ABM. A topic that is on every single one of my clients’ marketing technology roadmaps. There is no question of interest and desire. The question is: Is there a commitment?
I can say from my time spent with clients: a very soft “yes.”
The executives I have talked to are committed to the idea. The financial investment in people, process, and technology seems to be there as well.
The challenge I see the most — when it comes to commitment — is when organizations must be restructured, or longstanding IT procedures modernized, in order to implement ABM. This kind of complexity and expense can stall or even derail an ABM initiative.
Using the example below, think about whether your current organizational structure and MarTech stack would be able to manage an account lifecycle like this:
If you’re not sure your organization could support ABM, you’re not alone. The most common limiting factors for implementing an ABM program include:
- Absence of sales and marketing pros that can make the concept a reality
- Insufficient involvement from sales
- Account data completeness (or lack thereof)
- An overreliance on batch-and-blast campaigns
- Launching an ABM program without having a framework and strategy in place
- Not having the right tools and technology
- Many organizations are not willing to put in the time (put another way, organizations may not have the luxury of time)
There’s no question that the time investment is significant. Starting a solid ABM program from scratch should take roughly 18 months from inception to launch. (For more on getting started with Account-Based Marketing, download our free guide.)
Regardless, a move towards some form of ABM is the right call for many organizations. That probably has something to do with the fact that, according to an Alterra Group survey, 97 percent of marketers say ABM has a higher ROI than any other marketing activity.
Account-Based Marketing forces marketers to target better, message better, and think of content differently. For sales, there is a gradual transition to an insight-driven sales toolkit with customer lifecycle programs built for engagement.
Based on what I’ve been seeing, my gut feeling is that some subtle variation of modern-day ABM will be the status quo for modern marketing organizations in the next few years.
What do you think about where ABM is trending?
Will Waugh is a consultant for DemandGen focused on helping clients with demand generation, lead management and leveraging marketing technology. He genuinely believes that data can change the world. Follow him on Twitter. Other articles by Will Waugh: Consuming Too Much MarTech? 3 Steps to a Successful Stack