Go-to-Market specialist, European Custom Solutions
IDC predicts that by 2020, 1 in 5 marketers will abandon the traditional funnel for a buyer-centric approach. The funnel belongs to the 20th century. Back then, buyers were ignorant about their choices and sellers knew little about the needs and preferences of their prospective customers. Now, leading companies are embracing high-information strategies that are re-architecting the shape of engagement and in the process, blowing up the funnel (Read Kathleen Schaub full interview with Direct Marketing News).
A lot has happened in the last 12 months when we first started talking about the customer centric organisation so I felt it was time to revisit the ABM topic as it is a trend that is not going away due to the increasing need to enhance customer experience through personalisation, better targeting, and more relevant content such as Verticalized, Persona based etc.. But what’s different today? It’s much easier to access and use data to understand your accounts on a more individualized and practical level.
We are in the Era of Digital Transformation which has meant that innovative technologies have disrupted the way we do things, we can capture data more effectively, analyze this data in a much better way and this means that we can now scale our ABM efforts expanding our relationships and driving bigger customer wins.
Additionally, everyone knows that B2B customers buy as a team. Participants play different roles – technical, line-of-business, financial, etc. Marketers usually focus on individual personas. But buying is not conducted in isolation. It’s social. By understanding not only the players but also the way the game is played, marketers will develop more compelling content and campaign conversion strategies.
So how do you start your ABM journey? The first step is to Identify the types of accounts you are going after:
- Strategic (Justify large Investment)
- Major (not as large as Strategic accounts but have growth potential)
- ‘Other Accounts’ – Such as regional, industry, market niche
Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t pay off. If you are uncertain when it comes to understand how to make ABM succeed, start to make your buyers the center of your ABM strategy and operating model.
Once this crucial element has been defined you can map out your approach for your strategic accounts :
“The goal for all marketers today is to deliver more value than competitors can as early in the relationship as possible,” stated Gerry Murray, research director of IDC’s Sales and Marketing technology research. “Business buyers expect even more personalized value from brands during their decision process than consumers do. It is imperative that B2B marketers go beyond targeting and messaging and product promotions. They have to leverage the collective learning of their customer base to deliver resources that bond prospects to the brand even before they buy.”
Please contact me for any information on how IDC can help with your ABM strategy through Sales enablement, content marketing, events and buyers behavior.