As our marketing team here at Bizible has transitioned to a more ABM-centric marketing strategy, we’ve been experimenting with various ABM tactics, including changing our LinkedIn ad strategy to an ABM-focused one. This past month, we continued to experiment with different ABM campaigns by launching our first account-based mailer campaign.
We sought to reach marketing executives at target companies by sending special boxes full of goodies straight to their desk. Here’s how we did it, as well as the results of the campaign and what we learned.
CMO Mailer Execution
To start, we worked with the sales team to create a list of target accounts in each of our sales reps’ territories. Target accounts were decided by some basic criteria: they were good fits (‘A’ grade accounts) in the top of the marketing funnel. Within those target accounts, we targeted CMO or senior-level marketers.
In parallel to creating the list of target accounts, we planned out the contents of our custom branded boxes. On the outside of the box was messaging (“Something sweet and something smart”), a book targeted at senior level marketers (The CMO’s Guide to B2B Marketing Attribution), custom branded Theo chocolates (local, fair trade, organic, and delicious!), a testimonial card from a current customer, and a handwritten note from a BDR -- all pulled together with crinkle paper in Bizible teal so that the content of the box would make it through the mail unscathed.
When deciding what should go in the box, there were a number of things to keep in balance: we wanted to the box to feel special, but not too grand; have something with business value (educational book on attribution), and a real gift that they could enjoy (high quality chocolate). And finally, the box and the content inside had to be pretty scalable.
Then, we packed the boxes assembly line style, printed the mailing labels, and had them picked up by FedEx. We then timed our outbound campaign (email and call sequence) to coincide when the boxes arrived on our special recipients’ desks.
Offline ABM Measurement
The execution is important, but what really makes this effort effective is the campaign measurement, which allows us to iterate and continue to make our mailer campaigns increasingly impactful on the business metrics that matter.
So from a measurement perspective, we added each of the recipients to a campaign (offline marketing attribution!) in Salesforce so that we can treat the box as a touchpoint for attribution. As a touchpoint, the box can be measured identically to the rest of our marketing channels and can be compared side-by-side with our online efforts like paid search and social, as well as our offline efforts like interacting at a conference booth.
Because we have omni-channel attribution, we can look at the results with confidence. Here they are:
15% of the senior-level marketers engaged with either our emails or outbound calls and many more passed us along to other marketers at their organization
About 4% of the (previously top-of-funnel) accounts turned into opportunities
Pipeline value created was 8x the cost of the boxes
However, when it comes to measuring the complete success of ABM efforts, much of it is over the long haul. Maybe two months down the road, we will see that these accounts converted at a higher rate, or converted faster than accounts that didn’t. Maybe we’ll find that accounts that received our CMO box are more likely to pick up the phone when our outbound sales team calls or are more likely to download an ebook from our website.
While the execution can sometimes be a challenge for us digital marketers, we learned that offline ABM campaigns have the ability to be an effective part of the marketing mix. More specifically, we learned about the planning and execution process (selecting the right accounts, working with pick-up and delivery services, assembly line production, etc.) as well as coordinating online efforts with offline (timing sequences with delivery).
Offline marketing offers a nice change of pace compared to blog posts, webinars, social media, and other digital channels, which gives it a chance to stand out from the noise when executed well. However, it’s vital that offline efforts be measured and held to the same standard as online efforts so that smart media mix decisions can be made.
Without that omni-channel, multi-touch attribution component, it would have been nearly impossible to measure the ROI with any degree of accuracy. There would be no way to tell whether the box is what caused the impact or if it was any of our other marketing efforts that coincided with it. But because the box is treated as a touchpoint just like any other effort, we are able to see how it fit within the customer journey and attribute the accurate percentage of revenue it had an impact on.
Based on the measurement, we’re confident that we can continue to test different ABM campaigns (e.g. sending boxes to opportunities instead of leads) and accurately compare the success.