A Roundup of News, Tools, Events and Thought Leadership from the World of Account-Based Funnel Management
By John Saxe, Scratch Marketing + Media
You want to stay abreast of the latest developments in account-based, but you don’t have time to read everything. That’s where we come in. In each digest, Scratch Marketing recaps the most recent doings in the account-based world and ties them up with a bow for you to peruse. Enjoy the latest news!
November 28, 2017
Brandon Redlinger, Business2Community
The author of the article argues that defining the role of the ABM director well within the organization and translating that role into a very detailed job description will attract just the type of people you might be looking for to lead your ABM efforts. The article goes over the most important personal and professional qualities of a perfect candidate while emphasizing the importance of the tech stack knowledge.
The Scratch lens:
This is a pretty interesting article in that it gets at ABM from a unique standpoint – what to look for in an ABM Director. I came away with two distinct impressions:
- Given that ABM stands on a foundation of close coordination between the Sales and Marketing functions, I’d say the most important thing to assess (beyond the fundamental knowledge of ABM) in considering a prospective ABM Director is the dynamic between the candidate and the leader of your sales organization. To be fair, the author lists “Collaborating with Sales to plan, execute, and optimize the ABM program” among the typical line items in a job description for the position, but the fundamental nature of the relationship between these leaders will go further towards determining the success or failure of your ABM initiative than pretty much any other single attribute. Lock your prospect in the same room with the head of sales for 20 minutes and see what happens.
- The article presumes that the interviewer already has an in-depth understanding of the ABM process and practices. This may or may not be the case (and in our experience, it’s more likely “may not”) so assessing the relevance of the candidate’s experience may be tougher than it sounds. The author’s suggested question set will, however, successfully screen out 85% or more of those who just know how to talk about the topic.
November 8, 2017
Ayaz Nanji, MarketingProf
Demandbase recently surveyed 400 senior professionals who work for a digital, general marketing, or advertising agency to explore the use of account-based marketing in the B2B industry. Two-thirds of B2B agency marketers say their firm is using ABM in a certain capacity. 39% of the respondents said they have a dedicated team, utilizing the approach. However, their evaluation of client usage of ABM tends to remain an area of improvement – 54% of the respondents suggested that under a quarter of their clients employs ABM.
The Scratch lens:
The survey referenced in this article indicates that two-thirds of respondents are currently using ABM approaches. This is astounding, as the report is based on data from a survey of 400 senior professionals (VP or higher) who work for a digital, general marketing, or advertising agency. These are marketing agency professionals in 2017. How can the results show anything less than 100 percent?? Today’s agencies need to operate as trusted advisors to their clients, not just as execution partners. As such, it is incumbent on agencies to be introducing their clients to the best techniques available to help clients grow their businesses. Are the other third saying that an account-based approach isn’t a good way to accomplish this simple-yet-crucial goal or that they lack the expertise to implement an effective ABM approach? That’s a trick question – the answer, collectively, is yes. If you have the expertise to implement ABM, you know that harnessing today’s technology capabilities to power an account-based approach is an essential strategy for landing and expanding the accounts that matter most to your clients’ businesses. (And if your agency isn’t steering you towards ABM, run the other way (and then give us a call!).)
November 16, 2017
Sonjoy Ganguly, March Tech Series
The author argues that the job titles are often overlooked in the marketing outreach and explains how to factor hierarchy into the ABM strategy. The lower-level or non-traditional titles get often neglected, as they might not be considered immediate decision-makers. At the same time, the author argues that in the current non-hierarchical environment, a marketer might often need to cover all the bases not to lose on the important contacts within the account. Automation and machine learning might help do it at scale, while personal mastery will give your insights context.
The Scratch lens:
The author, an SVP with Madison Logic, makes a compelling case that in today’s B2B world of expanded buying committees, ABM efficiency can easily be obliterated by spending too much time and attention on those members of your key accounts who don’t have the proper authority to influence purchasing decisions. Being able to sniff out the key stakeholders on the buying committee is an increasingly challenging problem. The author contends that mapping the landscape of job titles within each key account and then normalizing these matrices across all key accounts is crucial for identifying where the authority resides. Easier said than done, perhaps, but the author’s premise reinforces that notion that the era of attending to individual leads is long gone.
Tools and Tips: The Martech Angle on ABM
November 27, 2017
Joe Stanganelli, DMN
The author of the articles shines light on a relatively new school of thought that believes that AI will eventually overturn human-powered marketing. This month, an annual ITSMA’s Marketing Vision conference took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nick Panayi, VP of brand, demand, and digital marketing at DXC Technology, and the cheerleader of AI, was among the speakers. “Forget Account-Based Marketing. Think about People-Based Marketing. An AI bot…can craft a campaign for one person. Why do we have to wait…months for an email campaign?” At the same time, the author does not go as far as to say AI will make ABM obsolete. On the contrary, AI might advance ABM efforts further and help marketers shift their frame of reference to the accounts of most importance at scale.
The Scratch lens:
Let me answer the question posed in the article title for you: “No.”
There. Now you don’t have to read it. But here’s the thing: AI is becoming a buzzier term by the day, so we need to start paying attention to how people are talking about the intersection of artificial intelligence and marketing, and specifically, ABM. In this article, the author suggests that AI will be the means of scaling the personalization that is a hallmark of ABM. We still have a long way to go to sort out the differences between machine learning and AI, though, so it’s a little early to try to figure out whether the author or the folks at ITSMA’s Marketing Vision conference are on the right track. But it’s not too late to start paying attention to where the thought leadership is headed.
November 7, 2017
Sudipto Ghosh, MarchTech Series
Madison Logic came out with a new add-on solution to their services – ActivateABM is now offering customers the ability to know exactly what topics their customers are searching for in the hunt for new tech products. The new CRM-like capabilities became possible due to the advances in the artificial intelligence and will positively impact sales and marketing alignment. According to Madison Logic’s CEO Thomas O’Regan, “Comprehensive ABM has demonstrated 80% better pipeline velocity, and 40% better average order value, and 150% better conversion rates than traditional account-based marketing.” The new ActivateABM solution is dedicated to helping us reach that goal.
November 28, 2017
SiriusDecisions & Merkle partnership
On December 7 at 1 pm, Merkle will be hosting a webinar titled Psst, It’s All About the Data – How to Implement Your ABM Strategy. The webinar will feature Ronak Parikh, VP data solutions at Merkle and Robert Peterson, research director at SiriusDecisions. The organizers promise to cover the following key points:
- The five priorities that leaders need to focus on to adopt, operationalize, and optimize ABM
- Measurement needs to extend beyond leads
- Data is fueling every step of the ABM process it deserves KPI
In Our Own Words
December 6, 2017
Lora Kratchounova, Forbes Agency Council
In our latest installment for Forbes Agency Council, Scratch Marketing + Media Principal Lora Kratchounova discusses how intent-driven funnel management utilizes intent data powered by today’s rapidly strengthening analytics capabilities to help B2B sales and marketing professionals identify and focus on key accounts that are gearing up to make purchases relevant to their businesses. Lora explores how intent data and account-based approaches are redefining the ways businesses should be measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns and makes the case for ditching traditional metrics like average cost per lead.
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