What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing is a form of targeted marketing that focuses on specific individual customers or clients, as opposed to mass marketing. Proponents of account-based marketing say that it can be more effective than other forms of marketing because it allows businesses to target their most valuable customers and build better relationships with them.
Detractors of account-based marketing say that it can be more expensive and time consuming than other forms of marketing, and that businesses may not see a return on their investment if they do not target the right customers. There is also the risk that businesses may focus so much on their most valuable customers that they neglect other customers who may be just as profitable.
Why use account-based marketing?
There are many reasons to use account-based marketing, but three of the most important are:
1. ABM allows you to focus your resources on the accounts that are most likely to buy from you, which means you can generate more revenue with fewer resources.
2. ABM helps you build long-term relationships with key customers, which can lead to more referrals and repeat business.
3. ABM promises to help you build more programmatic ways of engaging high value accounts.
How does account-based marketing work?
ABM is a very different way of doing business, so it can take some time to get used to the process. Here are the basic steps:
1. Define your ideal customer profile. This is the target market you want to focus on with your ABM campaign.
2. Identify your key accounts. These are the organizations that match your ideal customer profile. Most tools promise to help you do this programmatically. Other tools are really just a repository for organizing your efforts and achieving visibility across sales & marketing.
3. Create a strategy for targeting each of your key accounts. This will involve developing customized marketing materials and sales pitches that appeal to each account’s specific needs.
4. Execute your ABM campaign and track the results. Measure how many leads and sales you generate from each account, and adjust your strategy as needed.
Pros & cons of the major players
- They make it easier for sales people and ABM marketers to collaborate on a plan for each account
- They’ve got off the shelf integrations that make it easier for sales to manage multiple tools (like Outreach, Sendoso, etc.)
- They’ve built relationships with publishers that can provide some interesting keyword/IP traffic data on an account level (no people-level info)
- On the intent side of things, they’re a black box. You don’t know where the data is coming from so you just have to trust that it is magical. If the results don’t perform, you’re potentially out a massive sunk cost and you don’t have a way to adjust.
- Completeness of coverage. Almost every B2B company has multiple 3rd party data providers because combining datasets is critical to actually hone in on your ICP. Plus 6sense/Bombora/Demandbase individually only have X% of coverage of a given market. Stacking data provider on top of data provider creates more yield. It’s tricky to do, but very effective.
- Closed ecosystem. To merge data from Demandbase with another source you have to get it out of Demandbase and then perform operations on it. That means data engineer or excel. There’s a reason most of these platforms don’t have easy to access APIs. They want you stuck inside their walled garden. Closed ecosystems have a natural ceiling on functionality.
Choosing the right tool
Here is our take at Primer:
- Engagio (part of Demandbase) and Triblio are best for collaboration and prioritization between marketing and sales.
- Terminus is really just for programmatic display with reverse IP targeting. Lots of limitations.
- Demandbase is kind of smushed together product. It’s trying to compete with 6sense.
- 6sense probably has the best keyword intent targeting and is the leader in the space.
- Don’t go with Lattice. Ever since D&B bought them their product has not improved.
Tips for implementing account-based marketing
1. Choose the right tool for the job. There are a number of different tools and platforms that can help you implement ABM, so choose the one that has the features best suited to your primary use case. They all promise the world. Figure out what really matters to you and where they excel.
Always make sure to do a trial or an opt-out clause.
2. Personalize your messages. Make sure your communications are tailored to each individual account.
If you’re looking for help on the orchestration side of things, ask them to show you exactly what a workflow looks like to, for example, enroll someone in an outreach sequence automatically.
3. Make sure you have a clearly established a process for tracking results. Measure the success of your ABM campaigns and optimize your strategy accordingly.
You don’t want to end up looking bad for a >$30,000 a year subscription
The future of account-based marketing
The future of account-based marketing is bright, and the trend is only going to continue to grow in popularity. Here are some of the ways ABM is evolving:
1. Automation: Automated tools are making it easier to target specific accounts and personalize your messages.
2. Holistic Approach: More companies are taking a holistic approach to ABM, which means they’re targeting all stages of the buyer’s journey, not just the top of the funnel.
3. Integration: ABM is being integrated into other marketing channels, such as social media and email marketing.
4. Targeting: The ability to target specific accounts with relevant content is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
How do existing ABM tools fit in with Primer?
- ABM display advertising is very complementary to Primer’s paid social advertising (no ABM tools achieves the match rates Primer does)
- ABM keyword intent data is complementary to Primer’s event/signal data
- If an ABM platform IDs an account as being in market and pushes that data into SFDC or HubSpot, we can then automatically pull the contacts at that account, enrich that account with signal data, etc. and push those net-new contacts to any destination you want (ad platforms, back into your CRM, etc.). Primer let’s you take the ABM data and activate outside of the ABM platform
ABM is a great way to differentiate your company from the competition and stand out in a crowded market. If you’re not using account-based marketing yet, it’s time to start. The benefits are too great to ignore. To learn more about ABM, contact us today. We can help you get started on your own ABM campaign.
Thank you for reading! We hope you found this article helpful.