Is Account Based Marketing the future of B2B?

15 September 2016

Is Account Based Marketing the future of B2B?

More and more B2B brands are dropping traditional marketing strategies in order to focus on account based marketing (ABM). That means precision targeting and increased personalisation.

Fujitsu leading the way

Fujitsu recently divulged that they spend substantially less on traditional lead generation activities like email, telesales and direct-mail, in order to focus on more targeted campaigns. According to Simon Carter, Executive Director of Marketing UK & Ireland, every member of the marketing team has a single significant account allocated to them to focus on alongside their normal day job. They access an asset library and distribute and share the most relevant materials with their given account. But more than that, they can personalise the assets too and they regularly share best practice in monthly meetings to help inspire even greater success.

Marketers at the sharp end

To me this all sounds highly sensible. Rather than hiding behind faceless email blasts and endless brochure filling, here are marketers at the sharp end. Sure, they're using centralised collateral but they're smartly adapting and personalising materials to better connect with customer needs. Even better than that, they're making a strong personal connection with customers and prospects who generally reward such relations with increased business. We all like working with people we know and trust.

What's even better is that, having become attuned to the core collateral's value, these marketers are also empowered to reinforce what they do in a social way, through LinkedIn and Twitter where the opportunity for amplification is as strong as it ever was.

Keys to success in ABM

There are many ways to ensure that your ABM yields results. Selecting the right accounts to target is clearly key. Existing accounts are an obvious start point but then identifying success criteria based on previous experience is smart too – so by vertical, geo-location and so on.

You then need to get an account plan that profiles the targeted decision makers and influencers as well as likely needs, buying process and so on. Without these insights you're back to working in the dark.

Next up is content. Where will it come from and how will you personalise and deliver it? How will you keep this up to date? How can you ensure the sales teams are using what is created in the most effective way possible? Finally you need to not only measure success but share and use that knowledge in a meaningful way.

In short, a lot to do.

Personalised video for ABM

Now we don’t know or work with Fujitsu (if you’re reading this Simon, we'd love to) but we'd like to hear about what they're doing with video which is the perfect medium for targeted and highly personalised marketing. Imagine the power of a dedicated team with the ability to mix and match video clips, perhaps top and tailed with a personal video message, delivered straight to the customer's desktop or mobile device? Powerful stuff indeed.

ABM won't be for everyone but for enterprise-level B2B, where large accounts make up the customer base, it's proving to be far more effective than traditional alternatives. Of course, it does blur the lines between marketing and sales even further but that debate is for another blog.