Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a concept in Marketing that has been around for a long time, but like many trends in the market interest is heating up, especially in large IT organisations.
Marketing Technologists are looking to deliver personalised, targeted messaging and content to customers, whilst supporting sales teams to close often-complex enterprise IT deals.
So why is ABM gaining traction in the IT sector? Especially amongst global organisations looking to expand or enter into the ANZ market? The main reason is that organisations operating in mature markets such as Europe and the US have established ABM programs, gained sales and marketing alignment, know what works and have a strong desire to apply this program to ANZ.
Where the program often fails in ANZ or stops before it starts is in many cases down to the following:
- Lack of in-market resources and expertise – many global IT organisations will operate regionally – classifying ANZ into APAC. Marketing resource within the market and regionally often have competing priorities to execute on an ABM program.
- Lack of local, reliable data – one of the biggest challenges is being able to connect individuals to companies effectively across the Decision-Making Unit (DMU). Often in a complex-sell you need to identify at least five decision-makers involved in the B2B sale. Global IT organisations in many instances rely upon global data suppliers or existing agreements, providing them with the data they require for the ANZ market (often with limited local knowledge) which is sub-optimal and wastes valuable resource time.
- Do not measure the right metrics – many organisations fail to clarify what is a measure of success for their ABM program. Moving away from traditional marketing metrics such as click through rate to a focus on pipeline growth, Net Promoter Scores and close rates ensures you gain the right balance of meeting short and long-term growth objectives.
Before embarking on the ABM program – you should consider the following:
- Make sure you have the available resources to execute between Marketing, Sales Ops and Sales Leaders, if not establish where there are gaps and consider hiring specialist resources to plug the skills gap.
- Pilot your ABM approach and adapt where necessary – start with a small highly targeted account list – connect the contacts to the target account, but also the contacts and their areas of responsibility and authority.
- Use a local B2B data partner that has corporate knowledge and intelligence of the accounts you wish to target. This takes away all the hard work of assembling the correct data you need to execute your ABN program, especially if you are resource poor.
- Tailor content to the persona and the account target, it is really about the context of the person and the account you are targeting. Gathering account and intelligence about your customer or prospect, what intent data can you gather, do they use competitors, what projects are coming up that may require your technology.
- Measure results and create a feedback loop so you can make tweaks to your outbound effort and content creation. You need to consider an account based view of site traffic, engagement and conversion rates and connect siloed datasets across the funnel.
As more global IT organisations make their presence known in ANZ a foundational principle to a successful ABM program is to work with a B2B data partner that understands the local market, provides smarter data that enables you to tailor your approach.
About the Author
Martin Soley is Group General Manager Data Services and has over a decades experience across data quality, analytics and related technology in ANZ and abroad. Martin’s strategic insight and expertise drives commercial outcomes for DCA’s varied clients.