The Marketing Strategist:
Top Tactics for Three Types of ABM
Part 2 of an ongoing series. Read Part 1, ABM on Fire, but Still Early Days
ITSMA’s recent study, Fueling the Account Based Marketing Fire, documented the rise of three distinct types of ABM: Strategic, Lite, and Programmatic.
As companies look to test or expand any or all of these approaches, it’s important to evaluate which tactics might be most effective. Tactical plans for any kind of ABM should flow from your own business strategy and objectives, of course, but it’s interesting to see the differences in top tactics as marketers have moved forward in each area.
The newest type of ABM, Programmatic ABM has gained great attention in the last few years as a one-to-many approach wherein marketers use technology to automate and track personalized marketing communications with individuals at targeted accounts. The primary goal is lead generation, with an almost equal focus among current practitioners of generating leads from new and existing accounts.
Much of the hype about Programmatic ABM centers around technology for reverse IP look-up for website personalization and online advertising/re-targeting. Surprisingly, though, email marketing outpaces Reverse IP look-up as the top tactic by a two to one margin. Face-to-face meetings is another top tactic, along with direct mail (another surprise) and social engagement.
Programmatic ABM Tactic of Choice: email
With ABM Lite, marketers take a one-to-few approach in developing and implementing customized programs for small clusters of accounts (usually 5-10 each) that share similar business attributes, challenges, and imperatives. The primary goals are to build relationships and identify opportunities with both new and existing accounts.
ABM Lite marketers employ a mix of high touch and high volume marketing activities, with one-to-one meetings and email marketing essentially tied at the top of the list. Other top tactics include executive engagement plans, custom content development, and targeted digital ads and content.
ABM Lite Tactics of Choice: one-to-one meetings and email
As the original form of account based marketing, Strategic ABM has long focused on true one-to-one programs wherein marketing works closely with sales teams to identify strategic business issues for individual accounts, develop personalized value propositions, and implement customized programs and campaigns for “markets of one.” Strategic ABM goals typically emphasize changing account perceptions, building executive relationships, and identifying new strategic opportunities. Strategic ABM accounts are typically existing customers, but the technique can also be used to pursue new business.
Strategic ABM marketers use a wider range of tactics than do their counterparts with other types of ABM. Nearly all of the preferred marketing methods are bespoke and high touch including one-to-one meetings, account-specific thought leadership, innovation days, executive engagement plans, and private events. Technologies in the form of email marketing and reverse IP look-up are just beginning to make inroads in the realm of Strategic ABM.
Strategic ABM Tactics of Choice: one-to-one meetings, thought leadership, innovation days, executive engagement plans
Learn more about Fueling the Account Based Marketing Fire and download an abbreviated summary of the study. The full report is available to current ITSMA member companies that participated in the survey.