All ABM solutions are equal, but some ABM solutions are more equal than others.
Not all Account Based Advertising solutions have the same features. Even if a company has never worked with this type of solutions before, making the right choice doesn’t have to be daunting. Comparing different platforms is easy when you know exactly which features to look for.
- Main Focus – ABM Reporting vs. ABM Activation Try understanding what is the real value form the solution you are being provided. A very important element in any ABM program is the overall reporting capabilities of different touchpoints and this is exactly what many solutions will provide as their main value proposition: a strong technology ecosystem that connects with other martech platforms ( SFDC, Marketo, Eloqua) and gives you an overall report on account level engagement. Here you can find some of the strong reporting solutions from companies such as Engagio, Jabmo, Demandbase.
- How far can these companies stay in focus with this approach? This is questionable now that SFDC starts offering the same or very similar reporting capabilities. Arguably, this is a space that CRM applications will want to take as most reporting data sits there anyway.
- Some other players like AccountBase have as their main focus the account activation part on media targeting: here it is all about serving the right ad-messages in front of the right audiences.It is all about prospecting existing and new clients and building both your brand and your pipeline. Their technology focus is on building an end-to-end B2B media advertising ecosystem.
2. Ownership: Private or Public
- Many of the technology platforms in the ABM space are VC funded. They focus on building a nice and lean technology stack and their marketing is very active as they need to grow as quickly as possible. It is not easy to see their value beyond the hype as these are young technology companies without much of a success track to lean on, hoping they can turn into a next unicorn.
- Other solutions come from the big media companies, who have already proven their ability to deliver in a fully digital world. Initially, their focus was on the consumer market; now they are repurposing the technology to communicate with business audiences in an ABM way. As many media companies are publicly listed, they have to be more transparent. Less agile than leaner start-ups, have arrived later to this B2B niche
3. Advertising Technology
- Technology start-ups with display advertising capabilities work with off-the-shelve integrations with major DSPs. It does the trick if you do not care much about brand protection, building or validating the media sites you are appearing, the quality of the inventory, 3rd. party IAB validation… In short, they have very little control over the advertising ecosystem.
- On the other hand, big media players can offer all their expertise in the management of the entire communication chain, making sure that the targeting is correct and the media inventory is controlled. They have access to more publications and can control the back-end of some of the technology players involved. They are industry leaders in the advertising space and can support all your requirements in this area. If you care about brand safety, this is a must.
4. Reaching the right target audience.
- Most research indicates that B2B decision makers go 60% of their digital journey before they want to talk to a potential supplier. Add to this, that in companies with more than 1,000 employees there are 34 persons involved in the decision making (source: Gallup)That is why the ability to provide hyper-targeting becomes critical to your Account Based Advertising strategy. You have to challenge your ABM supplier on whether they provide hyper-targeting, and if the answer is yes, you need to ask how they do it. As AccountBase is part of GroupM (the worlds largest media agency) the company uses data both from in-house DMP’s (mPlatform) and additional platforms such as Grapeshot. The intelligent use of this data provides unrivalled hyper-targeting.
5. Global Reach vs Local Focus
- Are you looking for a solution that only operates regionally ( US for example) or do you have global accounts to target or global reach? If your ABM vendor provides targeting capabilities based on cookie data, chances are that it will be limited to the US and some secondary markets overseas. Be aware that cookie-based targeting will give you only the reach available within the data lakes that vendors can tap their fingers on. Browsers such as Safari will make their lives more difficult as, for an example, cookies on this browser only have a session lifetime.
- Global solutions like AccountBase can operate with a combination of highly sophisticated IP targeting and cookie-based approaches, which makes them a better overall fit.
- Pre-targeting to Re-targeting?
- If all your key decision makers are already coming to your website, you can simply go on re-targeting them. A simple Facebook pixel can take you a long and inexpensive way. If, however, you first need to build relevant traffic and takes them to your content, do make sure the vendors explain how they are planning to target people that have never been around your site and for whom you have no first-party data to offer.
- Delivery Model
- SaaS applications are great if you are looking for a self-service solution and you have a real hand-on team that want to invest in them. It may cost your money learning the pitfalls of what you should have done differently. Normally the commitment is for a 12-month period so better be sure you can get your RoI upfront.
- The alternative is ABM as a managed service. The vendor takes care of the account activation, choosing the right media inventory, setting up the targeting parameters and reporting suggested campaign improvements. You pay on a per-project basis which tends to be minimum of 4 to 6 months and you are not stuck with a reporting platform for 12 months or more.
About The Digital Effect:
TDE is a full digital agency that provides ABM solutions as a service so you can run with all the support from our team of ABM specialists. We have walked in your shoes for a long while, testing and validating digital and ABM platforms to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
TDE is an authorized Agency Service Partner for AccountBase.