Shifting the balance: The key to building a successful Enterprise-Class ABM program

The Drum 13 Jan 2021 12:12
Watch the 'Five key tips to avoid in Enterprise-Class ABM' panel on demand

Account-based marketing (ABM) was supposed to be every B2B marketers dream; it offered so many opportunities for targeting so powerfully. Unfortunately, actualizing this in an enterprise sales and marketing organization is vastly different and more challenging than it is for smaller companies. So where did it all go wrong?

Enterprise go-to-market strategies create an opportunity for organizations to scale. However, they also develop complexity and elevate functionality requirements beyond those typically found in ABM platforms, usually designed for SMB or mid-market companies.

The Drum has recently joined forces with MRP, bringing together a panel of experts to address much of current ABM “best practice”, shedding light on the enterprise operating environment and providing requirements that marketers should prioritize in their enterprise-class account-based marketing strategies.

“Sometimes the name ABM actually does it harm - it cannot be another marketing program, this has to be cross-functional,” said Jada Balster, VP marketing at Workfront.

Don’t let FOMO force you into ABM

Before embarking on an ABM program, you have to question if it is right for your business. “Don’t let fear of missing out (FOMO) push you into something that isn’t right for your business,” said Anamika Gupta, director, head of customer marketing, Fujitsu America Inc. “The goal for ABM should be absolutely aligned with your business goals.”

Customer experiences make customer relationships

“The most important thing is getting a single view of the customer - especially when trying to scale ABM,” said Cunningham. “The speed of engagement is so critical. Having one system of record where you understand past interactions with that customer enables you to ingest multiple forms of intent data and really understand where they are in the buying process, what they’re interested in and tailor the information to get them in the buyer journey in the most appropriate way and on the right platform.”

Gupta noted three things that successful ABM needs: relationship, reputation and revenue, but that all depends on business goals, resources, budgets, technology and measurement: “The true heart of what ABM does, and where technology can really help, is understanding customers better by looking at the data and tracking what is happening to them. When you’re doing ABM in a true omnichannel fashion, you’re able to coordinate all these different touchpoints so that you’re providing the right experience and building the right relationships.”

“Define your North Star, make sure that’s where your focus is and then keep going back to it, but without rigidity,” said Balster. “Marketers are on this quest for perfection and have this idea on what the perfect ABM program should look like but that doesn’t always pan out. Have a plan, a path, just pay attention to signs along the way and don’t be scared to adjust.”

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Jada BalsterWorkfrontKevin CunninghamFOMOMatt Garisch
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