Earlier this week, we hosted a Twitter #B2Bchat about Account Based Marketing (ABM). It’s a topic that we have been actively engaging with for some time now – you can see blog posts here and here – but we wanted to open up the discussion to our followers to understand what they see as the challenges and opportunities of ABM.
The chat began with discussion about who owns ABM. Everyone seemed to agree that it should be managed between Sales and Marketing; a joint venture with shared responsibility. However, it was acknowledged that marketing most likely would drive the programme. Other stakeholders to engage included the financier, CEO / MD, support / service teams and, of course, the customer!
When it comes to opportunities, the most exciting concept seemed to be that ABM can truly generate a step change in the relationship between sales and marketing; essentially, this could be the chance to show how well the two disciplines complement each other and generate impactful results. In addition, ABM was said to give marketers and sales teams the opportunity to engage prospects in ways that they haven’t experienced before. This could be through highly relevant and personalised content which is generated from the combination of insight from the sales team and creativity from marketing. Adam Harper from B2B Magazine also highlighted that when scaled and integrated properly, ABM is a key driver for becoming a customer centric business.
It was acknowledged that there can be teething problems with aligning teams internally; they may not be teams who regularly work together, and may each be seeking to hit their own targets without sharing the glory. However, once engaged, it is also important to sustain the interest and management of the campaigns. One solution posted by Bev Burgess from ITSMA was that the marketers should become part of the sales account teams.
Customisation and personalisation
‘Is customisation and personalisation worth the effort?’ OgilvyOne Business asked. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’ but measurement was cited as being essential in order to prove the effort. Measurement should be the success of winning an account and the contract that comes with it. Other metrics such as marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) are diagnostic as opposed to concrete results.
ABM will no doubt be impacted by technology and as businesses are transforming to incorporate advances in this area, ABM tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated. However, it was noted that ABM is not a campaign or programme in its own right; it is a tactic within a broader campaign which capitalises on existing activity as well as creating customised content to suit the prospect’s needs.
Thanks to everyone who joined in!