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ABM is a marriage, not a fling


Carolina Marino Sargeant

and I’m the ABM lead for EMEA at F5. I joined F5 two years ago, with the goal of starting their ABM programme in EMEA and helping some of their strategic accounts grow. At

Ignite London

, I’ll be speaking about building long-lasting growth with ABM.

So, what does a marriage vs. a fling look like in ABM? Marriage: “What does this account really care about and how can I make them happy, so we stay together forever?” vs. Fling: “Let’s get straight to it. I don’t even need to know your name. Let’s close this deal and move on.”

There are moments in life (and in marketing) when you only want a fling and that’s absolutely fine. But when you’re ready to take that big step into marriage, you will build a much deeper connection and find a long-term partner that wants to spend their time (and money) with you.

In my session, I’ll talk about how we built this close relationship with one of our customers and how it led to a 3X increase in sales.

Where we’ve been getting ABM wrong

Set the Tinder ABM approach to one side.Some marketers treat ABM as any other type of campaign, with a 3-month timeframe and short-term goals, rather than use it to its full potential as a long-term strategy. One reason may be because “full-on” ABM requires resources, and sometimes a lot of patience. You may not get quick results.

I’m not a purist to tell you that short-term ABM is not ABM. There’s nothing wrong with doing short-term ABM motions, as long as it aligns with your objectives and you’re clear on what you will get from it.

The benefits of treating ABM as a marriage

The risks of short-term ABM depends on the type of business you’re in and your strategy. If your potential customers are big, complex companies, you will see a lot of benefit in treating ABM as a marriage. You could be making millions by investing long-term into only a handful of accounts.

ABM has been proven to help increase deal size, and you can also use it to increase deal velocity. You can grow your business by expanding into different buying centres and upselling to those few customers over time. There’s lots of possibilities, but you need to dive into those accounts and understand what makes them tick, have dedicated resources, budget and a lot of patience.

On the other hand, if your target audience is SMB and you’re selling a cheaper solution, you may need volume; in this case, a 1:1 or 1:few ABM strategy may not be the best for you.

What you’ll learn after attending my session

Whether you’re at the beginning of your ABM journey or looking to completely overhaul your current strategy, hopefully my session can help you understand how “marriage” and “fling” are two different but valid marketing strategies and understand why for this account in particular I took the “marriage” route. You’ll leave knowing:

  • Marriage vs Fling: two different marketing strategies.
  • How to go above and beyond for your customer: supporting initiatives and causes they care about, offering training, leveraging your partners and other ideas.
  • The impact on ROI long-term ABM has.
  • How we achieved 3X sales growth in three fiscal years.

Ignite is the place you need to be

Ignite is the biggest B2B Marketing event in EMEA and it’s a unique opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn from their mistakes and successes. It’s a place to discover new strategies, meet new vendors, and see a lot of case studies to spark your own ideas. I love the event and have been going for years and it’s an honour to be on the agenda this year.

I always love to hear Joel Harrison! I’m looking forward to his and Shane Redding’s keynote on B2B branding. I’m also very curious about all the AI sessions as it’s a topic that’s new to me.
I’m excited to be back in person but I also like that it’s a hybrid event, and that those who can’t travel to the UK can also enjoy it.

If you’re thinking about attending, do it! You will go back home with your head bubbling with new ideas that are actually tangible.

Want to learn more about transforming your marketing?

Attend Ignite London, the UK’s leading hybrid conference on all things B2B on 6 July. With six streams laser-focused on solving your challenges, there’s something for the entire team. You’ll leave with actionable insight from the best in business to re-ignite your marketing the next day!

Sign me up!

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