What is Account-based Marketing (ABM)?
If you ask ten people what ABM is, you will get ten different answers. Why? Well, ABM is complicated. It encompasses many aspects of sales and marketing. It also includes both tried and true concepts and some new ideas as well. It’s confusing. It helps if we all have a common definition and this post aims to try and create one.
According to ITSMA, Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to designing and executing highly integrated and personalized marketing programs to drive business growth and impact with specific, named accounts. They should know. ITSMA has pioneered ABM since the 90s.
My spin on this is that Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a strategically-led B2B marketing process in which marketing and sales teams collaborate in identifying the best-fit target accounts, engage with them personalized content and experiences, and transform them into high-value customers.
Why Is ABM Important?
1. Creates Synergy between Sales and Marketing Teams
ABM works towards creating a focused synergy between the sales and marketing teams. ABM strategy facilitates their collaboration enabling them to identify and target high-value clients. More importantly, without this synergy, ABM fails.
2. Leads To High Return on Investment
The primary objective of Account-based marketing is to help companies achieve high returns on investment (ROI). In fact, according to a research study by ITSMA, 87% of businesses using ABM have reported more returns on investment compared to their other marketing strategies. Further, another survey by siriusDecisions indicates that as high as 91% of firms implementing ABM strategy have increased their average business deals and that 25% of them have more than doubled their average business deals.
The problem is that this takes time. In fact, according to ITSMA, the #1 challenge reported by ABM practitioners is measurement. It can take several years to measure a positive ROI.
3. Better Use of Marketing Resources
With ABM, there is less waste of time or resources. You are focusing your energies on best-fit customers.
When ABM works, it is a focused and well-tuned approach that allows resources to be channeled on targeting and engaging only with the best-fit customers. And this is why targeting is so important. By focusing on best-fit customers, you are ignoring the rest. If your targeting is wrong, you are placing a bet on the wrong prospects.
4. More Effective Engagement
One of the distinct characteristics of ABM is the creation of personalized experiences. In ABM, you use as much insight and information about the target prospect as possible to determine what you say to them and how you deliver that message. This includes behavioral data that allows you to be precise and on target with what the prospect is interested in at that moment.
Prospects feel that their needs are better understood and that you are better aligned with them. This can work much more effectively than traditional “Spray and Pray” tactics.
It’s Time To Start Your ABM Journey
In a recent survey, healthlaunchpad conducted with HIMSS, only 14% reported using ABM for more than 1-2 years. That includes only 6% who are using ABM as a critical part of their marketing. The rest are either considering ABM or very early in their journey. It is becoming a reality that B2B marketing is becoming ABM.
Those who move now will have a major competitive advantage. So, don’t remain behind! And here is a short video with definitions of ABM from my webinar series with HIMSS.
Other Relevant Posts:
- The Importance of Targeting in ABM
- What Is The ABM Process?
- How Nuvolo Is Capitalizing On The Terminus Account-Based