Account-based marketing (ABM) has become a prominent and widely discussed trend in B2B marketing. The industry has taken notice of this rising phenomenon, with an increasing number of marketers embracing an ABM strategy and achieving impressive outcomes for their organizations.
The surge in ABM adoption has given birth to innovative technologies designed to enhance the scalability of this strategy. Technology, in itself, plays a pivotal role in ABM. It facilitates everything from creating a targeted list of accounts to executing marketing initiatives across the entire sales funnel and assessing the overall impact on revenue. It empowers B2B marketers to streamline their campaigns and automate their processes. However, many B2B marketers still need to understand how to seamlessly integrate these various technologies to implement an ABM strategy effectively.
All About ABM
Account-based marketing is a transformative approach that empowers B2B leaders in their pursuit of achieving growth objectives. The initial step in this transformation is measuring results collaboratively crafted by the combined efforts of marketing and sales teams.
Current procedures often exhibit fragmentation, requiring forward-thinking practitioners to equip themselves with the latest ABM tools to construct a resilient, enduring strategy. Thankfully, a straightforward solution exists to enhance the tactics of B2B leaders and advance their growth objectives, and it begins with a top-tier ABM technology stack.
An ABM technology stack is a curated set of tools designed specifically for ABM strategy. An ABM tech stack empowers your business to meet and exceed its goals. Whether it involves launching initial engagement campaigns, tailoring outreach, or finalizing reporting, a robust tech stack optimizes and streamlines campaigns and workflows. Moreover, it furnishes your sales and marketing teams with valuable resources that enable the creation of replicable, successful strategies.
Commencing the journey with a new ABM tech stack can seem overwhelming, but breaking up the necessary categories helps build the optimal ABM tech stack tailored to your needs. Within each core category are various tools you can use to help craft the perfect ABM tech stack for your company.
Planning out the essential tools for an ABM tech stack will help prevent the accumulation of unnecessary add-ons. There are many options and technologies, and some may not apply well to your business.
Your existing tech stack likely consists of core technologies already. When incorporating ABM-specific technology, it’s crucial to ensure easy integration with current systems, such as CRM and marketing automation.
Metrics are a fundamental component of establishing a robust ABM strategy. Rather than depending on secondary metrics like unique visitors or click-through rates, your focus should be on measuring marketing performance with metrics directly linked to business outcomes. The technologies you select should facilitate the connection of program results directly to revenue.
B2B companies grapple with a distinct set of marketing challenges that demand specialized technology solutions. While navigating this landscape, you’ll need to pinpoint technologies and vendors that offer tailored solutions designed to address the unique requirements of B2B.
Connecting Data Resources
In executing your programs throughout the sales funnel, access to data that enables you to measure results and refine what’s effective is imperative. Your diverse marketing technologies should be able to share data and render it more actionable.
The many tools and platforms available to help build your ABM tech stack will often have some costs associated with yearly use. Some may include free components or options, but many will work on a subscription basis. Knowing your company budget for creating this marketing tool helps you choose the best options and focus on the components essential to your business.
Building An Account-Based Marketing Tech Stack
The tools used to create an ABM tech stack fall into numerous categories, often divided into between four and eight different essential sections. Below are five categories to help order and separate tasks and example tools that may benefit your business.
- Infrastructure And Integration
When talking about ABM tech stacks, this category is easy to overlook. However, without the proper infrastructure in place, other tools won’t work as seamlessly to promote growth. Achieving success with an ABM strategy necessitates the incorporation of a core technology stack, enabling the execution of campaigns across the entire sales funnel. These technologies serve as the basis of your ABM strategy and often encompass many tools that B2B marketers are already familiar with and utilizing.
While the below tools are essential for many businesses, another critical aspect to remember is integration. As you incorporate these and other tools, they must all work together. Crafting an effective ABM tech stack lies in its capacity to integrate systems, converting a fragmented collection of technologies into a unified and coherent stack.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) And Marketing Automation
As you accumulate a wealth of data through these account-based marketing technology solutions, it’s essential to establish a single source of truth for storage. CRM and marketing automation solutions provide comprehensive visibility not only to your marketing team but also to other key departments, including sales, executives, and finance. A CRM allows a business to centralize and oversee target account daya. Furthermore, marketing automation can create nurture streams, build awareness campaigns, and facilitate social outreach.
Examples of CRM tools include HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Monday.
Data Management Platform (DMP)
A DPM allows companies to integrate data from various sources, spanning advertising, CMS, marketing automation, and CRM. This way, the data can be harnessed throughout the marketing and sales funnel.
Examples include Adobe Audience Manager, Amobee, Google Marketing Platform, Lotame, and OnAudience.
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a software tool that empowers users to generate, oversee, and adjust content on a website without requiring technical expertise. In essence, a CMS enables the construction of a website without the necessity of starting from a blank slate or possessing any coding skills.
Examples include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, and Magento.
A tag management solution or system (TMS) is a platform designed to streamline the deployment of tags on your website through a unified container tag. Users can establish rules and triggers within the TMS’s user interface, and the container tag, based on these rules, will activate other tags.
Beyond its convenience and organizational benefits, a TMS can improve webpage loading speeds by managing the loading process of tags. Additionally, it can contribute to better compliance with data privacy regulations by facilitating structured governance practices.
Examples of TMS include Adobe Experience Platform Launch, Google Tag Manager, Tealium, and Signal Tag Management.
Having a live chat option allows you to engage with target accounts and convert leads that exhibit warmer interest. As you engage with key players at target accounts, web chat, SMS, and video platforms can be a valuable way to connect. These tools will help when you’re doing outreach and when accounts reach out to you.
Examples of chat tools include Twilio, HubSpot Live Chat, CloudApp, LiveChat, and Vidyard.
- Audience Selection
Account-based marketing necessitates a concentrated effort on a specific group of target accounts. This may encompass customers, prospects, partners, or a combination. Account selection technologies provide the data and insights essential for pinpointing the companies that hold the most significance for your business.
When you embark on audience building, you must synchronize with your sales team to determine the specific companies and contacts you intend to focus on. Additionally, ensure that you possess dependable and precise company and contact data.
The presence of high-quality data serves as a safeguard against the prospect of targeting businesses that do not align with your business goals or engaging individuals who do not hold key decision-making roles. Accurate data also guarantees that you can effectively identify and research the accounts that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Some tools that help acquire audience data include Meltwater, SparkToro, Cision, and Mention.
Predictive account-based marketing extends beyond existing contacts. Its essence lies in discovering fresh contacts and accounts through historical conversion data. The primary objective is to pinpoint accounts that resemble those that have previously converted and been the focal point of targeting efforts.
Begin by identifying the attributes that your high-value customers share. Once you have this information, construct a list of target accounts using these scoring attributes as a foundation. Some prominent marketing automation platforms offer this capability as an integral feature. At the same time, there are also standalone tools designed to assist in analyzing existing accounts to identify potential qualified leads.
These tools and platforms include HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, LeanData, Clearbit, and 6Sense.
Engagement is one of the most vital aspects of an ABM strategy. It also provides a vast quantity of tools to choose from. Achieving success with your ABM strategy requires a well-balanced blend of programs encompassing digital and analog approaches. These technologies equip you with the capacity to execute a diverse range of focused marketing initiatives to engage the companies listed in your target account roster.
Implementing automation for programmatic and paid social advertising campaigns empowers teams to reach high-value accounts on a larger scale efficiently. When searching for an ABM solution, prioritize one that offers the flexibility to define precise targeting parameters, including factors like management level and department.
Furthermore, consider conducting experiments with various visuals, text, and calls to action (CTAs) within each campaign to identify which elements resonate most effectively within each channel.
These tools may help with ad targeting: RollWorks, Rev, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Demandbase, and Kwanzoo.
Social media engagement is a must today. But social engagement can also mean direct with possible consumers or other businesses. Find the buying teams within target accounts and actively connect with them, regardless of the platforms they prefer to engage on. Foster industry dialogues and cultivate advocacy through digital interactions and relationships.
Social media tools include HubSpot Social Media Management, Buffer, Hootsuite, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Cultivate more profound engagement throughout your target accounts and buyer teams, whether they are recognized or remain anonymous. Provide buyers with the flexibility to consume content at their own pace, thus expediting the progression of their buyer’s journey.
A successful ABM strategy encompasses a blend of content offers and events, both live and online. To maximize their effectiveness, seek solutions that facilitate tailored combinations for each customer at every stage of the buying journey.
Fundamentally, account-based marketing revolves around infusing a personal touch into marketing. Utilizing intent data, market intelligence, company information, and audience knowledge leads to a more precise and personalized strategy in B2B marketing.
By aligning targeting, offers, and creative elements, businesses can establish a well-structured testing method for creative content and landing pages. This approach enables detailed insights into engagement cues, navigates prospects through their buying journey effectively, and determines the optimal moment to transition them to the sales team.
Email plays a significant role in both ABM strategy and sales enablement. Many CRM and marketing automation tools have built-in features for sending brand-compliant emails, monitoring email interactions, and furnishing performance analytics. Email marketing remains an excellent way to update and interact with previous clients or customers, as well as reach new audiences.
Email tools for ABM include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Seventh Sense, and ContactMonkey.
- Sales Enablement
ABM holds the potential to deliver a more precise, targeted, and efficient strategy for B2B marketing and sales. Achieving success with ABM hinges on aligning your entire organization, emphasizing sales and marketing teams working together on strategic and tactical initiatives. Sales enablement technologies supply the valuable insights required by your sales team to concentrate their efforts on the buying groups within your target accounts.
Sales enablement tools often help with account insights, sales intelligence, and contact development. Some sales enablement tools include Gugu, Seismic, Highspot, Showpad, and Gong.
The ultimate phase in an ABM strategy involves the assessment of outcomes and the enhancement of initiatives. Evaluating the efficiency of your ABM strategy requires monitoring specific ABM metrics across various channels. After analyzing metrics, improving reporting on ABM initiatives by having a platform accessible to both sales and marketing teams. Seek solutions capable of automating insights and coordinating team endeavors. This streamlines the process of monitoring the outcomes of individual campaigns.
Demand Funnel Metrics
Demand funnel metrics offer valuable insights into the progression of your prospects and customers along the buyer’s journey and their interaction with your campaigns. For instance, you might observe an upsurge in accounts visiting a particular webpage or registering for a webinar. These metrics are vital for assessing overall engagement with target accounts.
ABM Funnel Metrics
The ABM funnel operates in reverse to the demand funnel, concentrating on specific accounts and involving the buying committees within them through highly personalized activities. A solution capable of highlighting when accounts advance or regress through the funnel can streamline a significant portion of the manual tracking that teams often encounter as part of their ABM strategy.
To achieve success, a comprehensive understanding of how different ABM campaigns perform across channels is paramount. Ideally, you seek a solution that can consolidate performance metrics into a unified view or integrate multiple platforms to provide a comprehensive overview of performance. Metrics to consider may include conversions, the ratio of opportunities to demos, content downloads, or a combination of indicators to gauge the efficacy of your endeavors.
Some data analysis tools include Databox, HubSpot Analytics, Tableau, and ThoughtSpot.
Integrating ABM Strategy For Growth
With more automation and digital engagement of business, the significance of the ABM technology stack becomes increasingly apparent. Beyond being a collection of tools, it represents a paradigm shift in how companies engage with valuable accounts. This shift shows an unwavering focus on personalization and precision. These strategies allow organizations to transcend conventional marketing and sales boundaries and directly connect with their target audiences.
What’s fascinating about the ABM technology stack is its adaptability and responsiveness to evolving market demands. These tools enable businesses to nurture relationships. They empower them to stay ahead of the curve by harnessing data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and advanced automation. Moreover, the convergence of marketing and sales within this stack emphasizes the need for collaboration and alignment as they work together to provide positive customer experiences.
The ABM technology stack is a testament to the relentless pursuit of improved engagement, higher conversion rates, and the ability to uncover hidden opportunities. It is not simply a collection of platforms; it is a blueprint for the future of B2B marketing, where personalization, precision, and performance remain fundamental.