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What is an Account-Based Marketing Platform?

May 4, 2021 Mason Cosby

What is an Account-Based Marketing Platform?

As you explore the world of account-based marketing, you have likely started to encounter numerous sources discussing the importance of technology in an ABM strategy. One piece of technology frequently referenced is an ABM platform.

If you have been running any marketing campaigns using marketing technology, you may wonder what an ABM platform is.

An ABM platform is software that helps you create target account lists, organizes your data into actionable campaigns, runs ABM campaigns, and provides reports on your efforts’ effectiveness. 

You likely have a customer relationship management software (CRM) and a marketing automation software. You may wonder if you need another platform to get started with ABM. 

What makes an ABM Platform so important for effective ABM? Why do you need an ABM platform for long-term success with ABM?

 

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Access To Data Helps You Target the Right Accounts

The success of an ABM strategy hinges on access to data. You know any ABM strategy starts with a list of target accounts. Which list do you want to use for your campaigns?

  • List A: A list generated by your staff with companies you think would be a great fit with contact information through Google and LinkedIn.
  • List B: A list generated by a database that filters accounts by the traits of your ideal customer profile, provides the likelihood an account will purchase your offer, and has actionable contact information for the key decision-makers.

You would probably want list B simply for the ability you have to run far more effective and targeted campaigns. Not to mention, with list A you have to compile this data manually. With an ABM platform, you put in your criteria, and the actionable data is pulled for you almost instantly. 

When you have an accurate target account list with actionable information, you dramatically increase your potential to close deals with the accounts that matter.

 

A Unified Source of Truth Provide Company Alignment

Another critical component to ABM is complete alignment from every department. An ABM platform eliminates confusion across departments by compiling all relevant information into one simplified source of truth. 

Finance no longer wonders about the ROI from your ABM efforts. You can run a report for them to show how you have dramatically increased ROI. When creating this report, make it a line chart. Finance likes it when the line shoots up.

Your marketing and sales departments are in complete alignment because they are now looking at the same information and know what they are responsible for. There is no longer a question surrounding why numbers are up or down this month. You can run a report to see marketing didn’t deliver as many qualified leads or sales haven’t been doing nearly enough outreach to contacts. 

Lastly, your support team has a complete picture of the customer dating back to the first point of contact. Your support team can provide a higher level of support by understanding each stage the customer went through. If support sees notes regarding the fact that the customer was hesitant to sign, they continually reassure the customer of your companies commitment to seeing the customer succeed.

 

The Proper Tools Enable Scalability

The most significant reason you would want to implement ABM technology is to scale. You can’t build a marketing strategy on an approach that doesn’t scale with your company’s growth. Your marketing strategy should be systematic, sustainable, and scalable.

If you attempted ABM without the appropriate technology, you wouldn’t have the ability to target more than a handful of accounts. With the right technology in place, you can target thousands of accounts, each with hyper-personalized and targeted marketing.

To clarify what hyper-personalized and targeted marketing refer to are pieces of marketing collateral specifically designed to engage and delight a specific contact in a specific account. This targeted marketing could look like sending a gift based on contact interests or placing ads based on a contact’s IP address that directly names the target account in the display ad. 

The opportunity for personalization with an ABM platform is incredibly extensive and effective. To run a genuinely impactful ABM campaign that scales with your company, you need to implement an ABM platform. 

Important Note: In the case, you wanted to invest in non-scalable efforts, a good rule of thumb is to invest no more than 10% of your marketing budget in non-scalable high-impact efforts. These efforts should only focus on your most valuable and profitable accounts.

 

Better Tools Help Focus Time Towards More Profitable Efforts

With ABM, you will have a list of target accounts you know would partner well with your company. This list will probably include hundreds or thousands of accounts. So you will tier your approach and prioritize the accounts you see have the highest likelihood of closing. 

Without the appropriate technology in place, you will spend more time prioritizing the list than calling the list. Accounts aren’t static data points you can assess once and know how to move forward. 

Acquisitions occur. Hiring blitzes happen. People change jobs. Accounts are dynamic. A manually organized list isn’t. 

With ABM tech, you can receive constantly updated information on your accounts. 

Did a new VP just get hired to manage the department you are targeting? 

You have their contact information. 

Are some accounts now spending a lot of time researching solutions similar to your offer? 

Time to send some relevant content to engage your contact. 

The technology available to marketers lets you essentially look behind the scenes at what your target accounts are looking for, who would buy it, and if they are a good fit for your company. When you implement this information to inform and guide your conversations with potential customers, they thank you for it. The customer feels understood and that you are for their success. 

Simply put, manual lists don’t accurately reflect the everchanging nature of a target account list. When you implement ABM technology to provide accurate and up-to-date information, you will have the ability to more effectively deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

 

More Accurate Data Results in Better Campaigns Over Time

The ABM approach requires iterations. You likely won’t get your account list perfect the first time. You probably won’t close every single deal coming through your pipeline. You will likely onboard a customer that doesn’t end up as a good fit. 

Without the technology, you can still make assumptions about why something didn’t work perfectly, but ABM should take a systematic approach. An effective ABM strategy will have the analytics and data to inform future decisions based on past successes and failures. 

Many people simply want to avoid failure entirely. They want ABM just to work automatically. Nothing in marketing or life can truly succeed without any chance of failure. 

When you have the appropriate ABM technology in place, your failures provide actionable insights to create better future success. Without the technology, your marketing efforts will leave you guessing why something didn’t work and fumbling to make it better.

 

Do you need an ABM Platform?

If you want to run effective ABM at scale, you need an ABM platform. An ABM platform is a large investment. You should only move forward if you have significant buy-in from your leadership team. 

If there is hesitation to implement ABM, start with the technology you have. You can run ABM campaigns without the tech. ABM started in the ’90s with dinner events. ABM lost momentum as a marketing strategy in the 2000s because marketing technology introduced more scalable marketing methods. 

Start with some small ABM campaigns, and try to get some small wins. A conversation about securing additional budget typically goes well when you can show small wins already achieved and show bigger wins from further investment in the proper tools. 

To learn more about the technology you could use for ABM, check out our ABM technology stack workbook, or schedule a call today to speak with our growth consultant.

 

Account-Based Marketing Workbook & How-To Guide - Get Your Copy Today - Download Now

 

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