If you’re just starting on your account-based marketing (ABM) journey, it can feel a little overwhelming. With so many tech solutions and vendors all selling their own marketing elixir, even those who are certain are often left disorientated when it comes to taking the first steps.
Much of this confusion comes as the result of the sheer amount of solutions on offer. ABM is just one of the many paradigms to have burst from the industry in recent years, and marks the latest in a long series of approaches powered by emerging tech solutions.
We’ve seen sizeable change in the last decade or so. We’ve shifted from being CRM-centred, to incorporating wholesale marketing automation, personalised campaigns and even algorithmic real-time media – so, suffice to say it can be hard to keep up.
ABM posits a chance to cut through this noise, yet the tech itself is shrouded in complexity – or at least, so it seems. In reality, it’s mostly just rooted in good practice. Plus, there is plenty of information online about the approach – for instance, B2B Marketing’s How and when to deploy technology for ABM report is very helpful to this end – but for now, we turn to a piece written for B2B Marketing by Andy Bacon.
Begin with the basics
Simply put: don’t run before you can walk. Investing in the latest technology may appear to be the right thing to do, but without strategy and expertise supporting it, it will falter. Bacon uses the example of a farmer; the farmer spends millions on tools, technologies and state-of-the-art machinery but doesn’t treat the soil and as such, is unable to attain more money for the product, or even help it grow faster. Without getting the ground work done, the endeavour will inevitably fail.
Instead, he recommends that marketers exercise caution. While yes, purchasing a mix of tech solutions is vital, we should not automatically assume that they will deliver success. He notes: ‘ROI from these tools [depend] on their ability to [be implemented].’ Indeed, unless the technology is paired with someone able to leverage it, it may as well be a pile of nuts and bolts.
A cross-company pursuit
Bacon reiterates the essentialness of fuelling the ABM with ‘unequivocal business alignment.’ When this is done well, it presents a unique opportunity to drive a new kind of sales and marketing that ‘interlock’ with one another. This interlock entails a communal strategy that empowers and encourages collaboration for shared success.
Much like the tractor from Bacon’s analogy, goals can only be achieved when the foundations have been properly prepared. Hence, marketers should check their ABM readiness, as well as ask stakeholders from across the company and not just in their department.
Of course, in larger companies, it is permissible for some information to get lost in translation. However, if there is one thing sure to hinder the transformation, it is unexpected disruptions. So talk it through and endeavour to get as much insight as you can before you start.
If you’re still unsure, a sure-fire way to excellent ABM implementation is to hire an expert consultant to see you through. Luckily, we have an abundance of those – so why not get in touch today?