Your familiarity with account-based marketing in the B2B industry has probably grown immensely over the last few years. You may have executed impressive ABM campaigns at your last company, and you’re looking to bring the same type of success to your current venture. Or you’re in a similar place as 15% of B2B marketers, where you know you need to leap into ABM but you (or the other stakeholders) just haven’t flipped the switch.
Delaying implementation of an account-focused strategy just means you’re losing out on valuable, quantifiable wins. You know the types of companies you want to work with—size, industry, yearly revenue range—so you just need to find them, target their buying committees, and convince them your product or service is the exact one they need.
While the concept is simple, the execution requires many more steps—as well as the expertise of content writers, graphic designers, marketing specialists, sales executives, customer success members, and developers. Account-based marketing is a true team effort. And depending on your team’s bandwidth, capabilities, and native tools, this often means bringing in an ABM platform or solution to execute B2B campaigns. There are all types of solutions available in the martech world, and narrowing down the options can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Our ABM Buyer’s Guide, however, can help facilitate this process and alleviate a bit of the legwork.
Before you commit to an ABM solution, though, you’ll need to connect with your company’s sales, marketing, and customer success teams. What are their ABM needs or worries? How will implementing an ABM strategy affect the day-to-day workload of key team members? Below, read the top questions to ask your team before investing in an ABM solution.
1. What is your team’s investment?
Outside of the overall fees of running an ABM campaign, your marketing and sales departments will be spending a significant amount of time creating assets, personalizing campaigns, pushing accounts through the funnel, and providing feedback and reports to necessary collaborators. Time is money. Can you afford to have their focus be on ABM? If no, it might be time to bring on a larger ABM solution, one that provides more support and automation when it comes to creating and executing campaigns. Although the initial investment may seem high—B2B companies are seeing a 40% increase in their ABM budgets from 2019 to 2020—the greater ROI that ABM delivers will be visible as your campaigns (and investments) grow.
2. What will your team need to bring to the ABM table?
Even if you bring in a third-party ABM solution, that doesn’t mean your teams will be completely hands-off. Far from it. Do you already have pre-made content that can be reworked for an ABM campaign as pieces of content marketing or site assets? Is there historical data that can be used to create lead lists and track previous account engagement? Are you already working with a usable tech stack—or do you need a completely new setup? The more knowledge your company can contribute, the more informed your ABM strategy will be.
3. Will you need an ABM solution that works with your already-existing platforms?
Some ABM platforms and solutions are built to only function with their exact dashboards and technologies. Others are more flexible. For example, you have a killer B2B email marketer who lives and breathes (and generates unrivaled open and click-through rates) on a specific email platform. You don’t want to divert their attention by uprooting their system. Their involvement in your ABM campaign will be crucial—so you’ll want to ensure integration is seamless.
With our agency’s ABM services, there are effectively no hurdles in our efforts syncing with your customer systems—whether it’s your CRM or email marketing automation. We have the capabilities to integrate our systems within your native platforms, where campaigns can be executed and data can be visualized in your already-familiar interfaces.
4. How are other B2B companies achieving success with ABM?
Account-based marketing might be trending, but it’s been around for a while. Research on its use—both the casual Google search as well as the more in-depth case studies, white papers, and interviews— is widely available and bursting with information on how ABM can be implemented and successful for B2B companies. Are you in transportation, SaaS, healthcare, manufacturing, or higher education? Look at your competitors or similar companies. ABM is meant for longer sales cycles, up to 2 years, so it’s better to learn from campaigns of the past versus learning (and possibly wasting your budget) as you go.
5. Where do we start?
While doing your research on ABM platforms, start developing your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas. Who are the exact companies and job titles within those organizations you want to target? From there, work with both marketing, sales, and customer service teams to determine the weaknesses and strengths of each department and make sure whichever ABM solution you decide on complements your company’s goals and capabilities.