Account-Based Marketing has been at the top of the hype scale in marketing departments for a number of years now. At this point, most organizations have tested or adopted ABM at some level. Still, now marketing and product leaders are starting to see how ABM can improve revenue growth across the entire marketing cycle or product life cycle, not just at the top of the funnel where it’s most apparent.
Followers of the SBI blog know that we’ve discussed the benefits and pitfalls of ABM for the last few years and that we believe it can drive tremendous results for revenue growth when planned, resourced, and executed correctly. For those unfamiliar with ABM, this short podcast with industry expert Sangram Vajre, “How to Implement and Utilize an ABM Program to Maximize Potential,” will provide an excellent background. And if you’re just getting started or want some structure on how you can go farther, we’ve developed this “ABM Approach Tool” to help you.
Classic ABM for Growth Marketing
In its purest form, ABM is most typically used for targeting new accounts, gaining net new logos, and turning them into sales prospects. Ideally, you will have done full account segmentation work to identify and classify your target accounts, but even simpler strategic and target account lists can work for pilot programs. ABM motions come in three levels as the audience gets smaller. Smaller audiences require more effort and focus, but also offer higher returns. At the 1:1 level, ABM is really a sales-driven motion. Still, the marketing team can help with account research, content, strategy, and air cover, making ABM a terrific way for marketing and sales to partner closely in success.
- One to Many – Targeting hundreds of accounts and leveraging technology to personalize campaigns for specific, named accounts at scale.
- One to Few – Targeting account clusters and creating and executing more customized programs for account cohorts that share similar issues and needs.
- One to One – Treating each account individually as a market of one. Creating bespoke content and executing fully customized programs.
ABM in the Product Lifecycle
How do you know if you’re ready to expand and leverage your ABM program in the product lifecycle? Consider how you rank against these capabilities for activating your customer base through ABM.
- You have segmented and prioritized your target accounts on revenue potential and propensity to buy.
- For each prioritized account, you have contact information for each buyer and influencer in the buying team.
- You are able to develop and act on rich insights specific to each prioritized account for highly relevant interactions.
- You convert your rich insights into content and messaging and are able to personalize it for each buyer and influencer.
- You deploy a land and expand sales strategy inside your most valuable accounts.
If you have at least some of the capabilities described above, your marketing team may be able to help you apply ABM more broadly across your product lifecycle. If we think about a product lifecycle being characterized by four major stages – Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline – let’s take a look at applying ABM in some new ways. While it may not be evident to the marketing team, as a product leader, you can look to ABM programs to improve revenue growth across all four stages.
- Introduction – This most closely aligns with classic ABM when you are introducing your offering and educating your audience with content aligned to the buyer journey.
- Growth – Think of this as traditional land and expand. Use ABM in an ordered approach across your account base to increase product usage within an account, upsell premium features, and cross-sell additional products and services.
- Maturity – Maturity doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end in growth. Use ABM as an efficient way to promote the new product features and capabilities you’re developing. ABM can help you reach the right targets, educate them, and drive additional usage, increase stickiness, and drive better customer retention.
- Decline – This doesn’t have to seem like an end-game. By this point, you know a lot about your customers and likely have complete contact information. Use ABM strategies to promote usage, sell upgrades, manage end-of-life transitions, position migrations, and sell continuing service contracts.
ABM can be a very powerful method throughout a product lifecycle, all the way from product introduction to customer migration to a new platform. To get started, we’ve made it easy to work with your marketing team in applying an ABM strategy to your product lifecycle with this “ABM Approach Tool.” If you need some more ideas and support in planning, developing, and driving your ABM strategy, SBI is here to help. Click here to contact us and schedule a commitment-free consultation on account segmentation, developing an ABM strategy, or how to jumpstart your revenue growth.