(and one that doesn’t matter as much as you think)
ABM is just solid, B2B marketing applied at a target account set, existing or otherwise. Much of your current expertise already applies. Here are the biggest things you’ll need to be proficient at in order to be successful.
Audience — Most B2B marketing teams have excellent target audience personas. You’ll need those. If you don’t have them, it’s a good idea to develop a basic profile of the decision-makers who drive revenue for your business. Don’t make this harder than it has to be. You’ll need these to align with contacts at target companies.
Content — Content marketing is now second nature in B2B, but you’ll need to take your content strategy to the next level for ABM. This is not broad-sweeping lead generation. This is mostly one:one and one:few marketing where your messages and offers must be very relevant and highly compelling to grab attention and create engagement for Sales.
Personalization — One big opportunity for relevance is personalization. We don’t mean a [first name here] email. We’re talking account- and market-specific content incorporated into dynamic, personalized landing pages. Dimensional mailers tailored to specific insights about their businesses. Live events customized to an industry segment or even to a single account. Your great relationship with Sales will help you to find interesting ways to get personal.
Measurement — Our ultimate success metrics are similar to the demand gen you’re doing today but focused on target accounts to understand the effects of your work on engagement, number of opportunities, pipeline velocity and deals. You’ll still use secondary tracking measures you’re accustomed to, like contact scoring based on content engagement and other activities to ensure they progress to Sales-qualified and accepted. You might notice a few minor differences in the terminology.
- While the concept of a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) still exists, you’ll now be measuring in terms of engaged accounts.
- Rather than looking at marketing-contributed pipeline, you’ll measure what ABM’ers call TAP, (aka targeted account pipeline).
- in a perfect world, you’ll begin measuring the lifetime value of an account rather than the one-off revenue hit that is often the end game metric in traditional lead generation. This is a welcome change coming from the ABM movement we’re happy to see.
Whatever you do, don’t sweat the metrics thing. You’re likely already there. Only the names have changed.