What Are the Pros and Cons of Account-Based Marketing? (ABM)

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Account-based marketing (ABM) is a popular term buzzing around B2B circles these days. But what does ABM really mean? What are its pros and cons? And how do you know if account-based marketing is right for your organization? WordStream defines account-based marketing as a “strategic marketing strategy where key business accounts are marketed to directly, as units of one (compared to the typical one-to-many approach).” Many people have used a fishing metaphor to describe ABM. Instead of casting a wide net to try to catch many leads, account-based marketing is like fishing with a spear, capturing one account at a time.

PROS: One benefit of ABM is that it aligns your sales and marketing teams. Sales and marketing have to work closely together every step of the way in order for account-based marketing to work. If you want tightly aligned sales and marketing teams, ABM may be the strategy for you. Another proof account-based marketing is that your marketing will become extremely personalized. You will need to research and understand each account’s specific needs, pain points, and desires. Any message that sounds generic or cookie-cutter will not work for ABM. Higher ROI is also a benefit of account-based marketing. Marketers have reported that it is one of the most effective forms of marketing. It is easier to track this return on investment because you are going after fewer accounts.

CONS: A negative reality of account-based marketing is that it will require resources, including dedicated time, energy and budget. All new marketing initiatives typically require money, and ABM is no exception. If your company is strapped for cash at the moment, you may want to reconsider diving into account-based marketing until finances shift.  Another con of ABM is that it narrows your pool of target customers. If you are a small or medium company, you may want to reach out to a broader range of possible consumers in order to reach your marketing goals. If a small pool of leads would benefit your organization, than account-based marketing may be right for you.

How do you know if ABM is a fit for your B2B organization? First of all, do you have the resources to start this new effort on the right foot? After you have the right team and enough budget in place, you need to align your sales and marketing staff so they are always on the same page. Account-based marketing may be a better fit for large organizations than for small and medium ones. However, if your company can manage with a smaller pool of potential clients than ABM is a worthwhile strategy that has been proven to improve ROI.

Computer-vision company GumGum used account-based marketing to reach out to McDonald’s. They sent “burger kits” to 100 McDonald’s executives, each with a receipt containing the name of the executive. The faux burgers inside had the company’s strengths printed on patties, cheese, and other “burger” layers. In the end, the gamble paid off and GumGum caught the attention of the restaurant chain.  Another example of account-based marketing comes from the company Localytics. They sent empty iPad mini boxes to target customers containing their value proposition and messaging. If the prospect met with Localytics, they would get a free iPad mini.

Are your ready to start your account-based marketing journey? The experts at the Borenstein Group, a Top DC marketing agency, can help. Get in touch with us today to see if ABM is right for your organization.