Account-based marketing (ABM) – you’ve likely read all about it. Chances are, if you’re not utilizing this particular brand of marketing, you know someone who is. After all, the number of companies using an ABM strategy increased by 21% in the past year alone (source).
Let’s back up a little bit.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
ABM is a strategy employed by B2B organizations that generates business by directing targeted sales and marketing initiatives toward predefined accounts. ABM is a comprehensive approach that combines singular marketing segments (industry, product/solution, marketing channels, etc.) into one, living, breathing target: your selected account.
Although ABM is simple enough to understand, it’s much more difficult to execute. Today, we’ll outline four common obstacles that might be keeping you from ABM success.
ABM requires sales and marketing departments to work closely together. For this reason it’s imperative that both teams are on the same page. If sales and marketing strategies are at odds, there’s no way to initiate a streamlined or successful ABM campaign.
First, sales and marketing must clearly define the attributes that makeup target accounts including revenue, location, team size, in-house marketing automation platform, etc. Next, marketing must commit to accommodate and enable sales throughout each stage of the customer acquisition cycle. And sales must commit to an outreach strategy using agreed-upon messaging. Throughout the entire campaign, sales and marketing must continue to communicate to determine what works, and what doesn’t to optimize effectively.
For more information about sales and marketing alignment, check out the following posts:
- 3 Expert Opinions on Sales and Marketing Alignment
- 20 Sales and Marketing Alignment Statistics
- Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Q&A
- 5 Actions to Foolproof Your Sales and Marketing Alignment Plan
- How to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment Through Events
- Lead Qualification: The Key to Sales and Marketing Alignment
Failure to Prioritize Your Data
Your ABM strategy is only as good as the data that powers it. In fact, 40% of business objectives fail due to inaccurate data (source). So, if your database is loaded with outdated, erroneous account and contact information, just how effective can your marketing initiatives really be?
With the help of a data provider, determine where your data is lacking. Then, do your best to maintain a continuous flow of quality data. Although data maintenance is a time-consuming endeavor, quality data can make all the difference when it comes to ABM success.
Check out the following blog posts to learn more about database maintenance:
- The B2B Database Maintenance Glossary
- How to Get More Value from Your B2B Data Purchase
- A Guide to B2B Data Sources
- 4 B2B Data Management Tips to Help You Convert More Leads
- Try Before You Buy: B2B Data Sampling Strategies
- 36 B2B Data Statistics: The Effect of Dirty Data on ROI
ABM is an approach based solely on engaging and influencing key stakeholders at your target account. Therefore, the key to a successful ABM strategy is to generate highly personalized content for each account. Consider the following statistics:
- 82% of prospects value content made for their specific industries (source).
- 67% say the same about content created for their specific job functions (source).
- 75% of executives will read unsolicited material if it’s relevant to their business (source).
Think about it, you’re constantly flooded with generic information and content—and your prospects are too. When a subject line fails or content doesn’t speak to your needs, it is simply – and quickly – X’d out of existence.
Don’t let this happen to you. Truly think about your target accounts—what are their pain points? What topics are they interested in? How can your product help them reach their goals?
The Bottom Line
From better lead generation results to increased brand awareness, the benefits of ABM are undeniable. In fact, according to one recent study, 60% of ABM users reported a revenue increase of at least 10%, while 19% reported a revenue impact of 30% or greater (source).
However, a successful ABM program isn’t something your team can just throw together. Without proper planning, your ABM campaign will fall flat.