I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great minds over the years. I recently met up with one of those great minds and had a conversation regarding account-based marketing. The buzz is on account-based marketing, and it should be, so I’ve discovered. I don’t tend to get wrapped up in the buzz because I want to make sure that it will stick around and make a difference for the marketers that I help on a daily basis. After my conversation, I feel that this is a necessary buzz conversation to be had, hence the reason I’m writing about it.
Account-based marketing is about two years old, but really it is a lot older than that. If you think of what it means, you will realize that it means that there is more than one person in an organization buying process and each of those people have influence. The influence that each has is determined by the level in management to make the decision to change.
The End User
This is the person in the day-to-day chair whose job it is to make the cogs move. The end user is the person who is looking for simpler and more effective ways to do their job and will research different ways to do it. Their need is written up in a business case that is given to their manager to process up the hierarchy so that change can happen.
This person receives the business case, reviews it and if found plausible sends it to IT. Making the jobs of their direct reports easier means they have move bandwidth to do other tasks that need to be accomplished.
The IT Person
This could be an analyst, the director, but is some level of IT that will vet the business case. The person will look at the technology defined in the business case and verify that the technology is able to do what is needed and can be used with the other systems and processes that are in place.
The person who deems the purchase acceptable and approves it for purchase.
In account-based marketing all four of these people are important, however, due to the level of their job title they may be deemed more important than the next. Account-based marketing allows for the entire flow of influencers and decision makers to have an overall say in the process of the buying cycle.
How does this help you as a marketer? It helps you understand that there may not be a perfect person at a company that is going to show that they are the correct person and have the right details to be a lead but when you include the other people in the company that are doing the research and activity they may all be in alignment to make the perfect buyer. The CEO is the person making the purchase, but the CEO isn’t writing the business case, isn’t doing the research, and isn’t the person that the product or service is going to help. IT isn’t that person either, and neither is the manager. The end user is the person with the knowledge and understanding of who is in the buying cycle and who is the purchaser and is an influencer in the buying process.
Account-based marketing isn’t going to go away; it is going to grow and flourish in the coming years as more organizations figure it out and adapt. Eloqua is currently working on a way to score based on account verses person.
If you are a B2B marketer, it will assist in your campaigns, in your ROI calculations, and in the leads sent to sales. The buzz isn’t going to stop anytime soon.