B2B marketing orgs that are launching their companies into account-based marketing are forward-thinking marketing enthusiasts who care a lot about targeting. Predictive ABM analytics take a typical ABM strategy a step further. These insights allow marketers to use real-time data to inform current campaigns, based on forecasts for the future of those strategies.
Organizations across the globe are counting the cost and realizing the high ROI of predictive analytics, and account-based marketers are no exception.
What are the steps to adopting a predictive ABM strategy? How do predictive technologies fit within ABM? As there are stages to most every strategy adoption process, there are steps to adopting ABM predictive analytics as well.
Treat the items outlined below as a sort of “organizational readiness checklist” for adopting ABM predictive analytics. Each element in the list will be covered below.
Organizational Readiness Checklist Predictive ABM Analytics
The adoption process might occur in a different order for different firms, but generally, this is the order of changes that a demand generation team implements when adapting their strategy to include predictive ABM analytics.
[ ] MARTECH FOUNDATION
Marketing Automation Program
Optimization Technology (A/B testing, content platform, etc.)
[ ] ATTRIBUTION SOLUTION
Omnichannel tracking (online and offline)
Integration with the CRM
[ ] ABM STRATEGY
Org uses a master target account list
Org has clearly defined account grades
Org knows how different personas influence the buying journey
[ ] ADOPTION OF PREDICTIVE ABM ANALYTICS
Marketers understand the impact of predictive insights.
Marketing operations personnel understand and are prepared for predictive implementation.
Content marketers have an ABM-focused mindset.
Directors understand how strategy iterations will be directed by predictive data.
There is a high value placed on marketing and sales alignment across both teams.
[ x ] Martech Foundation
Two foundational martech capabilities are helpful when a company seeks to move toward predictive ABM analytics.
It’s important for a marketing automation program to be in place and integrated with other technologies, especially the company’s CRM. If you’ll notice, there’s a strong theme for data integration across tech platforms, as this serves to facilitate data hygiene and marketing planning.
It’s recommended that B2B marketing teams take advantage of optimization solutions, such as A/B testing, content platforms, and other targeting solutions, in order to gain granular insights into buying behaviors. This will help with the ABM engagement process, and it serves as a great baseline for a later-adopted predictive approach.
[ x ] Attribution solution integrated with the CRM
Seeing which precise marketing initiatives are converting to revenue forms the basis for adopting ABM predictive analytics. Not only does an attribution solution track all marketing channels (both online and offline), but it should also be integrated with your CRM. This enables a comprehensive display of all key marketing touchpoints within the same system (the CRM).
Attribution Forms the Basis for Predictive ABM Analytics
Advanced attribution solutions perform lead-to-account mapping, displaying marketing touchpoints by account. This feature allows B2B marketers to see how the account is progressing through the marketing and sales funnel. Without an attribution solution in place that can be integrated with predictive analytics, there’s no granular data that can be used to predict future engagement.
An attribution solution automatically prepares B2B marketing orgs for predictive ABM analytics because the data is already there. If all contacts are (a) already tracked across all channels and (b) mapped to their respective accounts — over half of the job is already done. Predictive ABM analytics run on the basis of attribution tracking and lead-to-account mapping.
[ x ] ABM Strategy
Before predictive ABM analytics can be utilized, a company needs to have a targeted ABM strategy in place.
 Target Account List
First, they have a master target account list of the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of collected accounts that the organization intends to target.
 Account Grades
This list is dispersed into grades, based on firmographic qualifications. Usually, additional martech is needed to develop these qualifiers and mark each account with a grade.
 Persona Insights
ABM marketers need to have a thorough understanding of their personas. They should know which personas are most influential along the buying journey so they can create the most effective nurturing processes. Most companies find that their accounts require an average number of personas to be engaged before an account is ready to make a purchase decision. In the case of the account above, the salesperson might have waited until three personas had engaged (Kathleen, Arthur, and Leslie) before reaching out to Tony with the outbound call.
Once a baseline ABM strategy contains all of these elements — account list, grades, and persona insights — account-based marketers are prepared to use predictive ABM analytics.
[ x ] Adoption of Predictive ABM Analytics
For companies anticipating venturing into predictive analytics (which is 89% of B2B marketers, according to Forbes) it’s important to have organizational buy-in and technical preparation from everyone involved. This will ensure the transition is smooth and everyone involved understands how predictive insights will change how they form strategy, iterate current strategy, and evaluate past strategy.
Organizational buy-in for predictive ABM analytics
Marketing operations should understand the role of predictive analytics and be prepared to integrate new martech as needed. Content marketers should ensure they have engaging content for every funnel stage and be ready to evaluate the types and timing of their content offers based on predictive insights. Directors should be prepared to constantly evaluate their account-based marketing tactics and be willing to tweak their roadmaps and marketing plans accordingly.
Predictive analytics also extend to the sales team — the data influences how and when they reach out to account contacts, whether those touches are nurture-based or cold outreach. A strong value of sales and marketing alignment is necessary in order for a team to grasp the full potential of predictive marketing.
Predictive analytics through an advanced attribution solution
ABM predictive analytics are the most effective then they’re implemented through an attribution solution. Bizible’s Predictive Account Engagement Scoring capability, for instance, uses past and current data on an account to produce a “predictive account engagement score,” which cues marketers and salespeople to take certain actions, depending on the score.
As an example of predictive ABM analytics, here’s a demo screenshot of Bizible’s Predictive ABM Dashboard, which shows a plethora of helpful reports based on attribution data.
(click to enlarge)
Predictive ABM analytics and reporting
The entire team will also need to advance their reporting norms. Predictive engagement scores add new metrics to weekly / monthly reports. ABM marketers can fold these predictive insights into their revenue-based reporting. Additionally, ABM dashboards within the attribution solution (similar to the one above) can be used to keep tabs on real time account engagement.
These predictive ABM analytics create a B2B marketing system that is highly targeted, informed by data, and most importantly — effective at generating revenue.
Author: Lauren Frye
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This article originally appeared on Pipeline Marketing Blog and has been republished with permission.
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