3 Signs of an Immature ABM Strategy

August 10, 2016

Back in our interview with Mark Ogne, we touched on an important truth that many other thought leaders in the industry tend to overlook: some people aren’t getting what they felt was promised out of ABM.

When trying to determine the root cause of an under-performing account based marketing strategy, Mark speculated that it was because many marketers think they’re doing account-based marketing, but really they’re just doing a form of list-based marketing. The two are related, but list-based marketing is a very immature version of the account-based marketing they are aiming for.

Some immature practices are more pervasive than others, though, so today we’re just going to talk about the big offenders.

1. Sloppy Account Selection

Account selection is the stage in which a lot of account-based marketers struggle. Thus, they’ll select accounts by focusing entirely on prospecting and won’t consult the sales team for advice, which essentially means they’re guessing at what their lists should be. This is a low-maturity, and very sloppy, strategy, and your conversion rate will prove it.

Mature account-based marketers will have a highly data-driven account selection protocol. These experienced marketers will most likely use predictive data, or some other intensive form of data collection, to map their whitespace wisely. Instead of focusing on prospecting, they’ll be focused on cross-selling and up-selling.

2. Poor Orchestration

Content delivery isn’t a checkbox on your to-do list. It’s a nuanced practice that requires many levels of orchestration. An immature marketer will fail to recognize the nuances, and serve the same marketing content to all their prospects. This is far too close to an exclusively outbound strategy, which will cause you to miss out on the best part of ABM: pulling prospects down the funnel rather than playing the waiting game.

In a mature strategy, the content delivery is orchestrated based on the account’s intent. Predictive data will give you all sorts of prompts about how to change the content you’re delivering and when you’re delivering it. Not only will you adapt your content to prospects in different industries or who show different levels of engagement, but as a mature marketer you’ll also change the content you deliver to a single prospect as they move throughout their buying journey. Effort in the orchestration process pays off.

3. Minimal or Complete Lack of Measurement

At MRP, we stress the importance of measurement as often as we can. It’s always shocking to realize just how few marketing teams are actually able to map their efforts to closed revenue. An immature strategy either has no measurement protocol in place or only tracks the media channels their account based marketing plan uses.

A sign of high maturity in an ABM campaign is the ability to not only track, but analyze metrics at the account level across all platforms and channels. Highly mature campaigns even include a step for measuring those results against all other marketing investments. After all, what’s the purpose of budgeting for certain tactics if you can’t prove how well they’re working or if they’re even working at all.

Knowing these possible areas of improvement is only half the battle – now, the next logical step is to take an honest look at your strategy and consider if it needs a refresh!

How sophisticated is your ABM strategy? Get graded with our ABM Assessment.

TOPICS: Blog | Resources
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