Account-based marketing is a hot topic right now, but what exactly is it?
You may have seen #ABM trending on Twitter or read blogs where professionals explain their take on account-based marketing — but what is it exactly? Traditional business-to-business (B2B) marketers spend ample amounts of time pouring leads into the sales funnel that never end up showing interest in the product.
With account-based marketing, marketers use a focused approach to target businesses that are most likely to buy from their company, resulting in more personalized tactics and more revenue. With the rise in marketing technology, account-based marketing has skyrocketed and become one of the hottest buzz words in marketing.
And with the rise of a new idea comes the need for education on that topic. This is why we authored Account-Based Marketing For Dummies.
This is the first book of its kind with the purpose of educating readers on all things ABM. Written by Terminus Co-Founder and CMO, Sangram Vajre, the book explains every detail of account-based marketing and is designed specifically for a beginner audience.
To understand a little background on the book, here is the foreword from Megan:
Nothing makes me happier than seeing the market embrace a good idea that works. For account-based marketing, that time is now. Why is ABM the new big thing in B2B, especially when it’s not really a “new” idea at all? There are a number of reasons why you may be opening this book and starting on the road to ABM. Here are my thoughts on why reading it and deploying ABM will be a smart investment for you.
The first reason that ABM is getting so much attention these days is that marketing and sales leaders have determined that the natural next step in their relationship requires account focus.
Marketing has made great strides over the last few years towards building credibility with sales. Unfortunately, the last mile to ideal alignment with sales has eluded marketing, because they’ve maintained a focus on delivering volumes of leads. What’s the problem with that model?
If you ask a salesperson where growth will come from, he or she will name a list of accounts. Marketing, on the other hand, typically starts talking about personas and segments. Now, with ABM, marketing is speaking the language of sales. Efficient revenue growth requires focusing on the specific accounts, and the people in them, who are most likely to deliver that growth. To sales, and now for those who embrace account-based marketing, anything else is a waste of time.
The second reason is the reality of how buyers buy.
Marketing and sales finally agree it’s no longer a battle for who plays the most critical role in the buying cycle. Instead, common sense and ample research evidence show that marketing and sales together are needed to support buyers on their journey. This requires a balanced strategy, where sales and marketing understand their respective roles and how those need to be coordinated in every stage of buying. ABM is the way to operationalize that strategy as a partnership that’s focused on delivering growth.
The third reason for ABM’s rise, which Sangram points out in this book, is that both sales and marketing have been ignoring the most critical driver of B2B buying: the post-sale customer experience.
Fully 71 percent of the reason that B2B buyers choose to buy from a specific company is based on either their own direct experience with a company, or what they hear about the experience others have with the company. This means that the funnel as we know it makes very little sense. The real battle for customer hearts, minds, and investments happens after customers buy. It’s essential to balance pre- and post-sale requirements when building an account-based plan, because those non-selling investments in customer success deliver both retention and growth. Marketing’s toolkit is essential to both customer acquisition and customer engagement.
The fourth reason is around technology.
You may wonder why now there’s so much fuss about a marketing concept that has been around for more than a decade. That’s a fair question. In the past, ABM had to be executed as a one-to-one, customized approach, with a focus on just a small number of very significant accounts. This custom approach was, and remains, labor-intensive and not the right model for every business. What’s changed to support the current wave of ABM adoption is the availability of technology and analytics to make one-to-few (or more than a few) much more realistic, even for small teams with limited budgets.
The current wave of account-based marketing is fueled by a data-driven approach to marketing that begins with the identification of ideal companies and contacts to target, and then uses technology to engage with them at scale in useful ways, both pre- and post-sale. The traditional one-to-one model still makes sense, and is successfully used by many companies who commit the resources to do it, but technology has democratized ABM.
If you’re reading this book and just getting started with ABM, let me be the first to welcome you to the future of what B2B marketing can be: insight led, technology enabled and, above all, customer focused. Happy reading!
To read more, download the first chapter of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies now.