August 21, 2019 –
This is the reason why Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been making waves.
- It looks at customers as faceless organizations
- It discounts the fact that people are at the heart of purchase decisions in B2B scenarios – and multiple people at that
A lot of organizations think that they have adopted an account-based marketing strategy because they bought certain technologies like Demandbase or Terminus or they bought Engagio. They’re sending cupcakes, right? Therefore they have a set of target accounts and they’re not outbound spraying and praying like they did before. They’re getting a little more specific and disciplined, but it’s still outbound marketing where they are handing leads over to sales. So it’s not really ABM.
For the sake of this piece we are assuming that you are already sold on the idea of Account Based Marketing and how it can help you deliver an optimized, multi-channel, multi-persona buying experience for your prospects.
John Common (CEO and founder of Intelligent Demand) specializes in growing his clients’ revenue by helping them “reach, engage, retain and grow their best customers.”
David Lewis (Founder and CEO at DemandGen International, Inc.) specializes in helping companies align their sales and marketing teams, setting up and operationalizing processes for generating demand, and leveraging marketing and technology for winning their most strategic customers.
When choosing your ABM expert, it is key to ensure that they are not too closely affiliated with a particular software solution, and if they are then they have a reputation of calling a spade a spade.
Gray’s interviews are always full of insights into the latest ABM best practices. For instance, in this interview with LinkedIn, Gray generously shares the exact process LeadMD follows when it comes to planning and executing ABM campaigns for its clients. We totally second this excellent tip Greene gives to those just starting out with account-based marketing: In addition to getting a copy of his book (that you can get here for free) and subscribing to his channel, you should also follow him on LinkedIn as he actively shares news, stories, and content around ABM.
Justin Gray (CEO at LeadMD) specializes in helping companies set up winning ABM programs. An early adopter of account-based marketing, Gray uses a mix of his proven framework (The Catalyst Marketing Framework), technology, and data to power ABM campaigns for LeadMD’s clients.
And while she doesn’t blog often, her agency blog is full of ABM insights and tutorials. (A special shoutout to Ashley Shailer, a Senior Associate at Inverta, for her amazing work on the blog!)
He’s your “ABM guide” if you want to learn the nuts and bolts of account-based marketing, right from choosing the right target accounts and doing “enough” research to setting up an optimized account-based marketing tech stack. Most of Bacon’s content is available for free on the B2B Marketing website (needs opt-in, though).
But the question is, who do you follow to get your fix of reliable ABM tactics?
Patrice Greene (President and Co-founder of Inverta) specializes in helping B2B marketers source and win their most strategic business opportunities “in today’s ever-changing omni-channel marketing landscape.” Greene helps companies like Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, and CA Technologies run ABM programs for building demand and engagement with their key prospects. An expert at setting up optimized martech stacks for ABM programs (and marketing automation, in general), Greene also made it to the 2019 edition of the top 20 Women Leaders in Business to Watch.
Her series (I’m an ABM-er!) that features excerpts from her book about ABM’ers from companies like SAP, Fujitsu and more is an absolute must-read.
Oh and here’s our favorite quote on ABM by John:
Call it ABM or Not. It doesn’t matter… ABM isn’t that different — especially at the tactical level. But what I think ABM does do is give us A BIG SHOT IN THE ARM to continue to up our game as B2B revenue practitioners. And modern tools like predictive, AI, intent data, automation, account-based advertising, sales assistants, content personalization, etc… give us better ways to operationalize and scale those fundamentals.
Common is your go-to person to learn the fundamentals of account-based marketing and for staying on top of the most engaging ABM discussions the geekiest B2B marketers have in packed conferences. John’s posts from the ID’ology blog (for example, this and this) are must-reads for any ABM’er.
Alisha Lyndon (Founder and CEO of MomentumABM) specializes in transforming “how sales and marketing teams succeed with their most important customers.” Host of “The Account-Based Marketing Podcast,” Alisha has about two decades of experience focusing on key account marketing and consults companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google on their ABM programs.
We found out that enthusiasm isn’t the only thing that you need to make your account based drives a success. Learn from our mistakes here.
Lewis is the author of “Manufacturing Demand” (an Amazon best seller) in which he shows savvy marketers and salespeople how to work together and fuel their campaigns with data and analytics and dives deep into tactics like segmentation and automation with real-world examples and case studies.
Account-based marketing is about people, not personas; accounts, not markets. Rather than focusing on the broadcast method, ABM is a highly-targeted and real-time technique of influencing individual “markets of one”.
Businesses are waking up to the fact that B2B marketing is broken!
We absolutely loved this word of caution Bacon has for marketers rushing to buy flashy ABM tech solutions impulsively without doing the research:
In other words, ABM guides us to keep doing a better and better job at applying the fundamentals for succeeding with any B2B revenue growth strategy. Bev Burgess (Senior Vice President and Global ABM Practice Leader at ITSMA) helps companies “design, launch and scale the right blend of ABM for their business.” She is also the author of “Practitioner’s Guide to ABM: Accelerating Growth in Strategic Accounts.” Her book (co-authored by Dave Munn) is almost a mini-bootcamp for anyone who’s interested in implementing account-based marketing.
Andy Bacon, ABM Specialist and Senior Advisor at B2B Marketing, offers ABM consulting and mentoring to enterprises across various industries. His disruptive demand generation ideas won him recognition even when ABM was a very nascent field.
ABM hasn’t been fully thrashed out and codified yet – in short, there are lots of grey areas where best practices do not work. Follow these leaders for an unbiased taken on Account Based Marketing hits and misses, and test the waters yourself.
He also runs DemandGen Radio where he hosts pioneers, influencers, thought leaders, and disruptors from the marketing and sales fields to talk about the methods and technologies to power high-performance marketing.
My worry is that this often means putting the ‘cart before the horse’. A farmer can now invest just short of £1 million on a state-of-the-art, tech-laden combine harvester that uses GPS to measure crop yield across every square metre of his field. Technology won’t make his wheat grow stronger or enable him to get more £/tonne at market. He will, of course, ‘reap what he sows’; his experience will tell him there’s no escaping good groundwork. Getting the fundamentals of soil management right will always come first.
In her article (A day in the life of an account-based marketer), Alisha gives us a walkthrough of what a typical day looks like for an ABM’er. (The article is almost a primer on account-based marketing, by the way!)
Here’s an excerpt from the same:
If you would like a primer on how ABM fixes what is “off” with B2B funnels and cycles, check out our blog here.
You can follow Gray on Twitter to learn about his upcoming interviews.
Oh and here’s a totally quotable quote from Alisha on how account-based marketing works with “markets of one”:
It’s about identifying your best buyers and treating those best buyers in a much more personal way. We’re focusing on not only the lead but really that account as a whole. What is the makeup of that company? What are their initiatives? How are they planning? Who’s on the buying committee? Who’s making the decision? And then we formulate the marketing based on what we learn about the account. It’s a much more laser-focused approach that eliminates a lot of waste.
So, while selecting the right mix of tech solutions is really important to reap the rewards of ABM, don’t assume they guarantee success and certainly don’t let them define your strategy.
In addition to writing helpful articles on account-based marketing and sharing ABM insights from across different industries, Burgess also writes/co-writes rich educational resources on ABM on for ITSMA.
These 7 ABM’ers don’t just offer some really useful content on ABM but also help demystify the halo around it, showing you exactly what’s working now.