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What: Traditional ABM can promise the world to B2B marketers, but sometimes campaigns can miss the mark when they cast too wide a net within the accounts it targets.
Why: To craft a successful ABM campaign, B2B marketers need to focus on the people, and buying groups, within the account - rather than the account as a whole.
Big Picture: ABM, by definition, targets companies. For example, there are 124,000 employees in Microsoft, so if Microsoft is the target, you’re technically targeting everyone from the mailroom to the C-suite — and you may not have insight into whether any of the decision-makers you need to reach have seen your ads. A better approach might be targeting individual people or roles within the organization based on your first-party data, and possibly merging with quality B2B third-party data. That way, you’ll know exactly who’s seen your ad. By only targeting the decision-makers you need to engage, you can be sure you’re not wasting money on employees who have no influence over purchase decisions.
How do you know if your ABM campaign worked?
If you’ve run a campaign targeting an account, it’s hard to confirm if any stakeholders have seen a single ad — unless a decision-maker has engaged with an ad and completed some kind of conversion that required them to provide personal information. Very few ABM providers are able to provide this level of detail. Unless you’re using first-party data and/or a partner who can provide this data, it’s hard to tell if ABM is working — especially if you’ve got several campaigns running simultaneously.
ABM is not actionable.
Even if your campaign is extremely successful and receives a lot of clicks, you still can’t tell who exactly clicked unless they’ve completed a form or converted in some other way. That’s especially disappointing in goal-oriented ABM campaigns. If you’re getting clicks, you want to be able to tell your sales teams that you’ve been able to open the door into their “dream” account — yet you don’t know who’s taken action and who sales should be contacting.
In order for ABM to deliver the results B2B marketers need to be successful, it needs to focus more on people within the business, rather than the “account” as a whole. Marketers need more data to fuel their campaigns, ads need to target specific people within the organization and marketers need to know who those people are and what actions they’ve taken. ABM campaigns need to target people, personalize messages to those people, and deliver those messages in a sequence and cadence that makes sense and helps guide the way to conversion.
Once campaigns launch, ideally, sales teams will have insight into which individuals are progressing toward purchase within each organization and have the opportunity to follow up along the way. With more focus on humans, along with more targeted data and insights, ABM can deliver results that have a real and positive impact on the business.