Okay, we are approaching 2017 and if there is one clear takeaway that has dominated conferences and conversations this year it’s Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s everywhere. It’s hot, but not so hot that it’s a fad. It’s here to stay. So if you haven’t started working in a little bit of an ABM approach into your 2017 planning, take our advice and start!
There is SO much information out there about ABM. My favorite publishers on this topic are EverString (yes, shameless self promo), Engagio, TOPO, Raab Associates, and Demand Gen Report. But there are many more!
In this post, we’ll cover some key findings of The 2016 ABM Benchmark Survey Report by Demand Gen Report (and sponsored by EverString) and tell you a little bit about how our ABM efforts here at EverString match up with the survey results. You won’t want to miss the full report here.
ABM is Not New, But it Gained Significant Traction in 2016
While the traditional 1:1 ABM model has been around for a while (think the 2006 Pursuit of Happiness movie starring Will Smith) marketers are flocking to ABM in the form of this traditional 1:1 model, 1:few, or 1:many. At EverString, we are using a mix of these different ABM approaches and formally kicked off our effort in 2016.
Demand Gen Report found that close to half (47%) of marketers surveyed have an ABM strategy in place, with 33% planning to implement ABM within the next 18 months. Of the marketers with an ABM strategy in place, 59% of them said they’ve been dong ABM for less than a year with 29% at for less than six months.
Marketers are Taking on New Strategies to Support Their ABM Effort
The top new strategies marketers are implementing to support their ABM efforts are direct mail, targeted executive events, and interactive content tailored by industry/role.
At EverString, we have largely focused our ABM efforts on direct mail and targeted executive events. Let me tell you about a few of our campaigns.
Direct Mail Campaigns
We had two direct mail campaigns this year that we were really excited about. The first was just meant to delight. We sent target accounts these cute custom cootie catchers betting that we could predict their ABM style. Get it, predict? The fortune teller/cootie catcher came nicely folded in a box with this placard.
We also sent out this artisan peanut butter and jelly kit to talk about how predictive marketing helps with sales and marketing alignment. Because when sales and marketing work towards one goal, closing your best-fit accounts, the result is pure harmony. EverString Audience Platform and predictive marketing is like the bread that holds your PB&J together!
When thinking about direct mail, think about things you would be excited to get and excited to share with your coworkers. These are great door openers for us as we try to make connections at key target accounts.
Targeted Executive Events
One of our best executive events was our ABM After Hours Event—a meetup series designed to get thought leaders in the room with executives for conversation around all things ABM. We invited influencers at key accounts to the meetup in their town. We traveled to New York, Atlanta, and Austin to meet our prospect on their turf. We invited thought leaders to speak about ABM so that marketing execs could learn more about the hot topic of the moment and how be successful with it in their organization.
How did we decide who to invite? We used our own predictive platform! We took a list of companies that we would love to see at an event like this in a place where we’ve gained some traction, and used that as a seed list for the event. For each location, we told the platform that we wanted to invite companies that looked similar to the seed list of accounts, but that were located in say Atlanta or New York where we were holding the event.
This was a great way to give our reps in-person time with target accounts, and to introduce ourselves to influencers at key accounts by providing value right off the bat.
With 2017 fast approaching, think about how you could incorporate some creative ABM tactics into your marketing strategy. To learn more about how marketers are executing ABM and what challenges they’re facing, read the full 2016 ABM Benchmark Survey Report by Demand Gen Report here.