Account-Based Marketing: Fad or Reality?

Archana Dhankar

Mar 09, 20173 min read
Account-Based Marketing

Over the years, there have been incredible changes to the way business is done, with account-based marketing (ABM) having emerged as the latest trend in B2B Marketing setups in recent years. Though the concept is something new, more and more organizations are readily adopting it, for improving their sales and revenues with a target-based approach.

Understanding ABM

ABM, as the name suggests, considers every existing or prospective customer, here a company and not an individual, as its own market or a market of one. 

Most effective for B2B organizations, this marketing technique, involves identifying and targeting a key set of accounts and using tailor made campaigns for generating fresh leads. It works on the hypothesis that buying decisions in B2B setups are made by a group of people rather than an individual.

While identification of target account and reaching out are the core aspects of ABM, measurement of results is equally crucial. It not only helps companies evaluate their ROI but also enables them to frame strategic plans for the future.

The key to success of ABM lies in targeting the core decision-making group. The secret is to deliver the right message to the right people in the potential buying company, and ABM does the same by making use of innovative technology, rather than lying back on conventional marketing techniques such as SEO, PR and advertising, both online and offline.

When an organization takes up ABM as its strategy, it aims for coordination between sales and marketing. The idea is to follow a targeted approach with personalized tactics focusing on specific accounts, as opposed to mass marketing strategies applying to the mass audience, being assailed with generic messages.

As a result, the method is more suitable for the companies which have a targeted and addressable market.

Account Based Marketing vs. Demand Generation

ABM is target-specific and technology-based marketing technique which is very different from the traditional demand generation model that has conventionally been followed by businesses.

The latter happens to be people-centric, with the entire concept revolving around looking for leads and running campaigns for people. On the other hand, ABM is an account-centric process, similar to sales.

ABM is an outbound process, with a narrow market based on specific accounts that are chased with outbound tactics. The strategy aims at generating higher value deals by hunting the right accounts and keeping them engaged.

Conversely, demand generation concentrates more on bulk, with the lower value being made up by higher volumes. While account retention is the focus of ABM, demand generation is all about creating more and more new leads. After seeing the difference between the two, it can be surely said why ABM is emerging as the newest trend in B2B marketing.

What does ABM have to offer?

Being a personalized approach, ABM has its set of advantages for the organizations which adopt it:

  •  It enables businesses to directly reach out to the potential buyers and find out what exactly works for them; accordingly, they can strategize their campaigns to get personalized messages to the clients.
  • There is a better alignment of marketing with sales, with companies being able to close bigger deals within a shorter time frame and at minimal costs.
  • Direct communication is an essential aspect of ABM, with the seller getting in one-to-one touch with the account, thus improving business prospects.
  • Retargeting is another plus point of ABM as it gives the marketer the opportunity to re-approach the target accounts which they might have lost.
  • Being automated and easy to implement, it ensures that the target accounts are reached with minimal management and in a short span of time.

ABM has some limitations

Though it may seem to be the next big thing in the marketing scenario according to Forrester and Marketing Gurus, the program does need a proper strategic implementation at the start, with regular monitoring, technology investment and coordination between sales & marketing.

The business needs to invest a good deal of time and money in building the technological model for the implementation of account based marketing in their organization. Overall, it can be said that ABM promises a tremendous growth opportunity for B2B organizations if well implemented. 

Does your company have account-based marketing tactics in place? Is it part of your overall strategy in 2017? Share your thoughts below!

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Marketing Professional, Brand Strategist, Performance & Digital Marketing Expert with 12 years of Industry Experience in Digital Marketing and Brand Management.