Account Based Marketing- the Next Big Thing (again)?
There’s a lot of buzz about Account Based Marketing (ABM) being one of the biggest revenue drivers for B2B business. While the concept of ABM has been around for the past decade[i], new technology is accelerating the market shift[ii].
What has the industry buzzing now is the ability of ABM to target your prospects in a single company by using a group-personalized ad in real time. This should allow you to accomplish your goal on a smaller budget. No mean feat in a world where CEO’s continue to question the efficacy of marketing spending.
Advocates of ABM believe combining real time ad buying and IP-based ID’s is the most efficient way to target those ads[iii]. The question is whether targeting a collective group rather than individuals will positively impact B2B buying decisions.
Since each company is unique, ABM treats each individual account as its own highly specialized marketing opportunity. Using IP address blocks as identifiers means you no longer need a previous interaction with the account. Industry experts assert that this approach fosters customer loyalty and generates traffic, while reducing reliance on one or two decision-makers.
ABM is a fast growing market with a few major players such as Demandbase and Bizo, as well as Marketo with its recent acquisition of Insightera. In addition, a Marketo co-founder just raised $10 million to fund a new company, Engagio, aimed at developing an ABM platform[iv].
According to proponents, there are three ways to best use ABM:
1) Marketing to new account acquisitions using presentations, webinars, video and white papers. With ABM you can change content in one ad for different viewers allowing you to increase page views – a real game changer.
2) Nurturing your existing clients who may be up for renewal by managing to keep your company in the forefront. With ABM you can personalize your customers’ experiences, reflecting their specific needs.
3) Growing your accounts by reaching out to others in the company to cross sell technologies. This is often referred to as the “land and expand” concept. Land the client and try to expand your sales throughout the company.
Any advances in sales enablement are welcome, but as winning as the ABM approach seems, it would be wise to be cautious. ABM is still in the early adopter stage.
The first note of caution involves the additional investment to get it up and running and there is some manual effort involved in mapping out the IP addresses. But that is only half the challenge. When targets use mobile devices to connect via their cellular networks, they will have different IP addresses every time and thus may fall through the cracks of lead generation efforts.
Finally, ABM is particularly suited for very sizeable accounts. As the dust settles, it is going to be interesting to see how quickly and effectively ABM platforms take hold. In the meantime, one tried and true method of supplementing ABM is through prospect surveys, which are a great way to both listen to individual prospects and to gain the collective pulse of your target audience. Click here to learn more about how SimplyDIRECT’s customized surveys can help you both shape a personalized approach pinpointed to individuals and develop a broader approach to reach your target companies.