Evolution of the customer, emergence of new technology, access to data and ineffectiveness of current processes have led to radical changes in B2B marketing. Old ways of marketing are not working anymore.
The focus has shifted away from the customer. Marketers are trying to do more - more content, targeting more channels to ultimately get more MQLs. Focus is not on the customer, or winning new accounts, but on simply generating leads.
There needs to be a better way, and Account Based Marketing (ABM) provides a better way to market.
“Account-Based Marketing is used by B2B marketers to identify and target the accounts they value the most. ABM solutions typically include account-based data and technology to help companies attract, engage, convert and then measure progress against customers and prospects.” - Demand Base
The following illustration provides an approach to how ABM works:
Still early days, but ABM looks promising:
1. Marketers begin to focus squarely on their customers: With ABM, marketers start by identifying their ideal customers. When marketers focus on the customer, the focus is on the needs of customers rather than products and features. The first step in ABM is identifying the right set of accounts and generally, a large set of ideal accounts to target. Thereafter, personas and buyer journeys provide deep insight into buyer behavior.
2. Sales and marketing's relationship is evolving: We see an evolution of sales and marketing - their goals are getting aligned around getting valid accounts for the organization. The ownership of the funnel is becoming equal again.
3. ABM enables one-to-one marketing: Now, innovation in data technology enables you to identify audiences that are a good fit for you and allows you to engage with them wherever they are. You can engage prospects and customers with targeted display media, track cross-channel behavior, identify businesses of anonymous users on your website in real-time and create rich customer data repositories with first and third party data. You can orchestrate experiences that are targeted and relevant – right message to the right audience at the right time!
Account Based Marketing success demands a focus on cohesive strategy, process and technology. I'm very passionate about ABM, simply because it is a better way to market.
As a co-founder of B2B tech startup and a CEO of a digital agency, I’m bringing these practices to my own organizations. ABM tactics and technology are evolving quickly and we’re learning by making mistakes along the way.
In a series of posts and ebooks, I’ll share my learnings on how ABM works, the tech platforms to consider in an evolving eco-system and processes an organization must deploy to be successful.