“Don’t count the people you reach; reach the people that count.” — David Ogilvy, Founder of Ogilvy & Mather, known as the “Father of Advertising”
ABM – It’s Kind of a BIG Deal
Whispers of the wonders of account based marketing (ABM) first emerged on the scene a few years ago as marketing’s next big trend. Truth be told, despite its official acronym, ABM is not really new and it’s not a trend. It is simply a matter of marketing to your very best prospects and customers as if they were your only customer or prospect.
The 80/20 Rule
Many researchers maintain that ABM is a direct descendant of the 80/20 Rule, which was first established by management consultant, Joseph M. Juran and based on the work of Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto in 1896. The 80/20 Rule is a law of distribution that states that 80 percent of sales come from 20 percent of customers. If you were to follow this rule and spend the bulk of your budget on creating personalized marketing pieces for the 20 percent of your clients that regularly spend the most with your company, you would be practicing ABM.
Personalization for Every ONE
To be clear, there is one aspect of ABM that is new — scalability. In the past, creating personalized pieces that speak to the individual needs of customers was not possible, but thanks to martech, creating personalized pieces is not only possible, it can be done with speed and efficiency.
Three Steps to Leveraging ABM
1. Identify Your Top Customers
The word “account” in ABM can be a tad misleading because you really aren’t marketing to an account per se; you are marketing to the individual people who represent that account. Harvard researchers have found that the average number of people involved in a B2B purchase is around six or seven folks. Adding to the complexity of multiple decision-makers is the fact that “these stakeholders come from a lengthening roster of roles, functions, and geographies.” Fortunately, your data should be able to simplify much of the complexity inherent in this step. Although it’s been said already, it bears repeating: clean, complete and enriched data is critical to your ability to identify and market to the targets of your ABM strategy. To ensure you choose wisely, look at the historical performance of each account and compare it to your ICP to determine who will make the list of accounts upon which your teams will focus their time, energy and resources. A few questions to consider include:
- Which accounts are most profitable now?
- Which accounts have dropped in profitability?
- What data characteristics are good indicators of sales success?
- What attributes are ideal for our products/services?
- What characteristics are best for exempting an account from ABM?
Be sure to check out Part Two of 3 Steps to Becoming an ABM Rock Star, where we will cover the final two steps you need to take in order to rock the world of your best customers.