Are marketers doing one thing yet measuring another?

Marketers: Are you doing one thing but measuring another? The latest report from my friends Kerry Cunningham and Sara Boostani (Frazier), M.S. at 6sense Research suggests you might be:

78% of marketers have adopted account-based marketing (ABM). However, more than 2/3rds are still tracking MQLs and “marketing-sourced” opportunities (Opps), which are contact-based performance measures. This is despite the fact that many have adopted ABM because the businesses they target buy software “by committee,” not “by individual.”

Instead, most marketers should use account-based measures. However, just 43% of marketers track opportunities, 38% pipe, and 25% deals won following ABM qualification. (Even ABMers don’t do much better at 48%, 39%, and 28%, respectively.)

ABM has existed for more than two decades: Why are marketers still doing one thing and measuring another?

  • Outdated measurement techniques. Marketers still rely mainly on first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution: 46%, 46%, and 42% of respondents–respectively–reported using these old, contact-based methodologies. Just 27% use statistical modeling.
  • Limited reporting tools. Relatedly, 2/3rds of respondents said they use a CRM for reporting. This is about double those who said they use other tools (i.e., BI, home-grown, attribution software, and MAPs). Only 15% reported using an ABM/X tool to measure their performance.

What should marketers who haven’t yet evolved their measurement practices do?

  1. Profile your buyer: Is their purchase driven by one person? Or is it a group decision?
  2. If the latter, measure Opps, Pipe, and Deals you drive within target accounts enrolled in campaigns. Compare it to the performance of accounts that aren’t. (Don’t worry about attribution yet: “share the scoreboard” with Sales.)
  3. Change your “upper-funnel” metrics–such as individual MQLs and Leads–to intent, engagement, and contact coverage within the buying center (a.k.a. “persona/power maps”).
  4. When you’re ready, introduce statistical modeling tools that surface which parts of your Sales-Marketing tactical mix predicted opp creation, pipeline, and closed-won.

Thanks to Kerry, Sara, Latané Conant (she/her), and the 6sense crew for the insightful view into how marketers’ approach to measurement lags behind their approach to the market. See the full report on 6sense’s blog.

Jared Brickman

Jared Brickman is Senior Director of the Marketing Center of Excellence at leading software investor Insight Partners, where he advises CMOs of the firm’s 500+ portfolio companies on how to go-to-market. Learn More →

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