As Marketing Automation becomes best practice within B2B organisations as an effective and efficient way to amplify leads and nurture existing relationships, more attention is being paid to Account Based Marketing (ABM), an in-depth strategic plan to identify and target a relatively small number of key accounts with personalised messages aimed at expanding and nurturing relationships within those organisations. In other words, ABM complements Marketing Automation by digging deep and “manually” into a very specific universe of identified accounts.
Much has been written about what ABM is and how to execute. In fact, at BBN we have a whole e-book on the subject.
Therefore, in this piece I would like to discuss the “hidden value” of ABM. Based on our experience, an ABM strategy offers organisations a unique opportunity to foster the integration of their sales and marketing departments.
There are many reasons for this: firstly, ABM is by definition a collaborative strategy. It requires sales and marketing to work together not only in identifying the accounts but also in defining and executing the tactic mix (i.e. sales executing a specific one-to-one email and marketing developing a customized business case for each client). Secondly, in the process of developing an ABM strategy both teams will share their goals and challenges and in doing so, they give each other the opportunity to build empathy. Lastly, by ABM being a granular strategy it requires a level of detail that is seldom shared in their day-to-day interactions.
In other words, by ABM requiring integration by design, it offers organisations a unique opportunity to develop capabilities that can transcend to other sales and marketing practices, contribute to competitive advantage and maximise value creation potential.