Everything you need to know about Account Based Marketing (ABM)

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Whether you’ve just started or have already launched successful ABM campaigns, there are still interesting parts of this conversation from our on-demand webinar to enjoy.

Chris Mitchell, Regional VP, Customer Success EMEA at ON24 hosted the webinar with three marketing experts at The Insight50 panel:

  • Joel Harrison – Editor at B2B Marketing
  • Leanne Chescoe – Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Demandbase
  • Guy Phillips – Strategy Director at MomentumABM

ABM is all about applying a strategic approach to bring together the marketing and sales teams. The goal is to identify and target the most important customers, both new and existing.

Content created in collaboration with ON24.

The state of ABM

According to Joel Harrison and their recent survey at B2B Marketing, most people are still low in the adopting curve of ABM. They’ve just started to understand what it is and what they can do about it. This scoping phase can bring new opportunities, but also many questions on how marketers can make the most of it.

A common question is how to involve ABM as part of your organization and how marketing can work with this. According to Guy Phillips, there are three main buckets on how ABM fits your organization and these depend on the market, the culture and the structure of each organization.

Thus, there are three different ways to involve ABM:

a. Driving sales process

b. Sales team driving sales process, with the marketing team working at an additional function

c. Working at an equal process both driving sales together

The choice depends on where you are on the journey and how your organization structures the roles.

As for the stage that the participants of the webinars are in ABM, 47.4% of them find ABM really interesting, but they still want to learn more about it.

According to Leanne Chescoe, there is currently a mixture on the clients understanding ABM, with some of them acknowledging how it works, while there’s still a big level of education on the best practices of ABM. The next challenge for everyone who understands ABM is how to scale their efforts and how to use technology to feed that.

Measuring ABM

Another interesting question from the webinar viewers had to do with the metrics that measure the effectiveness of ABM. More specifically, how can you track the sales and marketing touchpoints, and what’s the marketing influence?

As Leanne Chescoe states, you need to look at the metrics that you’re traditionally measuring, but you also need to apply an ABM lens to them. Thus, you still need to pay attention to:

  1. Revenue metrics (anything that feeds your sales and pipeline performance)
  2. Campaign metrics (open rate, clickthrough rate, etc)
  3. Business metrics (how marketing and sales feed to the overall business goals)

Moreover, it’s also important to measure the impact your target accounts are having on these metrics and this can work with the use of attribution tools.

Another important element is the readiness of your organization for ABM. Is your organization and your staff ready for a different approach? Do you know how many people you’re reaching and how you’re tracking?

These are the questions that will help you establish a successful ABM strategy. What’s useful is to remember that ABM is about a long-term win, so according to Guy Phillips, “if you’re looking for a quick fix, then ABM is probably not the right tool.”

Focusing on personalization

What makes ABM different is the focus on personalization. ABM moves away from demand generation and it dives deeper into personalized personas that create more effective content.

It’s about high-value campaigns across the most effective platforms and the idea is to deliver the right content to the right audience. It’s also about communicating your work with other teams (such as the sales department) to ensure that the content and the metrics mean something to them.

A good way to start with personalization is to step back and look at ABM at a scale. Explore how your target audience uses each channel, which keywords they use and what content they’ll enjoy.

The challenge of readiness

One of the biggest challenges when starting with ABM has to do with the readiness. According to Joel Harrison, you need to understand what you want to target, which approach you need to use and what business model you’ll have in place.

Leanna Chescoe also adds that you need to be proactive. You need to identify the reasons that you’re targeting particular accounts and how they meet your goals. It’s about applying a customer-centric approach to your work and this may involve a bigger strategic shift in your organization.

A good suggestion is to start from a pilot basis with a plan on what success looks like and a buy-in that will help you continue towards the next steps.

ABM and GDPR

The biggest challenge with GDPR is the consent. ABM can help with consent and re-consent. The personalization of content can deliver messages that are more relevant. It can facilitate the engagement based on intent-signals or the engagement on the website. This allows your organization to serve more relevant content without necessarily increasing its quantity.

It’s more about focusing on personalization and how the high level of insights can help you comply with the latest regulations without missing the desired engagement.

Takeaway

Here are three suggestions as pieces of advice from the three marketing experts:

  • Leanne Chescoe: Get started with ABM, explore how it can work for your organization and don’t forget to tie the marketing performance with the revenue targets.
  • Guy Phillips: Don’t forget that marketing is still a creative exercise, so don’t skip this as part of your strategy.
  • Joel Harrison: Know what you’re doing, have a plan before you get started. 

To view the on-demand version of the webinar please click here.



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