The key to decent ABM is the right 'Marchitecture'
Account-based marketing has picked up steam in recent years, to the point where it has become a sort of ‘buzzword’ or ‘buzz term’ in the marketing space. For B2B companies, the idea of targeting specific prospects and marketing to their unique needs is an attractive concept. With a limited number of potential clients in your target market or niche, it makes sense to nourish the prospects you do have carefully.
For many people and businesses, ‘nourishing prospects and clients’ is the full definition of account-based marketing. They assume that ABM is just about the personalised marketing side of things. In fact, ABM is a lot more than this overly simplified definition suggests. Certainly, personalised marketing campaigns that nourish prospects and leads are very important ingredients in the ABM mix. What many businesses fail to see, though, is how central technology needs to be in the equation of account-based marketing.
ABM: Our Definition
So, what is account-based marketing? Ask a dozen different marketing experts, and you will probably get a dozen different answers. Some of these answers might be technically correct but not nuanced enough, as with the definition we discussed above. Others might be full of common ABM misconceptions, such as ABM can’t coexist with inbound marketing, or that ABM only really makes sense for big, high revenue accounts.
Our definition is this: account-based marketing is a data-driven approach to marketing that begins with the identification of ideal companies and contacts to target. It then uses technology to engage with these companies in useful ways, both pre- and post-sale.
Breaking Down the Real Definition of ABM
Needless to say, there’s a lot to unpack in that definition. ABM is a complicated concept. As a process, account-based marketing involves multiple steps, phases, and goals. By breaking down our definition, it becomes easier to see how ABM works and why it needs each of the ingredients we mentioned.
Let’s start with the first part of the definition, about ABM as a ‘data-driven approach to marketing.’ While most people would tell you that personalisation or customisation of your marketing approach is central to ABM, data is more important because it allows both those things to happen.
Think of it this way; you can’t customise a B2B marketing campaign for a company if you know nothing about them. As such, every ABM campaign needs to start with data. You need to know:
Who your potential client is.
Their industry and their market niche.
The specific products and services they sell, as well as the target customers who buy them.
Who the decisionmaker at the company is and how to reach them.
The pain points of the organisation and how your product might be able to solve or alleviate them.
Details about a company’s geographic location, their technology, and their intent to buy a solution such as the one you are marketing.
In short, when you dive into ABM marketing, you need to know as much about your prospective client as you can. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to win them over with a pitch, or at least get them in your funnel and start moving them toward conversion. Only data can provide the basis for this kind of personalised marketing.
The second part of ABM is technology. Simply put, ABM is not something you can do well manually. It’s too hard to keep track of where your prospects are on the buyer’s journey or to make sure you are contacting them at the perfect moment every time. These challenges are especially pronounced as your company grows and you accumulate more clients. ABM doesn’t stop when you hit a conversion, which means you need a scalable way to track and manage every single account—from long-time clients to prospects that haven’t converted yet. Luckily, there are numerous ABM software programs out there—from Marketo to Terminus to Hubspot—designed to make your job easier.
ABM without data is impossible. ABM without the right technology is impractical and un-scalable. Account-based marketing that blends both these factors, though, is what we consider to be ‘real ABM,’ and stands a great chance at success if executed correctly.
>> Read our blog: The Future is Account-Based Inbound Marketing - You Heard it Here First! <<
Cloud10 Marketing is an end-to-end growth agency focusing on integrated marketing and sales team alignment. To speak to someone about how to effectively scale your business, whether B2B or B2C, we can help. Visit www.cloud10marketing.co.uk for more information