UPDATE: Watch Jon Miller’s presentation and view his slides on Fishing with Spears: All About Account-Based Marketing from this year’s FWD:B2B Conference. Jon shares his vision on the next big thing in B2B marketing and provides a list of practical tips for launching and scaling your own ABM programs.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is one of the hottest trends in B2B marketing today. What is it? It’s a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts. And it’s hot because it works: According to the ITSMA, “ABM delivers the highest Return on Investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. Period.” That’s pretty cool.
ABM is a new model for marketers that “flips the funnel” on traditional demand generation concepts. Here are a few of the key differences between demand generation and ABM.
Going after target accounts requires an account-centric focus
When you celebrate closing a deal, you write the company name on the whiteboard, not the name of the person who signed the contract. A salesperson never talks about how many leads they’ve closed – they talk about how many accounts they’ve won. There’s a reason we call it business-to-business and not business-to-lead.
That’s why account-based marketing takes an account-based lens to every activity. (This can be challenging, because virtually every marketing tool available today has been architected to be person-centric.)
You need targeted tactics to reach specific people at specific accounts
As an analogy, traditional demand generation is like fishing with a net: You put your campaign out there, and you start catching ‘fish.’ It doesn’t matter which specific fish you catch, as long as you catch enough fish in total. But when going after target accounts, you can’t wait around for them to come into your net – you need to go after the ‘big fish’ with spears and harpoons. That’s where ABM comes in.
Often, the best account-based marketing opportunities are at current customers
Deepening relationships at existing customers is a big part of account-based marketing, so marketers need to focus on both sides of the ‘bow tie.’ Cross-sell and upsell pipeline and revenue are certainly part of this equation, but account-based marketing works to support advocacy, referrals, customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.
Leads and opportunities are not sufficient to measure account-based marketing
While leads and opportunities are important and even necessary, they are not sufficient to ABM. Here’s why:
Some of the metrics that marketers should focus on in ABM include:
Want to learn more? Download Engagio’s ebook The Big 5 Metrics for Account-Based Marketing.