2017 is a pivotal year for account-based marketing, as ABM moves from “hype” to practical adoption and application.
After climbing the heady heights of the Gartner Hype Cycle, marketers and demand gen professionals more generally are finding their footing, with the help of an explosion in ABM-enablement technology.
B2B companies of all sizes and industries are now implementing ABM and — often after an initial learning curve — are seeing consistently improved results on their campaigns.
This switch in paradigms — from the theoretical to the practical — is reflected in Marketo’s newly-published Definitive Guide to Account-Based Marketing. Unlike most “definitive guides” you’ll see bandied about, this one is actually… well… pretty definitive. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given Marketo are very much walking the walk in terms of helping B2B marketers manage their ABM campaigns.
The guide starts with some of the obligatory theorizing about ABM (“What is Account-Based Marketing and Why is it Important?”), but the majority of it is made up of practical ways to actually carry out account-based marketing effectively — promising readers that, beyond the usual “ABM is targeted marketing” blah blah: “You will find dedicated ABM playbooks for retention, cross-sell, upsell, and advocacy later in the guide so you have examples of how to put your plans into action.”
And it delivers — with refreshingly applicable chapters starting with “Get Buy-In Across the Organization,” and ending with “Choosing the Right ABM Solution for Your Martech Stack” and “Your ABM Playbook”.
I particularly liked this pithy dismissal of a uselessly esoteric, yet often-used ABM analogy:
“Many of [ABM solution] technologies explain the benefit of ABM and their technology with an analogy: moving from fishing with nets (catching anything and everything) to fishing with a spear (a more targeted technique). But the fact is, fishing with a spear is still too rudimentary because it doesn’t offer the ability to scale. Today’s successful ABM strategies are powered by digital ABM technologies, which take the spearfishing analogy to the next level, by adding scalability. With digital ABM, marketers can identify target accounts and create personalized programs or campaigns in a scalable and automated way.”
Take a bow.
The shift in thinking couldn’t have been more timely, either. Most B2B companies are looking out on a marketplace that’s more crowded than ever (and we’ll keep saying that every year — and it’ll be true).
Simultaneously, customers are responding less and less to generic marketing techniques, and expecting — even subconsciously — to be served far more targeted, personalized content and pitches.
ABM offers an effective way of doing just that.
To shamelessly highlight a quote from the guide by Leadspace VP Products & Partnerships Travis Kaufman: “It has never been a more competitive environment to earn the attention of our buyers. Organizations realize that the only way to succeed is to focus and personalize. ABM strategies provide a framework for that focus.”
Don’t be deterred by the somewhat intimidating number of pages (there are lots of pictures anyway): this is one e-book that’s really worth the read for any demand gen marketer even considering ABM.
Image credit: iStock