Should you try ABM as a B2B Marketer in 2017?
ABM has been around for quite some time but majorly it has been used as a marketing strategy by big B2B players across industries.
Marketing technology has made it possible now for small and mid-sized B2B players to deploy ABM at scale affordably.
Apart from technology, it's your people who define your ABM success. So, it's important for you to analyze if ABM is meant for you or not.
ABM is a way of working that brings down the walls between sales and marketing in B2B companies. That makes them work with each other and not for themselves. That makes them look at the same thing and not different ones. And thus, it is one of the key B2B marketing strategies that you can’t ignore.
ABM changes the equation of marketing and sales teams working in silos. Marketing teams now have to work in tandem with the sales team. While marketing goes about creating content, the sales team brings sharper inputs about the prospects’ challenges and info requirements. And together they can give inputs on the database or the ad copies being run.
Because for once, one activity is bringing both the teams to the table to deliver results. Not to just get updates or hear the other viewpoints. But to brainstorm and work out what is best for the prospects, and eventually for the company.
Of course one might argue that sales and marketing should have always been working like this. But in most companies, they are not. Simply because the marketing team has to generate leads while the sales team has to get the revenue. Once you make the switch to get marketing to also focus on revenue, the equation changes. Not that marketing is going to do the sales bit, or that sales can have its targets split with marketing. It simply means that marketing gets dead serious about focusing on the right accounts and not merely on, in most cases Marketing Qualified Leads.
Of course, ABM is not for everyone, or for every case. But it is known to work splendidly in cases where you have large accounts or accounts in specific verticals to tap into, nurture and build. You need some serious tech to make it happen, as well as a lot of sales and marketing smarts working in an integrated way. And that’s why the term ‘smarketing’ is now popular.
ABM is not new, it has been around for as long as sales has been around. Today, the marketing technology enables it to be deployed at scale, with laser-sharp focus and taking the risk out of relationships being dependent on a single person. ABM also works on targeted accounts, unlike inbound marketing where you attract leads to come to you.
Sounds too good to be true, almost like hype. But you can’t fault with the logic, or the numbers being shared by users.
What’s the caveat?
- Marketing technology for ABM will not be a cakewalk, and hence along with your marketers with great ideas you also need people who have worked on many marketing tech platforms.
- Expect to have a steep learning curve with almost all campaigns and be fearless to experiment, while treading the fine line of not annoying the prospect.
ABM is purely outbound, an extension of your inside sales team. So should you now put less attention to inbound marketing?
We don’t think so. It really depends on the stage of your business, the size of your sales team, and the maturity of the inbound marketing techniques you have deployed. And for most B2B companies, a combination of the two is way forward.
The article was originally published on Niswey's blog.