Account Based Marketing

I recently had a lunch where the topic of targeted account marketing (TAM) came up. This is also known as account based marketing (ABM) and has become a key focus area for sales and marketing ops teams in recent years.

According to Sirius Decisions, and its State of Account-Based Marketing survey, 92% of marketers now understand the value of ABM but only 20% of companies are setup to implement it. The same survey showed that 47% of companies don’t feel their ABM teams have the skills needed for ABM. This is a fantastic opportunity to outsource, upskill and give your sales and marketing organisations a boost.

There are a few trains of thought on how to setup your sales and marketing databases. Personally, I feel it is critically important to ensure your CRM system includes all possible prospect account names. I’m always surprised how many companies do not setup their CRM in this way and only track those companies they have had an interaction with.

  1. You cannot reach out to people if they are not in your CRM. In the last two exercises I have done only 20-30% of the target accounts were actually captured and we were able to make massive improvements.
  2. Once all potential prospects are captured, then possible to do a whitespace exercise for missing contacts. Sourcing specific titles at specific companies will yield much better results then buying a massive database and using the ‘spray and pray’ approach. In order to do this all contacts in both your sales and marketing databases will need normalised company name data. This can be done at input or cleaned regularly.

Companies have always used this strategy to identify key strategic accounts however, advanced in technology now mean this can be done on a scale not yet seen before. Not only can accounts be segmented more easily, but now that most B2B sales are made by a collective of buyers, those can be profiled too. Marketo has just announced a new ABM product and InsideView is a key partner also building out complementary technology.

Instead of leveraging a set of broad-reaching programs designed to touch the largest possible number of prospective customers, an ABM strategy focuses marketing and sales resources on a defined set of targeted accounts and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each individual account. With ABM, your marketing message is based on the attributes and needs of the account you’re targeting.

David Cain, GVP, Global Marketing, Marketo

Once your databases are setup properly you are able to do some very interesting things such as:

  • Visualise under penetrated geographic regions and assign more coverage
  • Study the effects of various marketing campaigns with different demographic populations
  • Set goals for your marketing team for percentage of the market they are communicating with on a regular basis
  • Create dynamic experiences personalised to each company you are targeting

To get started ensuring your databases are fine tuned for success and learn more about account based marketing, contact Sales Ops Help or understand our offering.