I don't mean to bang on about my first ABM event again....but I am going to because I found it extremely useful. 

Last night was spent mulling over the key points and takeaways from the conference as a whole and the recurring themes for marketers. I've summarised these below with some food for thought on each:

  1. Most Marketeers want to, or are looking to engage with an account based marketing program.  This seemed to be a common goal for a lot of the attendees and reading between the lines, may well have been a goal set a few years back.  
  2. The 2 main issues that are hindering the adoption of ABM; are lack of data/insights and program/content execution.  It is very apparent that the lack of data and insight is often down to a missing or weak relationship between the marketing and sales teams which of course then hinders the ability to execute a program with the correct content.
  3. The 2 main aims of an ABM program are to win new accounts and to grow the existing ones.  Quite obvious really but it was good to hear it repeatedly validated.
  4. 1-2-1 targeted ABM is proving the most successful.  The one to many model seems to be dying out due to lack of results but also the 1-2-1 target account list approach is also a far more realistic and achievable foray into the world of ABM for companies.
  5. Back to basics and add that human touch.  Doing ABM well is simply just doing marketing and sales well to key prospects. In a world full of technology, likes, apps and swiping, humanising the whole process actually works.  Old school tactics like reaching out by sending personalised gifts, e-mails and communication still work.  In fact, Accenture highlighted sending personalised books to key prospects worked really well- after all 'leaders are readers'.  
  6. Scaling ABM can be achieved.  There is hope for smaller companies looking to adopt the ABM approach.  If huge global organisations like BT, Accenture and CA Technologies can successfully build out models and then scale them across the world then there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. Agency Vs internal adoption of ABM is still very equal.  There are some great agencies out there I am sure but this did make me think that a lot of companies are missing a trick here.  Marketing budgets are always tight and no-one knows the business like your own experts internally. It is all about extracting the knowledge and content and pushing it to the right targets at the right time.

The overarching point seemed to be that a successful ABM framework needs to be a moveable feast (ie flexible) and it certainly doesn't happen overnight but it is absolutely vital that there is a strong alignment in place between sales and marketing teams.

The most recent report on ABM by b2b marketing summarises the general thoughts and trends of 300 marketers and it seems to echo a lot of the points made at the event.