Account-based marketing (ABM) just had its hype year. But as Forrester Research explains, companies need to be prudent in how they budget and forecast for ABM.

“As a growing hoard of products, partnerships, events, and associations jump into this market with gold-rush-like intensity, B2B marketers are in danger of falling for the fool’s gold of unrealistic revenue windfalls and investment returns” (source: Vendor Landscape: Account-Based Marketing, Q4 2016).

So, what sort of investments does your company need to consider while developing an ABM strategy and what do you need to know about working with ABM vendors?

Your budget doesn’t need to be massive.

Put simply, ABM is a strategy, not a channel, which can be developed through a variety of ways (named accounts, verticals, etc.), and executed through multiple channels (email, phone, website, etc.). That agility results in an enormous technology and service landscape (see image below).

But just because you have options, doesn’t mean you need to throw dollars at every channel, service, or technology. “Many B2B marketers mistake ABM as a distinct marketing technology category, which it isn’t,” Forrester reports. “It is, however, a powerful marketing methodology that demands its own set of goals and objectives. Without specifying and agreeing to specific outcomes, supporting technology is just a diversion.”

Forrester, Vendor Landscape: Account-Based Marketing, Q4 2016

Get the most for your money with market intelligence

If you’re going to allocate budget to your ABM strategy, make it count! Successful ABM campaigns require a solid account selection process. So no matter how you choose to go about selecting accounts, be sure to lock down the custom triggers that serve as criteria for entry into your program.

Once established, invest in a market intelligence solution to identify accounts that match these insights. It’s important to note, while companies (accounts) buy, it is the people (employees) who decide. Market intelligence solutions also help in this regard, giving your team access to profiles of buyer personas at your targeted account which includes essential contact and prospecting information.

Use what you already have

Here’s the great thing about ABM’s rise in 2016: vendors are just as excited as you. Sales and marketing applications are already supplementing their core offerings with ABM-centric features (source).

In fact, ZoomInfo’s recent success with ABM required a marketing automation platform, sales automation tools (email & dialing software), a CRM, and, of course, our own market intelligence. The point remains: from a technology standpoint, take stock in what you already have before needlessly spending.

Want to execute a successful account-based marketing strategy? Contact ZoomInfo today to learn how our contact database can help.

About the author

Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is a content marketing director at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact data solution.

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