Hype or Hope - Is ABM All That It’s Cracked Up To Be?

October 14, 2019 6sense

Account-Based Marketing is well established and here to stay. Revenue teams have embraced the account-based approach and an entirely new MarTech segment has emerged to enable ABM at scale. 

But when everything from the B2B CDP to AI and Big Data tools to your email signature is being positioned as “ABM technology,” it should give us pause to separate the hype from the hope. 

The idea of ABM isn’t really all that new. In fact, at its core, AMB is really just good marketing: select the best accounts, know about them, engage them the right way, collaborate with sales, and track real stuff. In fact, marketing has basically been doing exactly this (or trying to) for the past couple of decades. Pick good targets (often based on previous success), know something about who you’re marketing to, engage them on their terms with relevant content, share what you learn with sales, and measure what matters. This is just good marketing!

So why all the hype? What does ABM deliver that marketers haven’t seen before? 

Buying Has Changed. So Now Our Strategy Has to Change

Modern B2B buyers have become anonymous, fragmented, and resistant. Some studies show that up to 70% of the buyer's journey is now complete before a prospect ever reaches out to potential solution providers and that up to 10 people can be involved in a complex B2B purchase decision. Add to that, the fact that buyers now crave the same highly personalized experience they get in the consumer world, and you can begin to understand why it’s difficult to execute ABM at scale.

70% of the buyer's journey is now complete before a prospect ever reaches out to potential solution providers

ABM relies on understanding your buyer personas, what they care about, and where they are in the buying journey in order to create compelling, personalized content delivered to the right account, over the right channel, at the right time. But you can’t realistically do that without the help of AI-based technology to collect and analyze buyer intent from across the web. Being able to consistently prioritize those accounts that are “in market” for your solution, orchestrate automated engagement, and increase the velocity of a deal through the funnel separates top-performing account-based organizations from their peers. 

ABM is Delivering

Early adopters have proven ABM works. And according to TOPO, there are some provocative findings on ABM Success. Respondents indicate that account-based improves customer lifetime value (80%), improves win rates (86%), and delivers higher ROI (76%) than a traditional go-to-market approach and for every five accounts targeted, account-based organizations create a new sales opportunity. 

But in order for ABM to work at scale, the mindset around ABM has to change. As Craig Rosenberg, Co-founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO puts it, “ABM is not a campaign, technology purchase, or buzzword. It is a strategic go-to-market decision that requires a new alignment of people, processes, and technology to be successful.” By targeting the right accounts, creating a unique, personalized journey, and using the power of AI to create repeatable results, you can get into deals earlier, see larger deal sizes and higher win rates, and align marketing and sales around a common set of pipeline goals. 
For more on ABM and why it is just good marketing download our ebook, ABM Is Just Good Marketing.

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