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Five Priorities for Account-Based Marketing Leaders

February 20, 2017 | By Matt Senatore

  • Account-based marketing (ABM) leaders should focus on five specific priorities this year to grow their programs
  • ABM requires a go-to-market approach that differs from traditional demand creation – and requires tighter collaboration with sales
  • Technology offerings are helping accelerate named-account marketing (and industry/segment-account marketing)

During the past six months, SiriusDecisions has done extensive work to deconstruct each of our portfolio offerings and identify the key personas we support, the priorities these leaders have, our differentiated value proposition against these priorities (using the SiriusDecisions Messaging NautilusTM). We also inventoried all of our assets (e.g. research briefs, Core Strategy Reports, webinars, case studies), tools, benchmarking data and consulting offerings and to build capabilities to more efficiently prescribe differentiated playbooks to meet the specific needs of different leaders. This also was meant to help us do a better job of selling our offerings’ value, and demonstrating how we can support marketing, sales and product leaders.

Here are the top five priorities for account-based marketing (ABM) leaders:

  • One: ABM strategy and alignment. How do ABM leaders incubate, educate and align ABM strategy in an organization to drive growth while working closely with sales? ABM requires a go-to-market approach that differs from “traditional” demand creation – and requires tighter collaboration with sales. The first priority sets the stage for success in this new go-to-market model and helps establish scope, roles and responsibilities, and what success looks like. Don’t underestimate the importance of this!
  • Two: Planning and execution – large-account marketing. How can ABM leaders develop, execute and measure an insights-based, relevant, specific, omni-channel, one-to-one engagement for existing or target accounts? This priority demands that marketing work with strategic account sales leaders to win or grow accounts in a highly customized fashion and requires deep account and contact insights, partnership with sales and a highly personalized engagement approach. This is resource intensive – but must be considered when select accounts can yield significant contributions to your business
  • Three: Planning and execution – named-account marketing. How can ABM leaders develop, execute and measure an insights-based, relevant, specific, omni-channel one-to-few/many engagement for target or existing accounts in a named/territory focus? This approach (along with industry/segment-account marketing) provides a scalable approach that groups similar accounts together – but still requires significant organizational collaboration and a degree of mass-customization for smaller groups of accounts. Technology offerings are helping accelerate named-account marketing (and industry/segment-account marketing) to drive scale.
  • Four: Planning and execution – industry/segment-account marketing.How can we develop, execute and measure an insights-based, relevant, specific, omni-channel one-to-few/many engagement for target or existing accounts within an industry/segment focus? Similar to named-account marketing, this approach brings a degree of scale by orientating around smaller groups of customers (e.g. verticals and sub-verticals). Industry/segment-account marketing is operationalized using foundational (e.g. marketing automation platforms, sales force automation systems, Web personalization systems) and emerging (e.g. display targeting, predictive analytics, intent monitoring) technologies to help with prioritization, execution and measurement. Consider how channel partners might help best reach into these accounts!
  • Five: ABM functional design and development. How should leading b-to-b organizations design, staff and upskill an organization focused on large, one-to-one strategic accounts as well as one-to-few named or industry-based accounts? This last priority centers on the reality that it takes a different type of marketer to conduct ABM. Leaders have to design a function or program office that allows these marketers to succeed, and gives them the skills to shift to these dynamic roles. Are you investing enough in marketing enablement?

Matt Senatore

Matt Senatore is Service Director, Account-Based Marketing, at SiriusDecisions. Throughout his career, Matt has focused on how organizations can build, grow and foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers – improving top-line and bottom-line results while improving the customer experience. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattsenatore.

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