The Marketing Strategist:
ABM Past, Present, and Future: TechConnectr Interview [Podcast]
Folks who know me are well aware that I’m happy to dive deep into ABM’s past, present, and future at less than a moment’s notice. So, of course I jumped at the chance to sit down with Bob Samuels of TechConnectr and chat about the ancient history of ABM (way back in the early 2000s!), what’s working today, and where ABM is heading next.
Here are a few highlights:
Looking Back: How ABM began
The concept of ABM began to take shape in the early 2000s when companies such as Accenture, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard began to apply marketing resources and talent in a structured and consistent way to support long-term growth with some of their largest and most strategic accounts.
Working with those ABM pioneers, ITSMA developed an ABM methodology and discipline built on enabling marketing collaboration with account teams to broaden and deepen key client relationships and boost business outcomes.
Check out our ABM Timeline to see where Account-Based Marketing started and how it continues to grow and bring value.
Today’s best practices
While each ABM program will have its own characteristics, the most successful ones have a few things in common:
- A true, end-to-end collaborative partnership with sales
- A research-based focus on the clients’ strategic initiatives and C-level priorities
- A broad multi-channel approach combining digital expertise with face-to-face interactions with key executives
ABM has become such a hot topic because it works. It can elevate providers of solutions and services from being seen as sellers to ongoing strategic partners in business and digital transformation. This strengthens ties with the decision-makers in the C-suite.
ABM leaders measure success based on the three Rs: reputation within the target accounts, relationships with key stakeholders, and revenue acceleration and expansion.
As ABM has moved to the mainstream of B2B marketing, companies are moving toward a blended ABM strategy, balancing one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many types of ABM. This typically includes a balanced approach across new and existing clients, with a blending of one-to-one for some of their most strategic accounts, one-to-few for the second tier, and one-to-many for broader coverage.
The move to blended strategies, however, raises a wide range of strategic questions, though, including the best ways to organize across the different approaches, allocate budgets, train and develop teams, and collaborate across the company.
Ultimately, the next big step for ABM is helping transform the perception of B2B marketing across the firm from a tactical support function to being a strategic growth driver for the business with the accounts that matter most to corporate success.