In a series of three articles, Paul Stacey, head of BNZSA UK, examines the current state of Account Based Marketing (ABM). In this second instalment, he provides an appraisal of the ABM vendor landscape and where to invest.
Can software alone solve ABM today?
There are multiple activities involved in creating and executing a successful Account Based Marketing programme. These span lead management and marketing automation, sales intelligence and intent data collection, content marketing, email marketing, CRM and customer data management, predictive analytics, and ad serving and re-targeting.
For some companies, investing in one or more of these types of tools is a great way to start an ABM programme.
Many ABM products specialise in one or a few of these areas. While these tools are often complementary to larger account-based engagement platforms, they do not provide a comprehensive ABM solution.
Businesses looking to invest in a platform to support Account Based Marketing should look for solutions that allow them to:
- Align sales and marketing around goals and efforts
- Identify accounts and contacts
- Understand and create audience segments
- Deliver content and web personalisation
- Manage and measure multi-channel engagement
- Perform sales and marketing analytics
Fully featured ABM, or account-based engagement, platforms usually include the following set of capabilities:
- Account targeting and selection
- Audience segmentation
- Multichannel outreach orchestration
- Account-based web personalisation
- Account-based analytics
- Account-based advertising
- Sales intelligence (demographic and firmographic data)
- Intent data (real-time behavioral data)
Other ABM related software include:
- Predictive sales analysis, sales intelligence and intent data like Infer, D&B Lattice, Cyance, and Insights
- Content personalisation and content marketing including Highspot, Bound and Uberflip
- Lead management such as the mainstream CRMs, Zymplify, Vainu and LeanData
- Ad serving and retargeting software like Kwanzoo and Jabmo
- Digital and direct mail automation such as Sendoso and Alyce
The challenge is to make the vendor selection that’s right for you, and embed them into your existing sales, marketing and communication programmes.
With careful selection and deployment these solutions can radically improve an organisation’s ability to find, engage and convert target accounts and buying groups.
But these buying groups are all people. So again, I return to my key point – that demand generation in B2B should be powered by people not just machines.
What ABM tools are you using, how are your teams responding, and how are they helping you succeed?