Disclaimer: I’m mostly writing this post because I thought the title was hilarious. Please feel free to click away if you disagree.
Certain buzzwords in marketing are so overused that they eventually transcend to a level of jargon that makes even the most jargon-y of marketers question its meaning. And to be honest, “account-based marketing” (ABM) is slowly rising to that same rank of vagueness also occupied by terms like “thought leadership” or “dynamic content.” As Blades of Glory so eloquently puts it …
In other words, ABM gets the marketers going.
Will Ferrell/Kanye West jokes aside, Emplify is in the process of transitioning to an account-based marketing model. Through this process, I’ve learned that ABM truly means something different to every marketer I’ve talked to. And I think that’s okay.
Like Agile, ABM brings certain principles that need to be modified and adapted for every team and their demand generation needs. In the process of building an account-based marketing strategy for Emplify, I thought I would share some of my interpretations of what this phrase means for marketers, as well as some common misconceptions I’ve encountered as well.
But first, what actually is account-based marketing?
According to Marketo, ABM is defined as:
“an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account.”
Essentially, account-based marketing is a cohesive marketing and sales effort to convert a select group of accounts (usually called ICP or “ideal client profile” accounts) using customized, multi-channel methods like remarketing, direct mail, and call/email cadences.
And when executed well, account-based marketing can demolish your demand gen goals. According to the Altera Group, 97% of marketers said that ABM had higher or much higher ROI than previous marketing initiatives.
But beyond value and definition, account-based marketing can still be a vastly overwhelming concept to apply to daily planning and operations. In conversations with fellow (genius) marketers in the Indy area and through our own trial and error at Emplify, here are a few early definitions I’ve realized during our transition to ABM.
What ABM is:
What ABM isn’t:
I’ve read approximately 37 blog posts, perused 13 e-books, and attended at least 3 webinars about ABM, and I can still understand why some marketers may be scratching their heads about what it actually means. Hopefully my post provides a bit of clarity around the subject from my experience so far.
Account-based marketing experts, I’d love to hear about what I got right (and what I got wrong!) and I’d love to hear additional questions that fellow marketers are having about ABM applications. Please leave a comment below!