In the next edition of Flippin’ Funnels, we’d like to highlight Jon Miller. Jon is currently the CEO and co-founder of Engagio and formerly co-founder of Marketo. Jon recently spoke at our #FlipMyFunnel San Francisco event and I was especially intrigued by his session because it explained how to truly measure account-based marketing (ABM). Something that I, and many other ABM practitioners, are trying to wrap our heads around.

You can view Jon’s video and our favorite flipping points below:

5:00 – When Engagio was started, they interviewed dozens of marketers and consistently heard that their biggest problem was the metrics they were using weren’t really working to measure ABM. The problem is these metrics are focused on people and not accounts. And as we all know, ABM is focused on accounts. Sales has always talked about accounts, and marketing has always talked about leads which creates a disconnect.

6:00 – Through his conversations, Jon realized ABM metrics needed to be more about quality than quantity. Marketers are really good at counting things and looking at vanity metrics. Jon did an ABM workshop just before the event and had 1400 registrants. While he was excited about that, what really mattered to him was getting the right accounts there.

7:00 – Another challenge of ABM is the length of time it takes to develop pipeline within a target account. It’s great to measure things like pipeline and revenue, but what if it takes a year to create that? How does one show success in the mean time? There needs to be different metrics to measure top of the funnel activity to show short-term success.

One of the most fundamental differences between traditional demand generation and account-based marketing, which is the smaller the deal size, the more transactional the account, the higher velocity the deal, the more meaningful it is for marketing to say, “I sourced that deal.” At Marketo, our demand-gen team was sourcing 80% or 90% of all the deals that the team was closing, especially in the early days. – Jon Miller

9:00 – As your deals become more and more complex, it becomes less meaningful for marketing to get attribution for sourcing the deal. At this stage, it is more important for marketing to show its ability to influence a deal, guide it forward, improve the win rate and improve the average selling price.

10:00 – Traditional marketing metrics put a great deal of emphasis on generating new business. But if you are a SaaS business, 80% of your revenue can come from renewals, cross-sell, upsell and account expansion.

11:00 – In account-based marketing, though, you’re not waiting around for the right person from the right company to swim into your net. You’re reaching out to them with a spear. Your metrics need to be more about, “How well did I reach out to and connect with the right person at the right company?” The metrics should be about looking at a long experience and being able to measure impact and influence across a long sales cycle. It’s about influencing pipeline and not creating it. It’s about measuring both sides of the bow tie, not just the new business. It’s about looking at reaching out to accounts and not waiting for them to come to you.

12:00 – Engagement is this word that has been banned in the marketing technology space for years. You are likely rolling your eyes at marketing vendors that talk about engagement. But there’s a reason why that word “engagement” keeps coming back in marketing, and that’s because it means something. A more engaged person, or a more engaged account, is going to be a better account. They’re going to be more likely to buy from you. They’re going to be more likely to refer new business and be advocates if they’re a current customer.

13:00 – The challenge with engagement is measurement. How do you measure how much an account is engaged? After a great deal of thought, Jon determined that “time” is a good way to determine how engaged an account is. While this is not a perfect measurement, it is a good proxy for how interested the account is in your brand.

You can measure time-based engagement by just tracking all the activities that a person spends with you. Do they open your emails? Maybe that counts as a minute. Do they come to a webinar? Maybe that’s 30 minutes. Do they spend a day with you at #FlipMyFunnel? That’s worth whatever number of minutes you want to assign to it. – Jon Miller

14:00 – Tracking time at the individual level is rather simple to accomplish. Rolling this up to the account-level is more challenging. Salesforce rolls contacts up to accounts, but not leads which makes it hard to get the full picture of engagement within an account.

15:00 – One approach to solving this challenge is by using domain matching. If you get a download from Jon@engagio.com and you know that Engagio’s website is engagio.com, then you can make a reasonable assumption that Jon probably works for Engagio. While it’s not a terrible strategy, it does give a lot of false positives and false negatives. Leadspace helps Engagio to sort out the leads they aren’t able to match through fuzzy logic.

17:00 – Jon reveals the Big Five Metrics for Account-Based Marketing. The first one is coverage. This metric tells you if you have the right people in your database for your target accounts. You can look at that by persona. If you know the specific roles and titles you need to win a deal, then you should be able to go look in your database to see if you know those people at those accounts. If you don’t, you’re not doing account-based marketing. You’ve got to know who they are to reach out to them.

If you are looking for a quick win in ABM and sales says, “Here’s my 100 target accounts,” and you go in and say, “We only have 27 of the right contacts for those accounts.” At the end of the quarter, you can go in and show them that you’ve filled out the account profiles for all those accounts. That’s your first win in ABM. “Hey, at least we know who the right people are now.” That’s coverage. – Jon Miller

18:00 – The second key metric is awareness. This measures how many of your target accounts know who you are. You can use the minutes metric to specify that awareness might mean more than zero minutes, more than two minutes, or whatever threshold you want to set. Activities that show awareness can be somebody visiting the website, opening an email, attending an event, or whatever else you feel is meaningful. By setting a minimum threshold, you can look at this list of 1,000 accounts that sales says they care about and show an upward trend in awareness. That’s your marketing success story number two, which is that more of the accounts your team agreed to care about know who you are.

19:00  – The third, and the one Jon calls the holy grail of ABM, is engagement. There are a lot of different types of engagement, but Jon stresses that the most important thing to think about is , “Are the right people from the right accounts spending time with your brand?” The other point to remember here is that it’s not just who is engaging with you, but also the trend of engagement.

Trying to measure account-based advertising using clicks is a terrible idea. At Marketo, when we measured advertising on a cost-per-click or a cost-per-action basis, it always looked bad compared to other marketing activities that we did. If you want to measure this advertising successfully, a better way to measure it is to ask “Are you increasing awareness and are you increasing engagement from those accounts?” It doesn’t matter if they click through the ad. Maybe they come to the site anyways, open your emails more often, or they come to an event and stop by your booth that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Looking at engagement over time is a key way to really know if your different account-based marketing activities are working. – Jon Miller

20:00 – In account-based marketing, it is important to have account-centric version a marketing qualified lead (MQL) , where you are able to set a threshold for when an account becomes a marketing qualified account (MQA). It should be based, not just on total engagement, or depth of engagement, but also breadth of engagement. Sometimes you want to know that before you call an account an MQA that the engagement is not all just coming from one person. More importantly, you want to have at least some level of activity from multiple people that matter.

21:00 – Jon took a break from talking measurement for a moment to make a higher level point. ABM comes in many different forms. Tier one is your classic ITSMA style account-based marketing where you create deep account profiles for each account, you treat each account as a market of one, and then you do custom bespoke one-to-one campaigns. This fully, highly personalized, highly individual style of ABM works great but it’s also hard to scale because it is about a lot of elbow grease involved in researching accounts. That’s going to work for your whale accounts and you might only have a handful of those.

22:00 – Tier two ABM is what some people call ABM lite. This is where you’ll still treat each account as an individual, know who the key people are, really understand their segmentation and their data, but your marketing will probably be one to few when reaching out to those accounts. Your tier three style is where you basically just do traditional marketing, but you’re targeting or segmentation is account-based. There’s not one style that is better than the other. Jon’s point was to make sure you pick the mix that is right for your organization.

24:00 – The idea of an MQA is necessary, or essential, if you’re doing tier three where you’re going after a big list of accounts and you want to know which ones light up. That’s where the MQA concept comes in. It’s somewhat important for tier two and it’s probably not that important for tier one. This is because you only have 10 accounts that you’re doing deep, deep individual research on and you’re going to know when they light up.

25:00 – The fourth metric for ABM is Program Reach. This is your early warning sign, or early signal, if your marketing programs are nets or spears. Another way of thinking about it, it’s the measurement that shows if you are reaching the people that count. Take a look at any given marketing program and ask yourself “What percentage of the successful interactions came from the right people at the right account?”

If I have 1,400 people register for my online event and 600 show up, what percentage of those 600 are directors or higher from target customers? That focus percentage is a great way to triage your programs to know, are you going after the right accounts? – Jon Miller

26:00 – The last metric is all about Program Impact or Influence. In ABM, there can be so many touches that sometimes looking at influence is a better measurement than attribution. When Jon refers to influences, he means correlation. It involves asking yourself “When I do one thing for ABM, what impact does it have on the sales outcome I care about?” Jon summarized the big five metrics (coverage, awareness, engagement, reach, and impact) with the helpful acronym of ICARE.

I loved Jon’s session and personally learned a ton that I can apply to my own account-based marketing programs. The ICARE metric makes it easy for B2B marketing professionals to remember and, hopefully, help report more meaningful results.


We’re hitting the road again, and this time, we are headed to Austin for the #FlipMyFunnel B2B Marketing and Sales Festival on June 7, 2016.

The theme of this event will be “Peace, Love and Funnel” and will be a celebration of challenging the status quo in B2B Marketing and Sales. Tickets are on sale now and we are offering special pricing for Smarketing teams. Promo code JMBLOG50 will save you 50% on your ticket.

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