts of the organization, service as well, we can’t call it account-based marketing, because it implies only one part of the house and it just reinforces the fact that this is another campaign and we don’t wanna do that so we’re fundamentally calling it account-based or account-based strategy, so those are three myths that we’re trying to debunk here at Oracle.
    • Jon’s opinion: the definition of ‘account based’ can vary wildly by company.  It’s wise to get sales and marketing in a room to really define what the account based definition is, what the treatment is, and what the expectations are.  Measurement helps, too.

 

What kinds of myths are you busting?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Boston Marketo User Group – June Summary

Here are my notes from the June Boston Marketo User Group.  It’s a terrific user group having attended a few others on the east coast (DC, NYC, ATL), Boston seems to have the lead on making a great user group experience.

Thomas Zimmerman, Localytics

  • Compared the Marketo summit session topics and year over year summit performance
    • Lead Gen and Lead Lifecycles are ‘dead’ content wise vs. discussions around ABM and how to measure ABM (see below).
    • Underlying concern around budget and the ability to invest in new technologies – planning to use those technologies was a key conversation ahead of making the purchase of those technologies.
    • In slide two below (Buzzwords Y/Y), the percentage change is in topics year over year – so 0% represents no change in total topic count year over year.

 

MJ Hahn, Op Focus

  • Discussion around how companies could measure Sirius 2.0 waterfall
    • Discussed a SiriusDecisions measurement model in Salesforce that was persona driven where marketing creates the opportunity (which has process implications), avoids leads object altogether, and manages opportunity process through conversion
      • There was some customization to Salesforce but the SFDC customization was not entirely clear – eg. contact roles, related lists, custom objects, etc.
      • The discussion sounded like a ‘poor man’s’ Engagio implementation using a customized SFDC approach with weighted scores based on prospect sales and marketing engagement, difficult to tell how the model scales on score or persona change (e.g. do you need to manually update new scores?) but an intriguing model nonetheless.
    • Observation from Boston Marketo User Group leader – since Sirius 2.0 waterfall is new and typical sales cycles are 6-18 months long in B2B, the case studies at summit were basically implementation only, none spoke about actual ROI or results yet – but they expect at next year’s summit to start seeing results.

Jon Russo, B2B Fusion

  • Discussion around framework for ABM that was discussed at the Marketo Summit.
    • Starting point – baseline assessment
  • 5 key issues of ABM and MarTech we see in our engagements:
    • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Not hiring the right internal and external talent

 

Very few audience members had used intent data (2 in audience of 50) – a function the audience said of not having a clear enough need or the budget to execute on it, though most agreed the concept sounded interesting and relevant.

Of the 5 key issues, the topic of talent seemed to be the most challenging aspect many enterprises face.

Summary from BMUG Leaders:  Paul Green, Jody Spencer

Overall observations on Marketo Summit and SiriusDecisions Summit:

  • Reporting and analytics – there are not that many companies that figured out.
    • No one has Sirius funnel 2.0 figured out.
  • There aren’t a lot of companies embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the feeling was AI is so over-hyped.  One audience member was using Conversica to handle lead responses.  Marketo has content AI.  Audience AI in Marketo.
by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Top 5 MarTech & ABM Challenges for Marketing Leaders

At the 2018 Marketo Summit (#MKTGnation), we covered five common mistakes for MarTech and Account Based Marketing (ABM) deployments.

If you don’t have time to watch the embedded video, this is a ‘tweetable’ summary of each bullet point of our findings.

We began with some background.   Not every company uses the words ‘ABM’ but many companies are on a journey of account based selling and marketing.  Then we jumped into each of the five points below.

  • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Most companies have a ‘fear of missing out’, react, buy technology, realize that none of integrates.
    • Like a gym membership, people think having a gym membership (ABM technology) gets you in revenue shape (ABM strategy).  In reality, you need personal trainers to accelerate your progress with your gym membership.  Technology is not a strategy.
    • There are common elements of ABM deployments:  assessments, strategy, targeting, measurement, and XDR cadences.
  • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Define your ideal customer profile based on qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Bounce it up against total addressable market and technologies to derive TAM.
    • Assess your data completeness at the account and lead level.
  • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Account intent can be valuable when used for a personalized outreach.
    • Intent requires careful keyword selection and integration into business process.
  • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Defining the customer experience on ABM is key.
    • Account disposition treatment is a critical arrangement across sales & marketing.
  • Not hiring the right internal and external talent
    • Internal talent needs to be well rounded across sales, inside sales, marketing, XDRs.
    • External talent needs to be a virtual extension of your team, agile, knowledgeable.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the sharpest audience issue that was felt was surprisingly the talent side of things – finding the right partners to augment the skills internally.  Initially, I would have thought Data as the #1 issue.

What trends are you seeing in Account Based Marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Account Based Everything – Podcast

Devon McDonald, a Partner at OpenView Venture Capital spoke with me on a recent podcast on Account Based Marketing best practices.  Our conversation covered areas of how to get even more out of your ABM people, process, & technology investments based on our experiences to date.

Here is a helpful checklist summarizing that discussion and assumes the organization has already defined and agreed upon what the term ‘account based marketing’ means to them.   

 

  • ABM Roadmap to align Sales, Marketing & Executives

 

    • Strategy:  who is the ideal customer profile (ICP), what does he/she need?
    • Data:  how are leads connected to accounts?
    • Programs:  how customized is the content for the ICP?
    • Technology: what is the right mix of tools to enable your strategy across sales and marketing teams.

 

 

 

  • Developing an ABM strategy for long term success
    • Organizational ABM Framework:  are the key stakeholders defined and a roadmap for launching and optimizing ABM over the next 18 months?
    • Defined KPIs:  what are the key metrics essential to track during the early, mid, and late phases of your ABM program?
    • Pilot program:  what is your gameplan around creating a pilot program?

 

  • Baseline performance to set organizational expectations

 

    • Systems Health:  are existing systems supporting the right strategy and maximum capacity?   
    • Data Status:  are your account and contact universe complete?
    • Conversion and/or Business Process:  how will you treat accounts across sales and marketing?

 

  • Measure for impact & improvement

 

    • Data – what are the metrics around your target account profiles?
    • Data – what is the current state of account and contact data completeness?
    • What account waterfall metrics are applicable to your historical lead based model?

 

  • Lead Generation/Prospecting with ABM Accounts

 

    • Frequency:  how have you optimized for frequency?
    • Message:  what value add are you creating in each interaction?
    • Account intelligence:  how are you capturing intelligence around your target accounts?

 

  • People

 

    • Internal – are the right team skills in place?
      • Marketing
      • Sales
      • xDR
    • External agencies – agile?  Understand ABM & Systems?

Be sure to check out the full podcast here!

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 4.  Lessons Learned in an Account-Based Approach (ABA)

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In our industry conversations and experiences with over 100+ Account based deployments, we find that many marketers, particularly SaaS companies or large enterprises, believe they’re “already doing account based marketing.” When we dig a little deeper to uncover what that means, we find it means their progress is very different for a lot of companies.

 

(See article on MarTech Advisor)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 3. What kind of talent is required for ABM success?

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

As Gartner recently pointed out in their October 2017 survey, nearly half of all discretionary marketing spend is dedicated toward internal people or external agency support.

In today’s series, we’ll talk about key resources needed to successfully pull off an ABM strategy to build on our earlier ABM posts of when to create a strategy and how to convince stakeholders of the strategy.

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 2 – How to convince stakeholders ABA is worth doing.

 

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In Part 1 of our series, we talked about when an Account Based Approach (ABA) should be embarked upon.  In today’s piece, we’ll talk about how to enlist stakeholders that ABA is worth doing.

 

Account-Based Marketing or selling can not happen only within the Marketing department, which makes it very challenging for those of you in cultures that need to prove success out before embarking in a larger initiative. You need executive support, as well as the support of your peers in sales.

 

(Click on the link above for the rest of the article as published in MarTech advisor!)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 1 – When is Account Based Marketing needed?

 

As Published in MarTech Advisor

 

We have all heard the buzz; Account-Based Marketing, Account Based Selling, Account Based Revenue, Account Based Everything…the acronyms are plentiful.  I’ll add one more to the mix.

 

An account based approach (ABA) represents an omni-channel coordinated sales and marketing approach, one that reinforces B2B sales and marketing fundamentals, but more hyper-targeted than in times past.  It includes very personalized and customized experiences across ANY automation tool for sales AND marketing.   Analysts are catching onto this trend:

 

(See MarTech Advisor for full article)