We are entering a period that will see democratization of account-based marketing on a massive scale.
While account-based marketing (ABM) has recently gained a lot of attention in the B2B marketing world, a big question has loomed: When is ABM most relevant? And for whom?
Who is ABM Good For Anyway?
The traditional wisdom has been that ABM is only really suited to B2B companies with complex sales processes, long sales cycles, many decision-makers and large deal sizes.
ABM’s appeal is further amplified in fast growing industries, especially where competition is strong and there’s a land grab for market share: penetrating new markets faster and more effectively than your competitors is a strategic imperative.
While this has been the first and obvious place for ABM to take hold and flourish, the picture is expanding fast, and ABM is proving itself valuable to a much broader B2B audience.
The ABM Promise
The central promise of ABM is powerful: the ability of B2B marketers to simultaneously select and target tens of thousands (and more) of decision-makers and provide them with personalized content and buying experiences specifically relevant to them, while monitoring their engagement individually and moving them closer towards a buying decision.
Is this kind of marketing power really only for big, complex, long deals? The answer is a resounding no.
ABM has delivered mass customization to B2B marketing. The ability to personalize marketing at scale has been driven by innovation and technology.
The power that mass customization delivers–scale, efficiency, unprecedented tracking/metrics, superior analytics and forecasting–can be tapped by a much wider B2B audience that are using it today.
Executed well, ABM will steadily—even rapidly—reduce the importance and relevance of such factors as deal size and complexity.
Modern ABM is still in a relatively early adoption phase. But it is moving so fast, that who it is relevant for, and when it is relevant, are moving targets. ABM’s natural user base will continue to expand–and the process still has a long way to go.
ABM will become increasingly viable for:
• Less complex sales,
• Shorter sales cycles,
• Smaller size deals, with
• Less decision-makers, in
• Industries experiencing less rapid growth
More Choice and Better Costs
At the same time, the availability of ABM services are increasing. As innovation in ABM marketing technology continue apace, more tools and techniques are becoming available with more feasible and flexible cost structures. The result is a great increase in choice for B2B marketers.
Democratization Becomes Inevitable
The confluence of these forces –increasing viability, increasing choice and more favorable costs –is driving democratization of account-based marketing, where more and more B2B marketers are finding viable ways to deploy ABM and establish it as a useful technique that is beneficial for their company and in their industry.
Competitive Forces Rule
As soon as one player in an industry deploys ABM to positive measurable effect, it will be only a matter of time before other competitors in the industry are forced to take notice—as results show up in their top line growth (and bottom lines).
The democratization of account-based marketing has the potential to expand and flourish across large portions of the B2B landscape, transforming B2B businesses to be more efficient at driving growth with less resources.
B2B marketers have an interesting and exciting journey in front of them!