Account-Based Marketing: What's All the Fuss About?
By Flora Felisberto
As Account-based Marketing (ABM) continues to grow in both interest and adoption, it seems like every marketing technology provider out there is grabbing a piece of the pie. From ad serving providers, to marketing automation and advanced analytics, everyone is "providing" ABM to some extent.
ABM is a B2B marketing function that shifts the focus from creating leads to creating opportunities within key accounts. It aligns sales and marketing with a single outcome in mind: to close business from specific accounts. One of the most exciting outcomes of this movement is that it has forced marketing technology providers to really innovate and amp up their targeting and reporting capabilities.
But the main benefit of ABM is the ability to bring sales and marketing teams together in a way we haven't seen before. Marketers are all about leads while sales are all about accounts. Marketers tend to operate in the context of quantity - hence the constant need to put more and more at the top of the funnel in hopes that a fraction of those leads turn into dollars. Sales on the other hand wants to know how quickly they can get into accounts they care about. ABM has brought to the forefront the need for marketers to evolve from the "arts and crafts department" to a department that's focused on increasing pipeline contribution and penetration of target accounts.
It used to be that ABM providers had very limited product offerings that included data append, list building and data discovery - think DiscoverOrg, ReachForce and RainKing. The category has now expanded to include full on advertising platforms, orchestration and infrastructure, advanced analytics, website personalization and more.
The "Account Based Everything" market map is getting ever more crowded and I couldn't possibly review all providers, but below are a few I'm either using here at Perfecto or am very familiar with.
LINKEDIN Category: Advertising In addition to running InMail and Sponsored Updates using the audience selections, LinkedIn now allows users to upload their list of target accounts (you can upload up to 30,000 accounts). LinkedIn has been an amazing advertising tool for the demand gen team here at Perfecto because it allows us to advertise to very specific personas within very specific accounts. This has allowed us to bring our CPTL (cost per target lead) way down.
LinkedIn has expanded its product offering to include web retargeting and CRM retargeting. Create a list of target accounts already in your database and voila, start advertising to them with messaging that's very specific to their stage in the buyer's journey. The possibilities are endless here.
ADROLL Category: Advertising Another adverting player making headway with ABM is AdRoll. Originally a web retargeting platform, AdRoll has been slowly ramping up its offerings to include CRM retageting and now ABM capabilities for personalized programmatic ad campaigns. This new offering combines the power of AdRoll's CRM integration to create customized ads that pull in almost any CRM field. Imagine being able to create ads at scale that pull in first name, company name or a persona specific message. I can't decide if that's creepy or highly effective.
DEMANDBASE Category: Advertising, Web Personalization, Data Enrichment, Analytics, Intent When it comes to ABM technology providers, DemandBase rules. DemandBase is, in my opinion, the most complete vendor out there. In addition to providing data enrichment services like smart forms and other data append services, DemandBase has a complete suite of target display advertising, real-time website personalization, advanced analytics, intent data, training and workshops. DemandBase has pioneered much of the technology that players like AdRoll are now working so hard to catch up to.
Terminus provides B2B marketers with an advertising platform that integrates with your CRM and allows you to build segments of “best-fit-accounts.” Think of it as Google display advertising with the ability to segment based on company name, size, job role/department, etc. Terminus is all about increasing awareness within your target accounts. The main goal is not conversion but achieving faster velocity within those key accounts. Like DemandBase and Engagio, Terminus is a pioneer when it comes to ABM technology. They coined the term “flip my funnel", mobilizing an entire community of over 6,000 members worldwide.
ENGAGIO Category: Orchestration and Infrstructure Founded in early 2015, by Jon Miller (who also happens to be the founder of Marketo), Engagio is a full ABM orchestration platform. Think of Engagio as Marketo for ABM - you can upload yous accounts and contacts, create plays (equivalent of nurture streams on steroids), run data operations, set up account scoring logic, get reporting and analytics and more.
Engagio allows marketers to automate and scale targeted campaigns across multiple channels (email, phone, direct mail). It also encourages a true cross functional campaign execution. For example, you can bring in your CEO, Director of Marketing and Customer Success department into a “play” or campaign. The Engagio Play Editor automates this entire process by creating tasks, checklists and uses lead to account matching to make sure you don’t miss anyone on the account. Unlike traditional marketing automation platforms, Engagio charges by number of users, not the size of your database.
BIZIBLE Category: Attribution Bizible is one of the pioneers when it comes to full-funnel attribution and reporting for B2B marketers. The platform integrates with your CRM, website digital and offline channels in order to collect and automate attribution across all marketing channels and business units. Bizible equips marketing teams with knowledge we never had before including revenue by campaign, velocity by channel, campaign ROI, forecasting abilities and more. Companies like Brightfunnel, Bizible and Full Circle have given marketers the ability to see the full picture and not just attribute success to just first touch or last touch. It looks at every single touch and then distributes credit accordingly.
As part of its offering, Bizible also arms marketers with the ability to track the success of their ABM programs and it does that in 3 ways: account tracking and reporting with lead-to-account mapping, measurement of ABM channels like calling, mailers, and dinners as well as behavior-based predictive account engagement score. Bizible assigns account scores to highlight how engaged your target accounts are. Bizible is uniquely able to measure ABM engagement as they already track the attribution touchpoints corresponding to both the leads, contacts and accounts.
Stay tuned, more reviews to come!