By Colby Cavanaugh
Over the past few years, account-based marketing (ABM) has been a pivotal strategy for B2B marketers, and for good reason. ABM flipped the funnel upside down and forever changed B2B marketing by focusing B2B marketers on the accounts that are mostly likely to buy. Consider that B2B marketers primarily used to just take a volume-based, spray-and-pray approach where it was about getting as many leads into the funnel as possible and then hoping something would pan out from there. ABM changed the game by eliminating the guesswork and gave B2B marketers focus. It’s a strategy that makes sense and is in many ways just good marketing.
Yet, today’s marketers are increasingly disillusioned with ABM. Take for instance recent survey data from Integrate and Demand Metric demonstrating that 54% of B2B marketers plan to spend less on ABM in 2023. It’s hard to get right. It can quickly become an exponentially complicated data management problem with perpetually evolving and expanding target account lists. It can also lead B2B marketers astray by excluding potential buyers or existing customers who are not part of a target account list. And finally, it can seem near impossible to measure and monitor account-based activity.
So how do we make ABM better, easier, and more relevant to our B2B marketing efforts and the challenges we face today?We need more precision in our account-based approach.
Streamline Your ABM Data
Talk to any B2B marketer about their biggest headaches and you’re bound to hear about data integration and management woes. Whether it’s dealing with managing and manually uploading target account lists across multiple systems from various sources or poor data quality, it’s impossible to market to your target accounts if your data isn’t right.
Today’s B2B marketers should investigate adopting technologies that can import target account lists from various sources, cleanse and normalize the data, and ensure GDPR, CCPR or other privacy law compliance. Some technologies can also support dynamic account lists that evolve over time, whether it’s on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Broaden the scope of your targeting criteria, make your budget dollars work harder, and target more accounts across channels with precision.
Understand Account Engagement Activity
A key principle of good B2B marketing is about reaching your buyers at the right time, with the right message, and in the right channels. To do so, you need to understand how your accounts are engaging. Are they visiting your website? What content are they consuming? Are they interested in a particular blog post or eBook topic? Are they engaging on social media or with digital ads?
Lean on your martech to make interpreting and analyzingaccount engagement easy with dashboards that aggregate target list reach and account engagement across multiple channels. There is no need for manual work when technologies exist to help simplify and supply a comprehensive view of target account activity.
Moving Forward with Precision
Gone are the days of casting a wide net and hoping for a bite. There is so much available technology out there that B2B marketers should be able to make informed decisions on next best action. Look for ways to ensure your data is precise, accurate, and connected. This allows you to truly understand your account engagement so you can tailor your programs to be more personalized and powerful. After all, B2B is no longer a game of chance; it’s a game of skill and precision.
Colby Cavanaugh is the SVP of Marketing at Integrate, an enterprise marketing software and solutions provider. He has also held global leadership roles at Campaign Monitor, Return Path, Salesforce, ExactTarget and WebTrends. Cavanaugh holds an MBA from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Central Washington University.