7 Truths About ABM That Marketers Should Know

July 16, 2020

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It is hard to find a B2B marketer today that has not implemented, or at least considered, ABM practices in their strategies. ABM is one of the fastest growing approaches for marketers and may soon be adopted by the vast majority of the B2B marketing industry.

LinkedIn surveyed over 800 B2B marketers globally and found that well over half of them (56%) are using account-based marketing in their current business operations. Over 80% of those surveyed said they plan to boost their budget for ABM over the next year. 

It looks as if ABM is becoming the clear choice for today’s B2B leaders, so getting it right is paramount.

As with many ideas and concepts in our lives, ABM comes with its own set of assumptions. With this blogpost we'd like to debunk common myths and help you and your organization make informed decisions as you look to develop your ABM program.

Here are seven fundamental truths about ABM developed from learnings from our customers and our in-house approach to ABM.

1. Not all B2B marketing should be account-focused.

Generally speaking, an ABM framework will help you pursue your best opportunities in an informed and personalized way. But we shouldn’t view an emphasis on accounts as the be all and end all in a marketing plan. The greatest efficiency will come from a holistic strategy that includes brand building, lead generation and account-centric campaigns.

2. Marketing and sales departments must unite around a shared purpose.

Let’s face it: in many organizations, marketing and sales departments often work in silos rather than in tandem. While each function has a distinct and equally important role, sharing knowledge and resources allows for a more three-dimensional view of target accounts, and can bring greater efficiency to your operations overall

By its nature, account-based marketing is conducive to alignment. In fact, 80% of marketers with an ABM program in place say they are “somewhat to tightly” aligned with the sales department, per Growthfluence. 

3. You don’t need to over-personalize to be relevant.

While the idea of providing a relevant experience is a key component of any ABM program, it doesn’t need to be over-personalized for your message to land. It's not necessarily about speaking directly to a singular person, but more so about speaking to key issues and pain points that matter to that person, and others like them. 

Tight segmentation based on quality data and insight is essential, but an overcommitment to personalization can bog down your team and strain resources needlessly. 

4. ABM is about breaking into new budgets

At its core, ABM is about building strong and trusted relationships within an account, and deepening these relationships over time. When you gain that trust and reach new stakeholders, you vastly improve your chances of tapping new budgets and expanding your services to different areas of the company.

5. A social presence (organic + paid) is a critical part of the overall ABM stack for marketers.

Social media is a key channel for staying visible and engaged with your target accounts. With member-provided first-party data, along with precise targeting capabilities and an intent-driven audience, LinkedIn was built for ABM before ABM existed. Plus, the synergy between marketing and sales data makes LinkedIn's platform highly conducive to fruitful cross-functional collaboration.

LinkedIn doesn’t have to be your only account-based marketing solution, but it may be the missing puzzle piece you’ve been looking for. 

6. ABM is built on distinguishable strategies.

With the practice becoming so popular and prominent, it is easy to paint all account-based marketing with the same broad brush. But within this general framework, your tactics can (and must) vary based on available budget, resources, data, and size of the company. 

ABM can work at almost any scale, depending on the needs of your business and what you're able to put into it.

7. Successful ABM campaigns are measurable across channels.

When it comes to figuring out the best way to reach a specific target audience, channels may vary by role or industry. Once you get rolling, you should be able to see a clear return on investment for each channel in your mix.

Track ROI continually across each channel against the metrics you’ve identified as most important. In ABM programs, you’ll generally want to be looking at activity and engagement with specific companies and individuals, as opposed to broader marketing metrics like clicks, impressions, and website visits.

An ITSMA report found that 87% of B2B marketers who measure ROI say ABM outperforms all other marketing tactics

To take a deeper dive into the world of account-based marketing and to learn more about best practices for launching your own ABM campaign, download A B2B Marketing Jumpstart to Account-Based Marketing.