It seems like nearly every day we’re fielding more and more questions about how to get started with account-based marketing from clients and prospects. Without a doubt, it’s the hottest topic B2B marketing strategy practitioners want to know more about and take advantage of. I recently chatted with our VP of Client Services, Tim Cook, to get his perspective on getting started with ABM.
So what’s the deal — is account-based marketing totally new?
It really isn’t. Marketers have been using elements of account-based marketing, also known as key account marketing or target account marketing, for decades. But, our industry has changed and evolved so much, that there are myriad ways to tackle marketing on a more personalized account basis rather than a demand-gen volume basis. From predictive tools to social listening, to intent monitoring, to marketing automation and more, ABM takes advantage of the latest B2B marketing strategies and technologies.
If you had to sum up what ABM means today in one sentence, how would you describe it? What IS account-based marketing?
Simply stated, account-based marketing is treating each account or group of accounts like a market segment.
From what I’ve heard from marketing colleagues, ABM sounds pretty simple on paper but can be tough to execute. Why do you think that is?
Disconnected systems and processes — and the limitations of most CRM and MA platforms, which were designed with leads and not accounts in mind — are the biggest obstacles we’re seeing with our clients. Other challenges include understanding just how to get started with account-based marketing and how to scale ABM efforts realistically and appropriately for your particular company.
That makes me wonder: Are CRM platforms, like Salesforce.com, set up to handle ABM?
They can be, but not “out of the box.” Salesforce.com and other CRM systems were developed to track individual leads. For example, there is currently no way to get a pipeline view on an account basis with most standard configurations. There are ways around that, of course.
When it gets down to it, how should marketers get started with account-based marketing?
One of the first things that marketers need to do is get their sales and marketing teams aligned with an agreed-upon definition of ABM, as well as strategies, goals, metrics, timelines and more! When it comes down to it, there are really seven key areas to scope out, determine if you have the capabilities to handle, and then prioritize.
For more information on how to truly operationalize ABM, take a little time to view our on-demand webinar on this topic! And if you have quesitons or are looking for a partner to get started, get in touch!