How to make analytics work for your account-based marketing

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At the second Annual Marketing Innovation Summit for B2B, organized and hosted by Demandbase, an advertising and personalization company, attendees learned key components to how a B2B firm can excel with an account-based marketing (ABM) approach.  Data is the top factor in such a strategy. B2B analytics are built on three pillars: visitor segments, website goals and content groups, according to Wendy Johnson, senior customer success manager at Demandbase.

Of these three pillars, the most critical component is visitor segments. Focus on those companies that matter to you, Johnson recommended. Where these three pillars coincide lie the opportunities to attract, engage and convert B2B prospects into customers. Or as Johnson said, “Where the pillars overlap is where the magic happens.” Perform an attraction analysis and make sure web site visitors engage with company content and convert into leads, Johnson added.

When B2B marketers look at their visitor segments, they are looking at aggregated data, Johnson said. However, when they try to increase some data point, it’s meaningless because “you are optimizing to the average,” Johnson said in reference to aggregated data representing the median statistics of all website viewers. Instead, B2B marketers are better off just looking at the activity of those segments they care about. “Optimize the web site for them,” Johnson reminded the San Francisco conference. Optimize the website for your named accounts, she says.

For the remainder of Johnson’s presentation, she concentrated on the five top reports in analyzing B2B website activity in an ABM program: Visitor composition, company activity, channel preference, content engagement and conversions.

Visitor composition. Visitor composition reports primarily analyze sessions and users, with secondary emphasis on bounces, duration and goals. With this information, B2B marketers can break down site traffic by top segments, determine if the site drives revenue and gain insight to adjust campaigns to attract and engage better. For example, overall, webinars could look attractive, but the financial services segment might prefer white papers. So you should surface white papers for this segment, Johnson added.

Company activity. Company activity reports allow B2B marketers to analyze which top companies are on the website, and which key accounts visit but are hidden opportunities and baselining for segmentation.

Channel preferences: In the channel preference report, B2B marketers can see which channels work to drive traffic to the website. Johnson advised to use it to optimize the channel mix. For example, marketers can tell if email drives traffic and display ads don’t work, and if they should reallocate display spend.

Content engagement. For content engagement reporting, B2B marketers should focus on web pages that show the most activity. Optimize the content on those pages, Johnson stressed. Here, the page entrance rate is important. In that case, personalize content on the entrance page, and the account-based dimension should be pulled in.

Conversion. Conversion reports are the easiest way to show conversion performance. They display the conversion activity for defined goals and which goals are being completed. For example, they could reveal that your targeted companies are going to gated landing pages, but they are not filling out the fulfillment forms for some reason.

For more of our coverage of the B2B Summit, go here.

Photo by Derek Handova

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Derek Handova

Derek Handova

Derek Handova is a veteran journalist writing on various B2B vertical beats. He started out as associate editor of Micro Publishing News, a pioneer in coverage of the desktop publishing space and more recently as a freelance writer for Digital Journal, Economy Lead (finance and IR beats) and Intelligent Utility (electrical transmission and distribution beats).
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