Driving Account Based Marketing
ABM and technology enjoy a symbiotic relationship today – with one driving the adoption of the other. Learning who to target, when to target and, most importantly, how to target, can lead to marketing efficiencies and accelerated sales in the long run. An effective account-centric marketing approach that targets high-yield and strategic accounts with customized service, solution learning and support, ABM goes on to prove that you don’t count companies you reach; but reach the companies that truly count!
ABM has typically been a high-cost activity because of the manual nature of creating segmented marketing tracks, surfacing personalized content, and reacting to buyer personas. This obviously meant that only a small subsection of highly strategic, tier 1 accounts could be supported.
But the growing ability to access and make sense of new data sources and the emergence of disruptive technology to process the power of Big Data means we can now distinguish the key signals from the noise.
And these compelling benefits of tech-enabled ABM are increasing account penetration and in turn, also driving tech adoption.
Data-driven segmentation is a critical enabler
I recently read an exceptionally incisive whitepaper from INSEAD on market segmentation and data analytics that makes a strong point - segmentation is a critical enabler to achieve business objectives and realize benefits.
Effectively identifying white spaces for new products and offerings helps optimize the retention and acquisition strategy. Also, the way in which market segmentation is done results in different ways in which the segmentation can be used. Behavioural, product and lifestyle data, segment attitudes, semantics, all enable extremely targeted customer-centric marketing with optimized price points across different product categories.
While we can possibly find ourselves under a deluge of information on the topic, if we went looking for it, I would actually whittle down tackling ABM to the following key areas:
Big Data Analytics
For every piece of digital information that is predictive in nature, there are hundreds of data points that are just noise. Powerful data analytics that are built within marketing automation systems make it possible to accurately glean valuable and actionable insights for B2B marketing and sales teams from huge data volumes.
Campaign driven ROI
By identifying the channels and campaigns that deliver the most revenue and highest marketing ROI, organizations can focus investment where it has the most impact.
Setting flexible opportunity qualification criteria
This is especially important given that every product has a different buying cycle, in terms of both research and purchase. Influencing the buying cycle today involves reaching out to a buying committee of influencers and evaluators as opposed to a single decision maker within an account. This requires time-sensitive analysis from marketers to react to these behaviours and take action at the right moment. Successful ABM campaigns need focus on identification at the account level.
A well-executed ABM strategy involves an orchestrated multi-channel marketing effort - media campaigns, display advertising, email nurturing, outbound sales prospecting, and offline events.
As data becomes increasingly scalable and interconnected, analytics has also become more widespread and advanced. But having fancy technology platforms at the backend alone does not cut it. In fact, companies that continue to work with more basic approaches to customer data can also stand to benefit from ABM techniques, as long as they derive insights by spending time to understand their customers or prospects, and work on plans to improve their experience and conversion.
The writer is the Technology Editor and ROI Strategist at Dubai-based CXO Strategies. She can be contacted via twitter @CXOConnectME