If you haven’t heard of account-based marketing by now, I’m going to assume you live under a rock. Even though it’s a hot topic with B2B marketers lately, it’s by no means a new concept.You may be wondering how a marketing strategy that’s been around for the last couple of years has only now become a buzzword for B2B marketers. The answer: as marketing moves into the digital landscape, technological advancements have made it easier to engage with prospects directly, from their most valuable accounts (while they’re still making buying decisions).
How ABM has grown over the years
Account-based marketing goes all the way back to the 1990s - when companies realised that mass marketing isn’t as effective as it once was - and moved towards customised campaigns that target specific customers. Back in the day, ABM was seen as an outbound sales tactic; if someone was interested in your product or service, there was no way to capitalise on that interest due to the lack of technology. Companies either had to hope prospects would approach them directly, or use time-consuming techniques like cold calling and direct mail. Digital ABM wasn’t possible before the rise of the internet, of course, and it was almost impossible to engage a prospect at the beginning stages of the sales cycle.
These days, marketers can drill down like a laser beam on specific targets, instead of casting a wide net on a broad audience. The best thing about digital ABM is that, with the rise of digital channels (websites, blogs, and videos), there are now more account-based marketing options. Marketers have access to prospect info they’ve never had before - and at the very first point of contact. If a prospect clicks through and visits your website, you can monitor where they came from, and use this information to your advantage. Marketing teams can then take this new marketing data and nurture prospects in real-time, using relevant content.
According to research, “71% of all B2B marketers are on board with ABM and of those deploying ABM campaigns, and 72% plan to increase usage during the next 12 months.”
Where ABM is going
For hundreds of years, companies have used analog account-based selling tactics, but digital ABM is changing the game. ABM has revolutionised digital B2B marketing and will improve digital marketing strategies by connecting the dots between analog and digital channels. Analog TV leads to incorrect targeting, since activity can’t be tracked at the account level—that’s why there’s a need to join the two channels. Before we know it, B2B Marketers will take action on the right accounts across multiple channels and gain major competitive advantages.
Digital channels are used for conducting research, which is obviously a major advantage for B2B marketers using ABM. Not only does it increase the number of options for connecting with prospects from targeted accounts, it allows you to engage with them from the start of the customer journey. According to Contently, “59 percent of B2B marketers surveyed by EverString and Domo have implemented ABM in the past year.”
With more and more businesses realising the benefits of Account-Based Marketing, its adoption will most likely increase in the coming years. In a time where businesses can no longer afford the risk of unqualified leads and wasted resources, ABM is rising as the hero of B2B marketing.
If you think that ABM could help your business map new accounts and drive more sales, download our free guide to find out more about how it works.