Account Based Marketing (ABM):  Opens Up Opportunities for B2B  

2017 seems to be the year of Account Based Marketing (ABM) for B2B marketing and sales teams.  The idea of targeting specific accounts with personalized messaging and offers is not necessarily a new concept.  We were doing this at Great Plains Software in the late 90’s.  Our strategy was to build personal relationships, follow-up with phone calls, on-site visits, personalized letters and emails.  At the end of the day it was about improving the lives and business success of partners and customers by getting to know each of them and working 1:1.  The issue we faced was the ability to scale while maintaining the quality of the relationships.

Fast forward to today.  Marketing has an overwhelming number of tools available for creating websites, ads, social media, lead generation, CRM, analytics and so much more.  Leveraging tools such as these, there has been a lot of focus on inbound marketing to generate new leads.  New content has been created – videos, eBooks, newsletters, and blogs.  Websites have been revamped for SEO.  Campaigns have been executed and clicks have been monitored.  However, many marketing teams are struggling with the sometimes diminishing returns from inbound marketing programs and are looking for new ways to contribute to the bottom line.  Amy McKinnon, Co-Founder of Sky Blue Technology, an account-based nurture platform that complements existing CRM solutions, believes, “the time it previously took to research and personalize was not scalable.  However, in the last couple of years, new technology has come out which enables organizations to be account-based and scale at the same time.   This has opened the door for ABM in a lot more organizations and created new opportunities.”

When sales and marketing agree on which accounts to target they are able to work together more efficiently and effectively.  Leveraging a nurture platform such as Sky Blue, marketing is able to create a library of industry specific experiences for these accounts (made up of videos, supporting marketing materials, live software, etc.) targeting specific roles in the organization.  Marketing can either send out experiences on their own (following a lead generation campaign) or they can share experiences with the sales team already packaged up and ready to go.  Sales team members can easily send experiences out to their own accounts (without searching for content) and track analytics in the dashboard to know when and how to follow-up based on engagement.  Not all of your accounts are created equal in regards to revenue potential.  There are going to be accounts where you will still want to spend time researching, creating personal content and delivering 1:1.  However, for a majority of your accounts you can automate and scale by providing personalized content targeting specific industries and personas to nurture.  This enables your customers to easily consume relevant information in one place and follow-up with next steps from within the same experience.

Additionally, there is an opportunity with ABM to measure your organizations ability to engage and build relationships with the right people at these accounts.  For years we have been focused on generating leads and opportunities.  While there is still a place for monitoring “clicks”…in the world of account based marketing you really need to understand quality, not quantity is important.  Did your customers engage in the content?  How long did they watch the videos?  When did they view the document and how many times did they read it?  What feedback did they provide in the pre-qualification survey?  Leverage the engagement analytics to better understand what your customers are interested in as this will help you determine the best way to follow-up in a more personalized way.

In the world of Account Based Marketing remember it is not about how many leads are generated.  It is about engaging and building meaningful relationships with the right people, at the right accounts and at the right time.  Visit to sign up for your free 14 day trial today.  Subscriptions start at $249/user/month.  Send an email to [email protected]  with questions or comments.

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