The short answer to the first question is of course “yes”; ABM is technically the right abbreviation for account-based marketing. But does “ABM” really cover what more and more marketers are looking for when they are launching more strategic and more focused account centric marketing campaigns?
- Focusing on the high potential accounts make sense from every business angle. This is probably why B2B Marketing in association with Circle Research recently reported that ABM is fast approaching the top agenda for B2B marketers:
- In my many meetings with CMOs and CSOs of companies selling into the enterprise segment I, again and again, hear the same challenges:
- Our pipeline is of low quality
- Our CRM data is more or less useless “thanks to” GDPR
- We don’t get the same out of telemarketing as we used to
- We don’t have the reach inside the key accounts that we need to have
- Especially point 4 is a big problem. As the figure below illustrates Sales normally reaches out to and have strong relations with only a handful of decision-makers and influencers:
- And this is a problem in several ways: traditional sales models do not take into account the complex buying structure of B2B enterprises where on average 20 – 40 people are involved in the decision-making process. Our recommendation is to focus both sales and marketing on the high potential accounts as in this example from a company targeting the hospital segment:
- It may look like a no-brainer; of course, one should allocate most resources to high potential accounts but how is it done? For us, the natural response is account based advertising using highly advanced IP targeting combined with behavioural data from AccountBase – a GroupM media agency. And to follow up with targeted activities on LinkedIn and Facebook.
And this still leaves us with the question: IS ABM THE RIGHT TERMINOLOGY?
- At the moment it looks like ABM is fast becoming an acronym for a new highly targeted and fast-growing B2B discipline. But I would like you to consider EBM: ENTERPRISE BASED MARKETING.
- In our experience, all of our clients doing ABM, in reality, want to sell into (other) enterprises because they represent the big € opportunity and because working with an enterprise is long term, and more stable. Rethink AMB as EBM