Account-based marketing (ABM) has been a buzz word in the marketing world for the past few years now. But ABM is not a new concept. In fact, sales and marketing teams have been employing this strategy in one form or another for years — if not decades. What has changed, however, is our ability to refine and effectively implement ABM with the help of new technology.
So what exactly is ABM?
At its core, ABM takes the traditional marketing approach (blasting a broad message to the masses and catching a few top of the funnel leads) and flips it on its head. Instead of casting a wide and impersonal net, ABM identifies a short list of companies (i.e., accounts) and builds hyper-targeted campaigns to draw them into the sales pipeline. The payoff? ABM focuses time and resources on a smaller population of leads that are more likely to become customers and provide a return on marketing and sales efforts.
ABM starts with researching a company, discovering which individuals at that company will be involved in the buying process, and making a personal connection. The challenge lies in selecting the right accounts to target and developing effective ABM strategies to generate interest in your company.
Luckily, recent advancements in technology have helped B2B companies advance their ABM techniques and easily identify high-fit companies. Marketers can now easily personalize every message sent to their target accounts, crafting content and experiences to nurture specific contacts from their account list — ultimately leading to higher response rates and greater ROI from marketing.
How can we expect ABM to change over the next 3 to 5 years?
Account-based marketing is driven by the marketing technology that we currently have available. So as new technology emerges in the coming years, how can we expect ABM to change?
ABM technology will be more predictive and insightful
We grow closer to achieving more detailed and accurate customer insights every day, thanks to the evolution of predictive analytics. ABM technology will be able to use common client attributes to build a set of criteria for accounts that are a good fit for a a company's services. That information will then be used to seek out potential clients that can be added to your target account list. Companies will be able to find better fit customers to work with, which will improve both cleint relationships and retention rates over time.
More sophisticated tool integration
Anyone involved in marketing and sales operations can attest to the fact that integrating tools can be a struggle. However, we're beginning to see a trend where many popular marketing tools are adopting common denominators, such as account engagement and orchestration, which will allow for easier cross-platform integration. This will help give marketers a more comprehensive view of their target accounts across an array of touchpoints and lead to greater customer insight, derived in a more efficient way.
Greater breadth of marketing technology to support alignment
In general, marketing technology is growing rapidly, which will create more opportunities for successful ABM in the near future. This growth should also support greater alignment between marketing and sales teams. As this shift occurs, marketing and sales operations teams will become more centralized and consolidated into a larger revenue operations team. This will increase organizational communication and efficiency and lead to more seamless ABM deployment.
Advancements in ABM technology are occuring at a rapid pace. This is making it easier than ever for marketing and sales teams to execute successful ABM strategy. It's clear that ABM has the potential to become a more reliable, effective and easily-attributable source of revenue in the near future.