3D Account-Based Marketing (ABM): How to Bring Your B2B Marketing to Life

October 26, 2021 | Blog, Resources

As Published By MarTech Zone

As we increasingly run our work and personal lives online, B2B relationships and connections have entered a new hybrid dimension. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) can help deliver relevant messaging amidst changing conditions and locations — but only if companies match new workplace complexities with new dimensions of technology that harness quality data, predictive insights, and real-time synergies. 

Throughout the pandemic, digital marketing has proved a lifeline to connect with target account and prospects amidst canceled in-person events and meetings. Nearly half of enterprise companies say their marketing has undergone a “dramatic” shift during the pandemic, with ABM rising to the fore. Four in five enterprise marketing leaders say they’ll increase investment in ABM in the year ahead; the one-to-one, personalized connections enabled by ABM can produce a revenue lift of up to 30% when compared with traditional one-to-many campaigns.

To achieve that potential, however, enterprise B2B firms must adopt a unified approach. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help companies realize the long-sought single view of the customer— but only if they commit to a three-dimensional data strategy.

The Three Dimensions of ABM Data

Data Quantity and Quality

Data from technology researcher Forrester shows that less than three percentage points separate the top 10 channels in a ranking of sources B2B buyers consult when researching potential vendors — indicating that companies must be fluent in multiple modalities and use all the touchpoints at their disposal to connect with prospects and serve them the relevant content that drives purchase decisions.

In addition, enterprise companies that rely on selling upgrades, enhancements, and new products or services to existing customers likely already have user profiles based on activity on the company’s website, within its support forums, and other wholly-owned platforms.

This data forms the backbone of effective ABM. But while data quantity is important, context and quality are just as crucial, though more difficult to capture. Enterprise firms rate usability and integration of data as among their top ABM challenges, Forrester found.  For example, across different regional hubs of a single company, localized campaigns may gather different data points that prove difficult to sync. A comprehensive ABM solution can accept different individual inputs while applying algorithmic intelligence to correctly interpret and unify the information.

Data Predictive Power

Many marketers now rely on AI to assess the potential for prospects to become customers, using sophisticated algorithms that combine past interactions with likely outcomes based on similar behavioral profiles. These predictive models are crucial for companies to be able to deliver individualized marketing at scale.

Algorithmic predictions and recommendations improve over time as more interactions occur — but they also rely on business rules shaped by industry standards, regional customs or calendars, and other factors individual to each B2B organization. Internal teams should be able to influence predictive models, enhancing AI processing power with human insight, to create campaigns with maximum relevance.

Data Real-Time Capabilities And The Will To Deploy Them

Timely context is critical for ABM campaigns to deploy the right messaging to the right channels for a given prospect’s stage in the purchase consideration journey. Because prospects who engage with online content are receptive to further messaging for 20 minutes at most, automated alerts for sales teams and personalized messaging capabilities are crucial to ensure prompt contact at crucial decision points.

That technical prowess may be tricky to achieve, but for some firms, building the trust in marketing data necessary to make the most of automation is just as steep a challenge. Forrester found more large enterprise firms than small companies say “lack of sales buy-in” is a hurdle to ABM success. Data-driven, automated ABM requires marketing and sales to collaborate, supported by machine intelligence that enables real-time responsiveness to scale.

Interdependent Dimensions Require Robust Technology

While each of these three data dimensions is crucial, none are standalone solutions. Most companies already have abundant data, but lack the tools to unify and act on siloed information. Predictive analytics can provide forward-looking insights, but need quality historic data to produce relevant recommendations. And only by harnessing ML and data insights to drive sales and marketing action can companies create the timely connections that close deals in a continually evolving marketplace.

To unify all three elements and drive ABM success, companies should seek out an end-to-end  ABM platform that enables data unity, AI-powered intelligence, and real-time processing. Proven performance in the regions that matter and the ability to customize reporting and functionality for individual divisions and teams can also help companies adapt their ABM strategies to succeed in a dynamic marketplace.

With the global economy in transition, new hybrid workplaces and B2B purchasing processes are transforming enterprise sales and marketing. Armed with robust, AI-powered ABM platforms, B2B companies can wield data in three dimensions to provide messaging relevant to the latest business conditions, forging relationships that last.

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