What is the Right ABM Approach for You?
When I speak with healthcare technology marketers, several questions about the right ABM approach come up frequently.
What Are The Different Types of ABM Approach?
1:1 or Strategic ABM
This is the ABM approach to use when you want to target fewer than 50 accounts. Typically this involves deep account research, highly tailored marketing, and a focus on relationship development.
1: Few or Segment ABM
This is when you typically target 50-200 accounts, and you can cluster accounts based on commonalities such as market segment, common need, or fit with a specific offering you are testing.
1:Many or ABM at Scale
This type of ABM approach is for firms trying to apply the principles of ABM to reach thousands of accounts. This is highly data-driven, using intent data and often an orchestration platform to determine which accounts are in-market and target them with personalized messages.
How Do I Determine Which ABM Approach is Right for Me?
The best way to do this is to pilot different ABM approaches to see which one you get the most traction with.
1:1 ABM Approach Pilot
If you are dipping your toe in the water and have limited resources, start with 1:1 ABM. Pick a few accounts and develop a simple, measurable pilot with clear goals. Here is an example.
Company A has long-term agreements with around 50 major healthcare systems. They were looking for ways to cross-sell additional services unfamiliar to these accounts. We designed a pilot using intent data to identify who was in the market for these additional services. By switching on intent data, it was immediately identified that one of their largest customers was showing high interest in this additional service. Still, this customer was unaware that company A offered this service. The account manager identified the right person for the customer to speak with. After explaining their capabilities to them, the customer agreed to add them to their RFP.
Company A’s SDR team implemented this technique within weeks across all their accounts. They have integrated intent data from Zoominfo into Salesforce. The SDRs start their daily prospecting routines by focusing on the accounts showing high intent.
1:Few ABM Approach Pilot
This type of ABM approach involves targeting prospects with something in common. For example, we implemented a 1:Few pilot for a different customer.
Company B has a technology-enabled service that is especially useful to Epic customers. They determined that new Epic customers had a higher need based on a key gap in Epic’s solution. Company B realized that customers who switched to Epic typically only realized this issue was problematic a year after switching.
We recently developed an Epic-Switcher ABM campaign targeting ~50 healthcare systems known to have switched to Epic in the last three years. This included building a list of ~500 contacts across these accounts, representing the typical buyer collective. These accounts were targeted with LinkedIn and email sequences using messages, content, and other tactics tailored to the problems encountered by these accounts.
While it’s still early in the campaign, we are already seeing email response rates 4-5X higher than typical and much higher engagement on LinkedIn.
1:Many ABM Approach Pilot
This is the hardest to do without implementing an ABM platform such as Terminus or Demandbase. You can, however, test out hypotheses about 1:Many ABM through LinkedIn.
For example, for Company C, we are running a multivariate test using LinkedIn ads. In this test, we are promoting multiple solutions from the same vendor across 650 accounts.
- Baselining – Weeks 1-3: We set a baseline by running ads on LinkedIn to a defined buyer collective across the 650 accounts.
- Intent Data Test – Weeks 4-6: We will run the same ads to the same buyer collective but only to accounts that have intent for these services. We are using third-party intent data to filter out accounts for this interest.
Through this simple test, we expect to see if intent data affects ad performance.
Is There An ABM Approach That Does Not Involve an Expensive Tech Stack?
The answer is up to a point. As you can see from the three examples above, it is possible to test ABM in a small way without investing large sums in an ABM platform. The problem is that it is a highly manual process, and it’s very hard to measure much beyond simple metrics.
In this short excerpt from a podcast with Lizzy Feliciano, H1’s head of marketing, she summarizes perfectly the dilemma marketers face regarding ABM. Lizzy has a clear vision of how they will implement ABM, but for now, they are starting small. Lizzy explains that when they scale this, they will need an ABM platform to handle the complexities of a data-driven personalized approach.
Who Does ABM Well in Healthtech?
Nuvolo is an outstanding example of ABM in action. They have been using ABM for over three years and have developed a highly sophisticated strategy. They use all three types of ABM.
You can read more about this in these three blog posts. We dive into how they execute all three ABM approaches:
If you want to learn more about how we approach ABM, check out our ABM strategy page.
By the way, we created a list of 25 ABM Uses Cases and Examples.