Account Based Marketing (ABM) continues to pick up steam in the world of B2B Sales and Marketing. Everywhere I turn, people are talking about it; events are being run with ABM as the core content theme and more and more job titles are popping up with “Head of Account Based Marketing”.
I started doing ABM with Passle co-founders Tom and Adam Elgar, as CMO of our last company, Serverside Group, in about 2008. We built the software that allowed bank customers to put a picture of their choice on their bank cards. It usually tended to be a picture of a dog or a baby! We had about 30 retail banks in the world we really wanted to sell to and 95% of our revenue came through our 5 biggest clients. So we were doing ABM, even though we had never heard the words “Account-Based Marketing” before, because the concept in our heads simply made sense and it worked brilliantly. It continues to work brilliantly for us here at Passle and indeed with the clients we work with.
I was reading the article below which quotes Mike Marcelin of Juniper Commitment and his thoughts on successful ABM really complemented why it was so successful for us at Serverside Group and based on his views and my own experience, got me thinking why ABM is potentially one of the most powerful tactics/strategy we have ever seen in B2B Sales and Marketing:
- It brings Sales/Business Development and Marketing together with one common focus. Everyone I have ever spoken with about ABM, seen talking on stage about ABM or have read mentioning ABM in an article have stressed the importance about this unification of Business Development and Marketing with one common set of goals. Too often Sales and Marketing functions are at loggerheads but ABM brings them together – this is brilliantly illustrated by Andrea Clatworthy, Head of Account Based Marketing at Fujitsu, in a recent talk she gave on ABM at the Rainmaker 18 event
- It’s incredibly easy to measure, especially 1-2-1 ABM or “Strategic ABM” as it is often referred to. You can see exactly what you spend on an account and you can see exactly what revenue comes out as a result. This ROI is what is allowing organisations like Fujitsu and Juniper to expand ABM to more accounts and also to start exploring 1-2-Few ABM (often known as ABM Lite).
- ABM allows you to get right to the heart of your client’s needs and what their pains are. It allows you to understand your client so much better than you ever could with any sort of Persona-based marketing strategies. When you understand the needs and pains ,you can go about serving those needs and curing those pains. Mike Marcelin explains it beautifully when he says:
“I’m looking at the ABMer to be the CMO of that account. That means that no one in this organization will know that account better than they will, and I’m relying on them to know what we need to do to support that account.”
Every good sales and marketing strategy should start with an understanding of that need or pain of the customer. From there you can understand what is truly valuable to the customer and deliver on it.
In particular, he highlighted the work of Raianne Reiss, Director of Marketing, Telecom, who helped establish the first award-winning program at Juniper. “The dedicated ABMers are few, but mighty,” he said. “It started out in North America with Raianne and a few other key folks who built up this account-based approach and showed the possibilities.” Marcellin said ABM now represents “the tip of the spear” to the company’s largest accounts.