Is your ABM strategy ready for technology?

24 April 2019
By: Tenessa Lochner
Senior ABM education and training manager
Demandbase

When it comes to ABM, there are those who embrace the possibilities of tech and those who fear it will muddy the water. Tenessa Lochner, senior ABM education and training manager at Demandbase falls into the first category. She explains why.

Do you think technology is an essential element of ABM or an adaptation?

Tenessa: The future of ABM is technology and data-driven. With the right strategy in place, technology can fuel the whole ABM process.

Is tech expensive and where can you find the budget for it?

While tech plays an important role in scaling ABM, you don’t need a huge investment to get started. Instead, start with a solid strategy and then identify key gaps technology can help fill.

When is the right time to introduce tech into your programme?

Perhaps you’ve seen great results from a one-to-one approach or a small pilot and are looking to expand and optimise your strategy. That’s when you know it’s time to introduce technology to your ABM programme. You’ll start with modifying your existing technology to make sure your core technologies can support an ABM strategy. It’s important to make sure your current technology can easily report, track and take action on accounts (vs contacts/leads). Then, you’ll identify those areas that are restricting the scale of your ABM programme. For instance, you can’t take an ABM approach without a target account list. So if that’s the thing getting in your way, get a technology to help.

Is tech expensive and where can you find the budget for it?

While tech plays an important role in scaling ABM, you don’t need a huge investment to get started. Instead, start with a solid strategy and then identify key gaps technology can help fill.

Once you decide it’s time for technology, the next question you may ask yourself is “where do I get the budget for ABM?” A good way to solve this is to think about how you’re spending your budget today. How much of your budget are you currently spending on accounts NOT on your target account list? When you focus on your target accounts, you’ll find that you start to free up budget. You’ll eliminate waste on tactics that don’t reach your target accounts, making budget available to buy those technologies that will help you scale and optimise your ABM Strategy.

Some other ways you can find budget for ABM:

  • Running an Experiment – most companies have budget for experimental marketing. Take that budget and use it on ABM initiatives or technology.
  • Rolling it up – roll ABM technology into already existing categories. For example, if your team is working on a website relaunch, it might be a good time to talk about adding in a personalisation solution to the site.
  • Splitting cost with the sales team – sales and marketing alignment is key for the success of ABM. Technology investments should help that relationship be more efficient and beneficial.

What are the benefits of integrating tech into your ABM programme?

An effective stack can include everything from identifying, targeting and tracking accounts and prospects, to expanding into organisations, developing content and updating sales and marketing teams.

How can you identify the gaps within your ABM programme?

Where you start will largely depend on the needs of your strategy and your organisation. What are the sticking points for your organisation?

  • Is it building a target account list?
  • Are insights and attribution your issues?
  • Is your database a mess, making it difficult to market?
  • Is demand for ABM campaigns outpacing your ability to roll them out?
  • Do you have to consolidate data from multiple platforms to piece together a comprehensive view?

Would you use tech in a one-to-one approach?

Absolutely. The key principles of ABM are all around insight and engagement: How engaged are my target accounts? Are they visiting my website? How can I ensure my organisation is delivering a personalised experience that’s relevant? All of these principles can be applied to one account or even hundreds or thousands of accounts.

What are easy mistakes to make when choosing tech to put in your stack?

The key mistake we’ve seen at Demandbase is organisations trying to buy their way into an ABM programme  – you must set your strategy first. Without a clear use case, objective or ROI your ABM programme is not likely to succeed. You need these fundamental pieces in place first.

How can tech optimise your results?

There’s no such thing as the perfect technology stack, for any form of marketing, least of all ABM. Indeed, the right stack is based around the nuances of each organisation – including its set up, skills, resources, goals and audiences.

Demandbase will be presenting and exhibiting at Ignite 2019. Don’t miss their presentation as they discuss how to make ABM work for different sized budgets or catch them on their stand.