Account based marketing (ABM) is nothing new. Put simply, it is the technique of targeting an existing customer organisation and executing highly specific campaigns, usually into a select group of decision makers, to deliver new business against account growth targets. What is interesting now is how the execution of this is evolving with multiple approaches now seemingly covered by the ABM label.
When the “right” way might be the wrong way
Traditional or “true” ABM is usually undertaken via a detailed process of account examination, including the past and present financial state, and planning for multiple engagements to grow the account over the mid to long term.
However, in reality this approach isn’t always possible for a number of different reasons. Budget is often a factor – devoting a significant amount to one account is often not feasible as there are multiple mouths to feed. Time is another – it can (and should) take weeks for the necessary account examination and planning, and often neither Sales nor Marketing (nor indeed management) are inclined to wait that long.
So, when multiple accounts need to be targeted, there’s limited budget and the sales teams want results yesterday, what can you do?
It is possible to do a kind of “ABM Lite” – and we’ve been exploring this with some interesting results. Knowledge of the account (specifically your individual targets) is still essential, but when there is a specific strategic goal, such as influencing the senior members of an organisation prior to a forthcoming contract decision, a single engagement process can be followed. If you know your objective, identify the individuals you want to target and then map the connections, relationships and pain points of those individuals, it’s possible to create a simple, elegant yet impactful campaign that can be delivered, personally by the sales teams, into the decision makers to grow the relationship.
Whether a single interaction or part of a suite of planned engagements, it’s still ABM but scalable depending on the need.