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Anyone familiar with this blog will know that I often write about how technology has revolutionized the marketing and communications industry over the last few years. Buzzwords and buzz-terms come and go, and new tools, platforms and concepts that promise to be the next big thing either provide real value and gain traction or quickly fade into insignificance. But one trend that seems to be sticking around – particularly from a B2B perspective – is ‘account-based marketing.’
Account-based marketing (ABM) is not a new term, but thanks to advances in technology, it has become an extremely popular strategy, particularly at enterprise level. Essentially, what ABM does is recognize that there are multiple people, departments and functions involved in any purchase decision, and helps align the marketing and sales (and business development) functions much more effectively so that targeting can be done on a much more personalized, individual (and therefore more relevant) level, and crucially, helps shorten the sales cycle.
Another term that has been bandied around a lot over recent years is ‘big data’ and it’s data that is at the heart of ABM. Oracle’s Marketing Cloud recently added ABM to its offering thanks to the integration of B2B data from Oracle’s data management platform. Instead of the inbound marketing approach of pushing out content the data facilitates much more targeted advertising, specific to an actual account with a highly relevant message at exactly the right time.
But if yet another tech disruption in communications to figure out strikes fear into your heart, help is at hand! A group of industry-leading technology partners – including Oracle – have joined together to form the ABM Leadership Alliance. In their own words, this group “aims to make sense of ABM, help you build a winning strategy and deploy the technologies needed to scale your efforts.” Which leads us to an important point: with every new development comes a certain amount of pressure – warranted or not – to jump on board or risk losing competitor advantage. And while insights from organizations such as the ABM Leadership Alliance are no doubt valuable, it’s important to keep in mind that these are companies with products and services to sell.
So, if you are thinking about adopting an ABM strategy, consider your options carefully. At ARTEMIA, we have a culture – and I believe, a duty – to provide an outside perspective to guide our clients to making the right choices for them. For example, one of the key aspects of ABM is that it requires the sales and marketing teams to work much more closely together, with an inevitable blurring of the lines of responsibility in some areas. Successfully implementing ABM therefore requires the support of a careful internal communications strategy as the company pivots towards it.
Such is the momentum of movement to ABM, however, there is no doubt that it can be of real value to businesses large and small. If you’re ready to start the ABM conversation, we’re here to help. For a strategic analysis of what’s best for you, as ever, please get in touch.
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