While account-based marketing (ABM) has been around for decades, it’s only been in the past year or so that it’s become one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing industry. With this technology advancement and business strategy gaining popularity, you might be wondering what 2017 will hold for ABM platforms. Here are four things you can expect to see in ABM this year:
- ABM will become a standard best practice as the hype subsides.
- Artificial intelligence will lead to hyper-personalization.
- B2B enterprises that use ABM will focus on quality leads over quantity
- More supporting ABM technology solutions will hit the market.
Let’s take an in-depth look at these predictions to see how they could impact your enterprise:
#1: The hype will subside, and ABM will become standard practice.
ABM was a buzzword in 2016 for a good reason: it’s efficient, easy to implement, and it yields impressive results. According to an ITSMA poll, 84% of marketers said ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing strategies. High rates of ABM adoption have shifted this marketing initiative from cocktail conversation to standard practice in 2017.
That said, implementing ABM with your current team isn’t always cut and dry. You might need to reevaluate the roles and responsibilities of your sales and marketing teams and adjust compensation according to who facilitates most of the buying practice. ABM requires that you view your team and roles through the lens of what your target accounts want. This will improve the ROI you get out of your campaigns.
#2: A.I. puts hyper-personalized marketing on the table.
A huge benefit of ABM is that it allows marketing staff to work more closely with prospects. The ABM Leadership Alliance has concluded that ABM programs allow marketers to put a greater focus on the customer inception period and grow relationships over time. More customers are demanding personal interactions, and ABM is the perfect initiative to help facilitate this type of connection.
A.I., or artificial intelligence, elevates those personalized interactions to the next level. A.I. helps B2B enterprises participate in one-on-one conversations in order to understand customers’ pain points, goals, and ambitions. This year and beyond, A.I. will allow these conversations to reach wider audiences. For example, website visitors will each have a unique experience with your company’s brand through dynamic ad copy and 1-to-1 emails. In many cases, this is already possible through some of the industry’s leading marketing automation software.
#3: A tighter focus on quality leads.
The beauty of ABM is that you can nurture quality leads and give your prospective customers what they want: a personalized sales experiences that gets to the heart of their problems and provides solutions. It’s always a temptation to generate as many leads as possible so you can present big numbers to your sales staff and make things look good on paper. But sales and marketing professionals know a large quantity of leads doesn’t necessarily lead to sales.
This year, B2B organizations using ABM will create a tighter integration between sales and marketing in order to improve targeted messaging, filters, and lead scoring — all in hopes of generating higher-quality leads. This will result in spending more time with fewer prospects, which will create a more lasting sales partnership and happier customers.
#4. Complementary ABM technology will hit the market.
Here’s another area where artificial intelligence can enhance ABM. As A.I. continues to advance, new marketing technologies will complement and support ABM initiatives. We could see recommendation engines (like the ones you see on Netflix, Amazon, and other popular sites) created specifically for B2B enterprises. We could also see more automation and a customized sales funnel that is driven, in part, by algorithms.
Supporting ABM technology will arm marketers with a better understanding of their customers and the ability to create hyper-targeted messaging. This will drive the sales process and increase revenues for enterprises that adopt. Examples of these new tools might include:
- Predictive analytics
- Data enrichment
- Personalized retargeting
- Email tracking
- Account-level scorecards
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Not using ABM won’t necessarily hurt your business, but it will make it more difficult to personalize sales tactics, maximize campaign ROI, and stay ahead of your competitors.
If you’re ready to rethink your marketing and sales strategy with ABM, click here to explore some of the best ABM tools for your enterprise.
Megan Pacella is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in retail, human resources, B2B marketing, and sales. She has also written for USA Today, Bearings Guide, 10Best Nashville, and other publications.
If you want to learn more about best practices for account-based marketing, consider attending Revenue Summit 2017! Recognized by Huffington Post and Technology Advice as a top marketing conference to attend in 2017, Revenue Summit will offer the latest insights on how to drive revenue in your organization through account-based best practices and discover the latest tech that will enable you to run these programs at scale.