Account Based Marketing: A Bandwagon At Breaking Point
In a frantic rush to get on-board the bandwagon, businesses are re branding their service offerings as ABM, yet failing to understand the basics – Account Based Marketing is not just software or technology, it is a long-term strategy based on the understanding of your customers at the account level, delivering relevant, personalized content based on their buying intent. ABM is not intended to replace other marketing initiatives, but rather complement them.
Failing To Live Up To Expectations
Exacerbated by an influx of vendors integrating basic ABM principles into their existing solutions to attract anyone looking for anything labelled ABM, more and more businesses are ignoring ABM best practice. We regularly hear of competitors promising the world and more to prospects, but the reality is not every ABM campaign will be successful. ABM is not a magic bullet, perfect for any situation. However, following ABM best practices mean organizations can improve their chances of a successful campaign.
True Account Based Marketing
Instead of broad-based programs designed to reach a lot of prospects, true ABM combines personalized marketing and sales efforts, based on propensity to buy, to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts. Identifying accounts based on their intent to buy, allows you to deploy the messages and tactics that are specific to each account, leading to deeper engagements with key decision-makers and ultimately accelerating sales.
True ABM is centered around the accounts that have the greatest need for your solution, based on what the intent data is telling you. It’s quality over quantity in its most basic form.
Honest ABM relies heavily upon the premise that both sales and marketing are using single lead criteria. When targeting a single account, both departments need to work as a cohesive unit toward the same goals. In fact 37% of B2B marketing professionals found tighter alignment and coordination between marketing and sales was the greatest value derived from ABM.
Getting Started With ABM
If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true account based marketing. ABM is not easy and when done correctly, is seldom a cheaper option. But when it works (which, in our experience, it does!) the returns can be exponential. If you’re ready to make the jump with ABM, the biggest risk is selecting a vendor that doesn’t align with ABM best practices. Don’t be tempted by quick-fix solutions just because a vendor’s solution sounds good: question how their strategy will support you in delivering your campaign.
Account-based marketing is not a sprint – don’t expect to be closing deals as quickly as you can snap your fingers – but it is a practice in refinement. If sales and marketing are communicating effectively, deals will close more efficiently, which will be a mirror of your campaign’s success. Documenting high levels of client retention and long-term contracts, and consistent CSAT, is a good sign that you’re successfully executing your ABM campaign. Keeping an ear to the ground on client relationships is another really important reason that sales and marketing need to be in a transparent, information-sharing relationship.