Thoughts > Grow Market Share

Modern Account Based Marketing

August 18, 2020

Over the past few years, B2B companies have been transforming their go-to-market strategies to focus more on accounts and less on individual prospects. By narrowing the targeting pool for Marketing and allowing them to target the organizations Sales is looking to talk to, more valuable strategies are developed, yielding favorable results.

The business outcomes of a successful account-based execution may include:

  • Identifying potential customers earlier in the buying cycle
  • Increasing sales velocity 
  • Improving the alignment between sales and marketing

Our Approach

Transformation starts with a strong data-driven framework, and account-based is no exception to this rule. The fundamental data required for an account-based approach includes:

  • Fit
  • Intent
  • First-party 
Fit data enables identification of prospective accounts through a common set of attributes, such as revenue, industry, or other signals. Utilizing this data properly allows for the creation of an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), as well as a Target Account List (TAL). 

The next layer of data is intent, which provides a company with intelligence of which accounts (out of your TAL) are expressing intent/research around solutions you provide.

The final layer of data is first-party, which is data owned and stored by you (e.g., CRM, ERP). There is typically a mountain of data available in these types of enterprise systems relating to accounts (e.g., historical LTV). First-party data can further enrich TALs to allow for more nuanced go-to-market strategies.

Why It Matters

A modern account-based approach is essentially harnessing the above data to go to market effectively via sales and marketing programs. Sales will review relevant data and generate a target account list. This will be passed to Marketing, who will then use the TAL to target ads to only members of that TAL. Unlike traditional advertising that focuses primarily on raw lead generation, the fact that ABM is working off a TAL means that the leads being generated will have much higher quality by, in large. The net of this typically boils down to spending much more efficiently on the marketing end and not flooding sales with leads of questionable quality, leading to a more efficient pipeline overall.

Next Steps

While the above all sounds great, like with any business transformation, account-based initiatives require executive stewardship and deep commitment to people, process, data, and technology to support success. Ideally, the executive sponsorship should be a collaboration between the CRO and CMO. (Note: depending on the company’s size, the CIO or Data Science team should also have a seat at the table.)

Tight alignment at the top will deliver shared business goals that will serve as the initiative’s due north for each executive’s respective teams. Keep in mind, ABM is not a one-and-done task but a constantly evolving process. As Sales further refines, their TAL marketing will need to update ad audiences and messaging to ensure everything top to bottom stays as aligned as possible.

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