By Robert Pease, Practice Lead, Pipeline Performance – Heinz Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is one of the latest marketing trends and buzz phrases among marketing professionals. It follows on the heels of marketing automation, attribution, and many other core themes that often give marketers anxiety because they aren’t anywhere near mastering it and produces legions of technology vendors to “help” you do it.
Account-based marketing is indeed new as it relates to the ability to leverage technology, data, and measurement for something you should have been doing all along. Call it target account selling or targeted marketing but you should have already had a pretty firm grasp on the segments your business targets, the actual companies in those segments, and an understanding of the buying process in those companies. How else could you be investing money and resources efficiently?
Unfortunately, marketing efforts often utilize the “spray and pray” mindset where more but less qualified is better than fewer more qualified and vanity metrics like email campaign opens lead marketing status updates.
Your marketing will improve vastly if you take the time to identify who should be your customer – where do they consume information, who influences them, what are their needs? Align both your sales and marketing around those inputs all the while knowing exactly what companies should be your customer. They may not be in an active buying cycle now but some are…and many others are considering options.
Those that aren’t represent future business prospects so have some patience and establish yourself as someone who uniquely solves the problem they have – even if they aren’t looking to solve it immediately. You can do this through active content marketing efforts emphasizing thought leadership and building the case for change. Yes, that is hard to measure but it is essential to fully saturate and surround your target accounts.
I believe in and advocate account-based marketing because it is the way you should have been doing it all along. ABM is a forcing function to drive better alignment between sales and marketing because sales people have been living in the world of target accounts all along.
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