As a marketer, I use account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to drive growth for our team at Perficient Digital. A few weeks ago I caught a great session on ABM at Marketo’s online summit, Marketing Nation Live, presented by Brian Glover, Head of Product Marketing, Marketo Engage Adobe. Glover outlined the current state of ABM and offered insight for marketers looking to implement ABM. Here were my three ABM takeaways from 2019 Marketing Nation Live:
1. ABM Delivers, Marketers Still Facing Challenges
B2B recognizes account-based marketing as a proven approach to deliver revenue, yet marketers still face challenges mastering and scaling ABM due to:
- Marketing and sales alignment
- Marketers need to ensure sales teams are in agreement with the strategy on the accounts that marketing is driving engagement to.
- Data woes
- Some marketers think ABM will “solve” data challenges. This is not true. ABM generally requires more data and more connected data.
- Tech complexity
- If an organization plans to purchase an ABM tool, marketers may be resistant to adding another piece of tech to their existing stack.
- Lack of budget
- To try ABM, marketers must decide where the budget comes from, and that can be a tricky spot. Marketers may have to reduce the budget on higher volume demand generation campaigns to make room for testing ABM.
2. The Customer Experience Matters Most
Customers and business professionals are asking for a more consistent and better experience from brands. Glover notes customers are communicating these messages to brands:
- “Don’t make me search for what I need”
- “Don’t impede my journey”
- “Stop spamming me”
- “Don’t market or sell to me. Partner with me!”
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To answer these challenges, B2B marketers should put people and experiences at the center of any ABM strategy. Rather than view the end of the cycle when the deal closes, brands should view the lifetime value of the customer.
3. ABX Means Coordinated, Connected Experiences Across Channels.
Account-based marketing is evolving into account-based experiences or ABX. To achieve ABX, marketers should use the three C’s:
- Consider marketing and sales one revenue team with a shared strategy
- Leverage shared data and insights
- Pursue accounts together with coordinated efforts
- Integrate sales & marketing channels for consistent, connected delivery
- Long-term, always-on engagement from awareness to advocacy and beyond
- Integrated sales & marketing automation
B2B marketers have come a long way in understanding and executing account-based marketing. The future should be exciting for marketers jumping into ABM and will likely bring more rapid change as marketing technology and strategies continue to create more opportunities for brands and customers to connect with each other.
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