Nearly a decade ago when I still worked in corporate marketing, I had an exciting opportunity to join an early-stage account based marketing (ABM) team, though we were called key account marketing at the time. It was an interesting challenge – first of all to gather the right data about the account (everything from the services they already bought from the company through to what we could learn about their FY goals) and then warehouse the data. Then we had to make that data accessible to the business development and sales teams that would put our insights to work to deliver results.
Though the terminologies have changed, the biggest change in the last decade to the success of account based marketing has been the arrival of sophisticated martech tools that solve the challenges presented by the last part of the ABM equation: the ability to store, analyze, and apply those data-driven insights. Thus, the ability of marketing teams to deliver on the promise of ABM has skyrocketed and it’s now time for marketing teams to really consider the merits of an account based approach.
Recently SiriusDecisions ran a series of blog posts on ABM that provides a solid foundation for organizations considering taking the step this year. From Isabel Montesdeoca’s article on “Six Tips for Organizations Considering Account-Based Marketing,” to Rachel Kavanagh’s “Account-Based Marketing: Adjusting Your Approach With the Demand Spectrum,” they have made some seriously good information available to marketers .
But there’s always more to learn. In a recent conversation with demand generation guru, Barbara Bernard about ABM, she added a couple of additional items to ensure the success of a program. “Make sure you focus on your customer data quality and maintenance process,” she shared. “Instead of dealing with inaccurate or incomplete data sets, data quality standards and practices can help automatically and systematically streamline data aggregation so that only useful information is considered for analysis. This feeds into larger master data management initiatives that can help you think smarter about initiatives like ABM.”
Moreover, Barbara continued “don’t try to boil the ocean! Most organizations do not have the resources to customize all efforts at this level, so picking your top accounts for an ABM approach is a realistic and winning strategy.”
Interested in hearing more from Barbara Bernard on how to solve your key data-related marketing challenges? We have a podcast series starting later this month with her. Be the first to hear it by subscribing to the Modern Marketing Today newsletter or follow us on Twitter.