Marketing technology, from CRM tools to digital creativity tools like Canva or Adobe are making Account Based Marketing ever more efficient and better at delivering ROI on marketing campaigns. Not familiar with ABM (Account Based Marketing)? Essentially it means providing customized content to each lead, from brochures, inbound tactics to landing pages. It’s highly measurable, fairly easy to do (with the right mix of tools) and can help establish trust for a sales team that follows up.

While it is effective, it’s important to have the right mix of tools and also not rely on ABM as being the strategy, but part of the mix of an inbound strategy. Each company is different and has different available resources (people and budgets) to leverage tools and processes. But beyond just the tools, there are two key ingredients to make ABM tactics successful. These are;

Sales and Marketing Team Alignment: All too often, sales says marketing gives them poor leads and marketing says sales never follows up on their work. Before implementing an ABM plan, it’s important to ensure that senior sales and marketing management are fully supportive and commit to ensuring the two teams will coordinate. As the plan rolls out, it is key that management stays involved and that there are solid lines of communication. Determine what the success factors are ahead of time so that expectations can be managed.

Workflow Planning: With ABM, it will be the marketing team that is leveraging CRM data and other inputs to qualify/quantify the leads and then generate the customized content to be delivered to the lead. Ideally, when a connection is made, sales will take over the lead and see it through to close. It is critical that workflows be aligned as well as teams.

These two factors are rarely considered when planning an Account Based Marketing Strategy. When they are, the chances of success improve greatly. We’ve fixed more than a few of these issues when conflicts occur and the finger pointing begins.

Giles Crouch is a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and digital anthropologist. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and digital anthropology and as a polymath he helps clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles' initial years in business were in marketing communications in the technology sector. He also co-founded the Ice Awards for creative in advertising in Atlantic Canada. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and their impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and digital anthropology (netnography). Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 300 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary engagement is as Group Publisher with HUM@NMedia Inc., a Canadian health and wellness focused media company.

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