Want to Measure ROI? It All Starts with a Baseline.

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December 13, 2023

2 mins read

ROI Cookbook baseline metrics

Want to Measure ROI? It All Starts with a Baseline.

What are baseline metrics and why are they essential?

If you want to measure the effectiveness of your ABM and go-to-market initiatives, you have to establish a baseline. A baseline is a starting point…where you are today. You need to measure it before you initiate any new programs. Otherwise you won’t be able to show how your results have changed over time.

Baselines ground us.

How to establish baseline metrics to prove value

Establishing a baseline for your GTM and account-based strategy is quite simple.

Gather key metrics before you implement any changes. This is a historical baseline.

But which key metrics? All of them.

Many organizations may struggle to establish their first baseline if they don’t have a history of performance data for that exact strategy, tactic or initiative. In that case, there are a few ways to build your baseline:

  • Compare to your industry/peers
  • Compare to a previous initiative that was similar in scope
  • Create a “best guess” based on what you believe is reasonable

Truly understanding your baseline — where you started — is a requirement before running sales and marketing experiments. It’s quite literally the control to anchor against … to learn and to iterate.

Simply put: If you skip this step, you’ll have a hard time proving the value of your programs after the fact.

"One of the first indicators of successful sales and marketing strategy is the alignment of critical metrics that matter to the business. When I was an analyst at TOPO and Gartner, we observed this single factor — documented and shared measures of success often separate top performers from everyone else. "
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Chris Moody VP, Brand Marketing

Run this 5-step pilot test to see how your results compare to your baseline

Capture website engagement metrics. Compare those to the data you see in Demandbase. Are they telling a similar story? Understand the data: New vs. return, time on site, pages per session, bounce rate, goal completions, stage-by-stage funnel conversion, and so on. This is the baseline.

Pick a channel or tactic for your first experiment. The specific channel matters less than using a baseline for experimentation. Advertising is one of the fastest ways to get your message in the market and measure with relative speed and ease.

Start reviewing metrics immediately. Note: It’s fun, and it can be somewhat addictive to hit that refresh button! After the initial rush of adrenaline, settle into a cadence of reviewing metrics daily, weekly, and monthly. Compare these numbers to the previously established baseline.

What is the impact of your campaign on web engagement? Are the data trending in a positive direction? Are you hitting (exceeding?) your projections? If metrics aren’t showing what you had hoped for, review the experiment to best understand why performance is lagging. Make a change and re-launch the new iteration (back to step 2).

(Rinse and) repeat. With the successful improvement of that channel or tactic, move to the next and repeat steps 1-4 to show how each new GTM program is improving your metrics that matter.

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Stephanie McArthur

Principle ABX Expert, Demandbase

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