People-based marketing. ABM is a marketing strategy in which the marketing and sales teams focus on courting specific clients, rather than determining their sales pipe based on whatever companies come to them. In traditional B2B marketing, marketers move prospects through the funnel toward a sale. account-based marketing Only 20 percent of B2B marketers are not implementing ABM in some fashion—and that number may decrease as the technology improves. Marketo, for example, recently launched a suite of tools under the banner of “Marketo Account-Based Marketing.” Other products like Salesforce perform the critical task of managing targeted sales prospects. Most ABM content isn’t individualized… yet account-based marketing This could change as technology improves, but for now, most ABM still casts a relatively wide net. That makes sense since such focused content requires a lot of time, which may not be feasible if there are too many accounts or too few marketers. For one, it’s free for a sales person to send an email with account-based content to a prospect. While email will likely remain a key ABM channel, many other channels are quickly catching up. Otherwise, an exciting practice that could change how marketers do their jobs may just become another buzzword.
There are a lot of buzzy trends in marketing that turn out to be little more than hot air. People-based marketing. Micro-moments. Conversation marketing. I could go on. (In fact, our editor-in-chief managed to pull together about 40 of the worst of them.) But account-based marketing—ABM for short—seems like one buzzword that’s here to stay.
ABM is a marketing strategy in which the marketing and sales teams focus on courting specific clients, rather than determining their sales pipe based on whatever companies come to them.
In traditional B2B marketing, marketers move prospects through the funnel toward a sale. The top of that funnel is usually very wide. There may be a specific target vertical, but the marketing machine is built to attract as many prospects as possible and then filter away the bad ones.
ABM, on the other hand, is much more focused. A B2B company that sells location-based marketing software likely looks for clients in the retail space, so it’ll identify brands that make the most sense—let’s say Macy’s, Walmart, and Walgreens—and build a strategy to attract those specific brands.
The usual metaphor is that traditional marketing is hunting with a net, while ABM is hunting with a spear. So just how big is this ABM thing going to get and how exactly are marketers using it? Let’s take a look at a few key charts.
Most ABM programs are relatively new
As eMarketer points out, the concept of ABM has actually been around for more than a decade. It is only because of recent technological changes, however, that ABM has really become viable.
Thanks to sophisticated marketing platforms, business intelligence technology, and advanced targeting features, it’s easier than ever for B2B companies to find their ideal clients, apply those findings to the sales process, and lock in on specific accounts.
In the past year, 59 percent of B2B marketers surveyed by EverString and Domo have implemented ABM. That’s a remarkable shift, demonstrative of just how quickly the practice has taken over the B2B space.
Only 20 percent of B2B marketers are not implementing ABM in some fashion—and that number may decrease as the technology improves.