It’s been quite a year for account-based marketing (ABM); a banner twelve months that has seen the concept find new life and new purchase as marketers everywhere have sought to take a more holistic view of their funnels.

The approach itself, which looks at leads as parts of a larger whole (an account), isn’t all that new, and its benefits well-established; deals are won and lost by accounts, after all, not by individual contacts or opportunities, so it makes sense that marketers adopting an account-based strategy are bound to see higher ROI and greater contract value on average.

But what’s worth considering, and considering carefully, is technology’s role in facilitating the strategy. Marketing automation, for instance, has much to offer today’s ABM practitioner, functioning as a command center of sorts, enabling them to orchestrate engagements across multiple touch points to support broader awareness, acquisition, and retention initiatives.

What’s marketing automation got to do with it?

With marketing automation as the main engine of an account-based engagement strategy, marketers can personalise and tailor their messaging more effectively, while tracking their buyers’ journeys more closely, for content and conversations that are timely and relevant. They can market to individuals as they always have, but do so with more of an eye to the larger account they are connected with. They also can score accounts and the influencers within those accounts on specific actions and attributes, for a clearer picture of an accounts’ health or readiness to purchase. Think of ABM as the oars that might convey a business’s ship across choppy waters, and marketing automation as the sail that buffets challenging headwinds.

Here at Act-On, we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to expand and enrich marketing automation’s usage, which is why we announced earlier this year a new ABM module within our platform, to give CMOs and their marketing department using our integrated workspace the means to develop and execute scalable, account-based programs for customer acquisition and retention. We partnered with a number of leading ABM vendors to provide our customers a true, multi-channel experience, focusing in the process on the main tenets of ABM: targeting, tracking, nurturing, scoring and optimising.

Engagement is principle

With ABM automation, marketers can target key decision-makers and influencers within an account much more precisely, all while ensuring a consistent experience for other contacts within the organization. They can single out individual buyers by behavior and link those actions to a broader account. They can deploy account-specific campaigns to nurture businesses along in the purchasing process. They can score accounts by health and general level of activity, triggering campaigns and workflows inside and outside the inbox.

And before you throw up your hands and lament the loss of your other programs and processes, let’s be clear: account-based marketing isn’t an approach that needs to displace your other programs. It’s simply another knife in the drawer, another tool in the box, another weapon in your arsenal that does its best work when deployed alongside your other contact based programs. It’s to your advantage, really, to compare and contrast your returns from ABM with other approaches, and allocate your budget accordingly. You’re not leaving lead generation behind, remember; you’re simply changing the way you go about it.

ABM can bring color, context, and clarity to your outreach efforts. Let it in while there’s still time.

 

By Paige Musto, senior director of corporate marketing at Act-On Software

 

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