4 tips for tackling data and insight in your ABM programme

In our last ABM report, marketers cited their greatest challenge as being an absence of deep account insight. Kavita Singh spoke with Robert Norum, Propolis Hive expert in Growth, to discuss some tips to overcoming this obstacle.

1. Know the research you need to be doing

We often pair data and insight together as one and the same, but data and insight are two completely different concepts in ABM. While data is the actual analysis, insight is about what is going to drive your ABM activity. It’s the research that drives your decisions. Before deep diving into your ABM programme, know the difference so you can conduct your research more effectively.

In a lot of cases, marketers don’t have a firm grasp of how essential data and insight are in ABM so they don’t know what they need to be researching or how they need to conduct their research.

Robert says: “I think very often, they don’t know what information they need, and they certainly don’t know how to collect it. I think there is an assumption that the knowledge of the customer will always reside in sales, and historically, that’s not the case. So, for marketers, I think it’s something a bit new.”

When it comes to the type of research, it starts with strategy. Are you doing one-to-one? One-to-few? One-to-many? If you need to do early-stage engagement with 500 accounts, it’s vastly different than doing a deep dive into three main accounts. Once you figure that out, you can start segmenting the kind of research you’ll need in the early stages. From there, you can work out which specific accounts you should be engaging with. This could include firmographic data around size, location, opportunity or intent platforms you might be considering.

Robert adds: “As you come down into the focal point of ABM, then it’s much more about understanding the market that they operate in, the market conditions, the sector they’re in and then drilling down the account into detail, such as their location, their key stakeholders, potential decision makers and their strategy. You really need to have a 360-degree view of that account.”

In addition, an opportunity analysis can be used to spell out the specific business drivers and pain points that accounts are wrestling with so that you’ll be able to understand when it’s appropriate to engage.