Despite being acronym agnostic, I still am sometimes compelled by a new acronym, especially when: 1. It makes sense, and 2. It starts to gain meaning and traction.
ABM, or Account Based Marketing, is becoming a key technique for adroit B2B marketers looking to adopt a more effective and sustainable approach for the development of prospects and clients.
At this time, it’s mostly “ROI aware” CMO’s, that are recognizing it as a potent technique for lead identification and target positioning. It also appears to be vital in identifying untapped opportunities in existing relationships for enhanced revenue capture.
At its essence, ABM is mostly, and simply, a new way for CMO’s to be thinking in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the B2B customer/target as an “account” composed of multiple individual contacts which define a decision”locus” — an entity which is understood in part and as a whole.
ABM requires a perspective and understanding of B2B prospects as individuals (not just “decision makers and influencers”), and where/why they reside in the evaluation/buying cycle processes.
An intriguing aspect of this work is the recognition that as individuals within a B2B purchasing environment, each individual should be considered independently and deeply understood. In this, the application of “consumer” marketing and research techniques have considerable relevance, when properly applied.
Fundamental to effective ABM is Account Based Intelligence (ABI), where key contacts are identified, qualified, and “mapped” within a specified set of accounts to assess purchase cycle status, relationship strength, business needs, fit with the vendor’s competencies and business model, and of course, revenue enhancement potential.
This information is then ported into an Account Level Dashboard/Contact Database to direct where the most “delicious” sales team opportunities exist.
ABI typically addresses 25+ enterprise level prospects. Both conversational and media research with individual business influencers and decision makers at the target enterprise are developed to provide both account level and individual contact specific intelligence: who the right people are, their needs and priorities, and their willingness to engage and/or expand their relationship with you.
Your typical “customer feedback surveys” just don’t cut it here…It’s a new ballgame.
I know from direct experience that the opportunity to understand B2B customers at such a deep level has been something marketers have struggled with…. the data hasn’t been there to support it, as most data collection systems and customer feedback reporting mechanisms are not designed to do so.
Though ABI techniques, specific individual data can be developed, aggregated, data-based and communicated to support and drive high very levels of prospect conversion and account management effectiveness.
At this point in time, it seems most ABI design and implementations are being developed as an adjunct or enhancement to existing customer feedback programs, but the movement seems to be toward Marketing Departments independently
establishing ABM as highly cost effective sales lead/sales revenue programs as input to sales operations.
So, we’ve got a couple more acronyms…by the way, did I mention that ABM and ABI are the first steps in moving from B2B to B4B….?