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When B2B marketers think of account-based marketing, what first comes to mind is identifying target accounts and personalizing campaigns to engage key personas within those accounts. While these are important, this is all just part of the “land” phase: closing new customers.

What often goes overlooked is the importance of the “expand” phase—doing marketing to existing customers to make sure that more people on the customer side are actively using and getting value from your product or service. According to a report by analyst firm, TOPO, two of the greatest benefits of account-based marketing compared traditional marketing are: overall lifetime value (LTV) and upsells and cross-sells.


Accurately measuring new business (the “land” phase) in an ABM world is pretty sophisticated itself—it requires granular omni-channel tracking, measurement from anonymous first touch to closed-won, and tracking account journeys rather than separate individual journeys. If you’re not there yet, here is a primer on ABM analytics.

If you are doing customer marketing, it’s important to be able to accurately measure that, too. Just as your marketing organization shouldn’t be seen as a cost center, customer marketing shouldn’t, either.

So, how does one go about measuring the impact of their marketing beyond the first closed-won opportunity? How do you measure the revenue performance of marketing aimed at customers?


Attribution for upgrades

Before we even get to post-closed-won measurement, it’s critical that your attribution solution can even measure and attribute revenue credit beyond the opportunity stage. This means at the very least, a full path model.

And as we move beyond closed-won to the upgrade opportunity (I’m going to call the first opportunity “new business”), this mini-journey should start at the opportunity stage.

Why not the first touch or the lead creation touch? Great question.

In attribution models for new business, the first touch receives credit because that marketing touchpoint broke through the noise and created awareness for the very first time. This, clearly, is not applicable to upgrades where awareness is already established.

The lead creation touch, then, is important in the new business journey because that’s when the prospect raises their hand. They are identifying themselves as interested and are willing to give up their contact information in exchange for more in-depth, personalized content. When it comes to the upgrade, the prospect has already raised their hand and has kept their hand raised throughout the entire new business customer journey.

This leads us to the third and next major life cycle stage, the opportunity. At the opportunity stage, the prospect becomes interested in specific products and features. They’re requesting live demos and negotiating the specifics in the contract. When it comes to upgrades, all of these activities happen once again.

When starting the upgrade process, you’re back at the opportunity stage.

So where does this leave us? What does the journey look like?


First Touch > Lead Creation > Opportunity Creation > Closed-Won > Opportunity 2 (upgrade) Creation > Closed-Won > Opportunity 3 (upgrade) Creation > Closed-Won

Let’s say that the first deal is worth $100k and subsequent upgrades are worth an additional $25k each.

Assuming a full path model, the attribution would go something like this:

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 2.50.04 PM

As you can see here, customer marketing gets the revenue credit it deserves in upgrade deals.

With an attribution solution built for ABM measurement, combined with accurate measurement in creating referrals on other new business deals, customer marketing has the opportunity to demonstrate significant revenue generation.

Why is revenue measurement important?

The ability to accurately measure the complete revenue impact of customer marketing means a few significant things. First, it means that they can align with the sales and customer success teams, who are also aligned to revenue. When teams are aligned by the same metrics, they’re incentivized to work together, creating a better and more cohesive experience for the customer.

And second, it means that the customer marketing team, and therefore the CMO, can plan for revenue. When you can demonstrate revenue, it’s much easier to justify larger budgets and head counts. That’s because the CEO, the CFO, the CRO, and the board plan and think in terms of revenue. So coming to the table with activity metrics or increased customer engagement may earn more budget; showing concrete revenue numbers definitely will.

Ultimately, with accurate revenue measurement, customer marketing can demonstrate that it isn’t a nice-to-have; rather, it is a need-to-have.