Modern marketers these days can’t attend a conference, open their Twitter feed, or check their email without encountering a blitz of Account-Based Marketing articles, webinars, and infographics. What is Account-Based Marketing? How is it any different from the dozens of other hot marketing topics du jour? Is it “right” for your company? Is it “right” for your target market? Can it really drive revenue? How does it work, really? Do you have to do it all at once, or can you start slowly and grow incrementally? How does one get started? Those are some terrific, but potentially complicated questions. First, some basics.
Businesses, especially large businesses, typically make significant purchasing decisions “by committee,” on a collective, rather than individual, basis. According to a 2015 IDG Enterprise survey, an average of 17 people participate in an enterprise purchasing decision, up from 10 people in 2010. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) recognizes this and targets opportunities at the business level, not just at the lead level. ABM recognizes the importance of communicating with each of the relevant individuals appropriately, based on and in the context of their specific role within the collective buying process.
Benefits of ABM include better alignment and focused strategy for Marketing and Sales, more effective use of Marketing and Sales technology, and improved customer experience. Presumably, these advantages also will drive greater revenue.
Starting with the end in mind, think of the ABM approach as building a funnel and a set of personalized campaigns to communicate with the important leads within each specific target business or Account. This includes lead generation, capture, opt-in, nurture, scoring, qualification, and lead routing—all targeting the “community of prospects” within an individual target account.
Many in the field view ABM as separate from, or as an alternative to, more conventional demand generation or marketing automation techniques. Truly, there are significant differences, but our recommendation is to consider ABM as an additional powerful tactic best used within the overarching umbrella of integrated marketing, sales, and customer support.
The remaining parts of this series will consider core elements of Account-Based Marketing from a practitioner’s view, rather than from a product vendor or theoretical perspective. Our next blog articles in this series will examine:
- The appropriate uses and benefits of ABM
- How ABM is similar to, and different from, demand generation and marketing automation
- The key steps in implementing ABM
- ABM organizational prerequisites and requirements
- ABM personal development and customer journey mapping
- Developing an integrated “crawl-walk-run” ABM strategy
Have you considered using ABM at your company? Contact us if you’d like to discuss your ABM goals and use case. We’re here to help you grow your revenue!