ABM’s popularity has grown due to its innate consumer desire to be communicated with in a highly-personalised manner. But while many view the discipline as a once-learned-never-forgotten strategy, in truth, the evolution of ABM has been anything but static. Maeve McDonald shares a handful of developments worth highlighting.
1. The impact of digital technology
Despite its contemporary feel, ABM is a familiar beast for many marketers thanks to its proclivity to a wide range of everyday marketing tactics. Content marketing, display advertising, paid social, and SEO all play a central role in the development and operation of an ABM campaign, but, through the application of digital technology, new tactics are emerging.
In addition to the swathe of AI and ML-driven MarTech applications – at least some of which live up to the hype – social listening tools are increasingly being leveraged to deliver valuable insight into online conversations surrounding a brand. Using this ABL (account-based listening) approach, marketers can create account-specific social reports which highlight areas of customer interest, then align their ABM campaign to demonstrate tangible value to the
The result: another string to the bow of the ABM approach.
2. The C-Suite phenomenon
ABM is a term now well-entrenched within the marketing vocabulary. But to the wider business audience, it can still be an elusive term that some are unwilling to explore. Despite the depth and breadth of supporting evidence and research that ABM works, attracting intellectual buy-in to budget-intensive ABM programmes remains hard work.
While marketers can continue to pedal the value that a unique ability to unite sales and marketing behind a unified, account-based approach can deliver, for ABM to be truly successful, it needs to be executively led. Only with a top-down approach will all stakeholders across the organisation align with key ABM objectives, work towards a common goal, and achieve success.
3. The measurement revolution
Across all schools of marketing, there exists a heavy reliance on numbers, reports, and analytics to gauge success – and ABM is no different.
Tracking and reporting
on the impact of targeted campaigns is a primary concern for all businesses today – but with a plethora of tools at their disposal, knowing how to measure success remains a primary challenge.
For those new to the ABM arena, success is often calculated by objective-based metrics – i.e. was the business won, did we hit our target etc. However, for companies with more mature ABM proposals, with more complex outcomes, a much broader array of measurements must be leveraged to help businesses to optimise ongoing marketing practices.
4. The continued rise of ABM
Amid the near-endless discussions surrounding ABM, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s now a ubiquitous construct within the business world. But while the discipline has been used to great effect by companies in more traditionally forward-thinking verticals – technology, finance, retail et al – it’s very much still in its formative stages across most other industries.
In fact, recent reports suggest that in the next year, over 60% of companies plan to launch an
for the first time – the majority of these businesses in the so-called chasing pack. With ABM now attracting the attention of companies across a much wider array of business verticals, ABM is no longer a differentiator, and, to stand out, a creatively-led strategy is paramount.
There’s nothing new under the sun
ABM is a discipline that continues to adapt and evolve as it scales across new industries and verticals. At the
B2B Marketing ABM Conference 2019
, I shared the progress we’ve made with ABM over the course of the last year and discuss how organisations optimised their approach to drive improved results and achieve unprecedented success.
This year’s ABM report provides essential reading for those wanting to gain a realistic and confident view on the typical cost of ABM, how long it takes to hit ROI and the success marketers you’ll see along the way.