Because the ROI of customer marketing often comes much further down the line, many B2B marketing teams struggle to measure the success of their customer marketing campaigns.
But ROI isn’t the only indicator of customer marketing success. When you take an account-based approach to customer marketing, your marketing and customer success teams will focus on customer satisfaction, expanding your reach to more key contacts at your customer accounts, and driving more revenue from existing customers.
Use this guide to understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs) you should really be using to measure the success of your account-based customer marketing campaigns.
Customer Marketing Success Metrics for Subscription-Based B2B Companies
First things first: you’ll need to get together with your customer success team. If your marketing and customer success teams haven’t traditionally worked side-by-side, it’s time to make a change.
Chances are, both your customer success and marketing teams are already tracking metrics that focus on customer accounts. It’s time to get on the same page and work together to focus on the same KPIs.
Customer marketing success metrics for account-based marketing include:
Product Usage by Account
This KPI, which primarily applies to SaaS companies, can be measured in a few different ways. You should measure both the level of engagement users have with your product and the number of engaged users.
In most cases, of course, the more your product is being used, the better. Increased product adoption measured by the number of active users per account is also a useful metric to track. Think about it like this: if you only have one or two end users at each customer account, what will happen if those individuals change roles or leave the organization? You’ll have to sell your product to the same company all over again, either literally or figuratively.
You can calculate your churn rate in terms of both revenue and number of customer accounts. Evergage explains how to calculate both types of churn in this blog post.
While an annual churn rate of 7% or under is acceptable for most B2B companies, best-in-class SaaS providers actually have net negative churn — meaning they’re generating enough revenue from new customers, rejoined customers, and expansions to offset attrition.
The flipside of churn rate is renewal rate, which you can measure in terms customer retention rate and dollar retention rate.
Customer rejoins — also referred to as reactivations, win-backs, and a number of other terms — are an important way to measure the success of your business. It’s easier to win back old customers than to acquire new ones, so it only makes sense to put resources into turning churned customers backinto customers and measuring how successful your efforts are.
No doubt your sales team is already measuring your MRR (monthly recurring revenue) and ARR (annual recurring revenue). But do your marketing and customer success teams feel responsible for those numbers? They should. With account-based marketing, every team is held accountable for revenue, so everyone on your sales, marketing, and customer success teams should understand these metrics and how they contribute to them.
Studies show that many B2B companies are miscalculating their monthly and annual recurring revenue numbers. This explanation from ProfitWell is a great resource to help you accurately measure your MRR and ARR.
ACV (average contract value) measures how much the average customer pays you per contract period — usually 12 months. One goal of customer marketing, of course, is to increase the ACV of your current customer accounts.
Referrals are a customer marketer’s secret weapon. According to Edelman, 84% of B2B companies begin the buying process with a referral. You should measure the number and percentage of new customers that are influenced in part by a customer referral.
Track the number or percentage of positive reviews on platforms like G2Crowd, the Salesforce AppExchange, and industry-specific review sites. You can enlist your customer success team to encourage customer reviews, or you can leverage client advocacy software to drive reviews.
Engagement with Content
Content engagement can be measured in two ways: the number of accounts engaging with marketing content and the number of individuals per account that are engaging. If these numbers are low, either you’re not creating the right content for your clients or you’re not doing a good job distributing that content.
Engagement with Ads
If you’re running digital ad campaigns targeted at specific customer accounts, you’ll want to track the levels of engagement with your ads on a per-account basis. This is especially important when you’re running a cross-sell, upsell, or renewal campaign using online advertisements.
If your support team uses a help desk ticketing system, you should be tracking the number and type of support tickets that come in and how quickly they’re being resolved. Not only will this highlight the efficiency of your support team, it will also provide you with insight into what your customers are struggling with and what topics you should create additional content around.
In addition, tracking support tickets at the account level will allow you to see which customers require the most help and resources and therefore determine what types of accounts may not be a great fit for your product.
Customer Marketing KPIs to Wow Your C-Suite
All of the above metrics are important for your marketing and customer success teams to track, but your executive team probably doesn’t need to hear how many new reviews your product gets on a weekly basis.
Instead, you should focus on KPIs that really move the needle in terms of revenue. These include:
- Increased MRR/ARR
- Decreased churn
- Increased marketing influence on renewals, upsells, and expansions
- Increased deals from referrals
If you can prove that your customer marketing efforts are contributing to improvements in these four metrics, you’re golden.
Qualitative Results Matter for Customer Marketing, Too!
As data-driven marketers, we know the importance of setting goals, measuring success, and optimizing our efforts to drive more results. But it’s important to remember that not all success can be measured in dollars or numbers.
Some of the most important measures of customer marketing success are qualitative. How do your customers feel about your product or services? How can you improve, and what’s working that you should double down on? Technology makes it easy to solicit customer feedback via email and qualitative surveys.
And while it may sound obvious, don’t be afraid to pick up your phone and actually call your customers. Ask them candidly what they like or dislike about your solution, your content, and your customer service. Oftentimes, you can learn a lot more in a five-minute phone call than you can from survey answers that someone shot off during a boring meeting.
As we touched on above, you should also look at support tickets to identify areas for improvement on both an aggregate and the account level.
Customer Marketing KPIs Checklist
- Product Usage by Account
- Churn Rate
- Renewal Rate
- Customer Rejoins
- Positive Reviews
- Engagement with Content
- Engagement with Ads
- Support Tickets
When you use these account-based metrics to report on your customer marketing initiatives, you’ll be able to better track the effectiveness of your campaigns and tactics at an account level to demonstrate that you’re creating a positive customer experience and driving revenue for your organization.