With account-based marketing developing into a powerful marketing strategy, savvy marketing leaders are finding new and improved ways to capitalize and maximize their revenue potential.
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven business transformation hard, and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a significant part of that transformation. The recognition that organizations need an ABM strategy isn’t new. B2B organizations everywhere have been taking an interest in adopting ABM because the strategy is founded on so many key pillars of effective marketing today – organizational alignment, personalization, and focused pursuit of high-value customers.
CMOs today believe that ABM is the marketing platform with the highest success rate. A few years ago, everyone was talking about the platform model – customer experience platforms and web experience platforms. Now, we have the best of breed solutions that are more efficient than one single platform.
Organizations started putting together pieces of the marketing technology stack to create the technology environment they needed. But things are changing again; there is a new technology available now – the next generation web experience solution, which is a digital experience platform.
Marketers today are in the age of the hyper-connected consumer, where each prospect is seen as a market of one. Marketers are responding by targeting micro-segments and consistently delivering relevant experiences exclusively to their most valuable accounts. In other words, they’re all in on ABM.
As companies build strategies around the customer, they see a stronger relationship between marketing and sales. It is that one technology that brings these two groups together. Marketing and sales should join forces – it is the company’s revenue-driving dream team. Marketing and sales alignment has the potential to increase revenue, sales win rates, and customer retention rates.
But the harsh reality is that for most companies, sales and marketing alignment is a common barrier to progress and the biggest ABM-related challenge. There is still a long way and many hurdles to climb over, with each group analyzing its approach to customer engagement in a different manner.
Another challenge that marketers face is related to data, and this stands true even for ABM strategies. Access to customer data and insight is the biggest challenge affecting those in ABM. B2B organizations have massive amounts of data that come in from internal marketing, sales activities, including customer service and customer behavior analysis. Quite often, organizations also buy data from external sources to supplement the already existing data.
For successful account-based marketing, the significance of clean, accurate data cannot be overemphasized. This data provides the foundation on which the sales and marketing teams align their goals, support the creation of campaigns that impact decision-makers. In simple terms, data is the bedrock of successful ABM, and it must be among an organization’s top priorities.
CMOs believe the term ABM will be obsolete in a few years; it will turn into a B2B marketing cloud with data as the hub. Today, B2B marketing leaders are creating a new data architecture that brings together all account-level data in one place. Together this data from systems of engagement like advertising, email, chat, and other modes of interactions can create a more informative data model.
Technology keeps evolving with businesses, in an attempt to find new and improved ways to get closer to the customers and build better relationships. As companies transform to the account-based model, ABM will become the new backbone of solid marketing. It is well on its way to becoming the next generation marketing cloud. And, it’s a marketing cloud that isn’t only going to be for marketing, either.