I love giving something a snappy title as much as anyone. I’m a process guy and giving something a name helps me to package it up and explain it to others. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is one such marketing term, that in my opinion, is just good marketing. Especially in the business-to-business (B2B) world.
Here’s the ABM process:
- Account selection
- Data and insights
- Creative execution
- Refine and scale
To explain why I think ABM is just good marketing, I’ll explain each step in the process individually.
This means getting the right people, from the right departments bought in and involved in your marketing strategy. Marketing is not confined to the marketing department, it spans the whole business and requires input from people with different disciplines. For example, marketing and sales should be working together to understand what each other is seeking (what constitutes and good lead) and how to best appeal to your audience. Operations should be involved as they’re often in the coal-face talking to customers and hearing about what they want and their challenges. You also might need Senior buy-in so you get the budget and time you need to give your marketing the resources it requires.
This part of the process is deciding who you are targeting with your marketing activity, be this individual companies or a specific market. You can’t and don’t want to appeal to everyone, so it’s vital for marketing success to properly define who you want to have as your clients. Often, the more specific the better.
Data and insights.
Now you have defined your audience you need to really get to know them. For any marketing campaign to work you need to know who you are targeting, what are their pains, what gains are they looking to achieve, who are they and where do they hang out. All of this insight it vital to creating marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience. It’s not only a step in the ABM process, but critical for any and all marketing (and business) activity.
Once you have input and alignment from the right people, you know who you are targeting and what makes them tick, only now should you be thinking about the marketing activity you are going to do. This is because your plan is not then just based on guesswork, or the latest buzz-trend, but actual understanding of your audience. A lot of the time, in marketing, people jump to this section without really knowing what they’re trying to achieve, what appeals to their audience and who they actually are. This means there is no real strategy to your activity and you’re just working based on assumptions and hoping what you do is going to work. Hope is not a strategy.
"Putting some attention to what you do actually need is good practice in marketing. "
Having the right tools is important to the success of your marketing. You don’t have to have all of the gear, but putting some attention to what you do actually need is good practice in marketing. This might be a functioning CRM, a decent website or being set up on a reliable email marketing service provider.
Refine and scale.
In all walks of marketing, you shouldn’t just be doing things without ever really knowing what is working and what isn’t. There are many ways, nowadays, to track the performance of your marketing and understand what is driving business growth and what is just sapping resources. You should refine what’s not working, to try and make it effective, and scale what is working. You want more of a good thing, right? So double-down on the activity that is bringing you success.
The steps above are all part of the ABM process, but is actually a good process for all of marketing. I believe that ABM is just thorough-bred marketing and this is why I like it so much (and it’s has a pretty neat process).
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Featured image via Adobe Stock, Peshkov. Targeting image via Pixabay