There seems to be a misconception in the marketplace today around what Account Based Marketing (ABM) is. Many people believe you need a big fancy piece of software to execute it when the reality is that you can start your ABM strategy with the most highly available and adopted piece of marketing technology today, Microsoft Excel. This belief comes from the surge of ABM as a core business strategy created by the MarTech vendors offering predictive marketing, intent monitoring, and account-based engagement tools that needed to create a market for their solutions. While ABM is a great strategy that can be enhanced with software, it does not require it. I have spent the past two years developing four different types of ABM approaches requiring different technologies to execute, of which many brands have available to them today.
1. Planned ABM
Developing a target list of accounts, that you would like to get inside of, and building a targeted strategy, across sales and marketing, to achieve that. (Tools Required to start: Excel and a LinkedIn account.)
2. Existing Account Expansion
Working with your sales team to set goals for existing accounts which marketing supports by identifying decision makers and providing content to support the sales cycle. (Tools Required to start: Excel, CRM, and a LinkedIn account.)
3. Predictive Lead Gen
Using machine learning and data enrichment to create a lookalike model and monitor purchasing intent and signals to identify when a business is indicating they are in the market for what you have to sell. When doing this strategy sales has to understand what the value model you are using provides and be willing to engage with those accounts instead of letting them sit in a marketing nurture stream, waiting for the traditional “lead score” threshold to be reached. (Tools Required to start: Predictive tool, intent data, and CRM.)
These are the accounts still hitting your website, identified by reverse IP lookup or form conversion. If an account is deemed enough value, you can pull it from the traditional nurture stream and begin an ABM program directed at them to scale. (Tools Required to start: Reverse IP tool.)
Thus, the reality for the majority of these strategies is free or low-cost tools which are more than sufficient to get you started on your ABM journey.
I think ABM has some incredible promise and can help companies become much more focused on creating amazing customer experiences across the entire company.
However, it is not a silver bullet. It still requires you to have a holistic marketing strategy. Additionally, I think a common trap is over-investing in ABM technology when Excel may be good enough for your business to start.
If you want to dive deeper into ABM strategies you can reach out.
By Jeff Marcoux
Click below to watch Jeff’s quick videos on:
- The New ROI for Marketing
- Why I get Excited About Digital Marketing
- The Marketing Reality Check
- Customer Experience and Why It Matters