• Why Account-Based Marketing Hasn’t Gotten Off the Ground

Marketing people are notorious for over-hyping their new techniques. After all, we’re in marketing! But, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is experiencing quite a different trajectory than other techniques. It got some hype, but search demand for the phrase shows an incredible lack of interest.

The chart below shows the results of a Google Trends search on three of the marketing tactics that got attention since 2004. The flat blue line at the bottom depicts low interest over time for ABM, compared to the varying interest over time for Cause Marketing and Viral Marketing.

We were surprised to see the lack of interest for what we think should be a go-to marketing tactic for B2B advertisers. The highest number of Google searches for the term “Account-Based Marketing” occurred one single month over ten years ago, in 2005. And that number was nothing compared to “Viral Marketing” and “Cause Marketing” results during the same time.

We went looking to see what went wrong

We studied ABM content from giants like Oracle [1] and Marketo [2]. We read lots of business publishers like Forbes [3] and Adweek [4]. And we poured over a ton of blog posts, like Mojo Media Labs [5] and ExchangeWire [6].

After extensive digging, we realized that many of those writing about the subject are not experts – not even reporters – but rather guest writers. A huge number seem to be making their living on in-bound marketing and are wrongheadedly presenting ABM as a tactic of it.

We didn’t find even one article or post that presented a tangible set of steps for how to deploy an ABM campaign.

Marketing directors researching ABM are finding scant information to guide them. Maybe that’s why they stopped searching.

So, what’s missing from Account-Based Marketing?

In our research discussed above, and countless more, here’s what Marketing Directors don’t see in Account-Based Marketing online resources:

Coupling deep target data and personalized messaging with hugely disruptive creative tactics

Deep target data

Deep data is only achievable if you keep your target audience small. We use LinkedIn Sales Navigator before, during, and after our campaigns. We couple that with wide social media research on each target. And, we use something we see nowhere in our ABM reading: human interactions. We talk to people in the industry, and in the target company. Beyond that, we dig into their annual reports, their corporate social media, Glassdoor details, and more. What we learn from an exhaustive inquiry guides every step of the process.

Personalized Messaging

Every businessperson has pain points – difficulties they deal with every day. If your company has a solution for that pain, then structure your communications so you’re leading with recognition of their struggles. Then it’s appropriate to offer your solution. Frame your solution using the data you’ve collected on Linkedin, social media, and in direct talks with others in the industry. Your conversations with others in the industry – perhaps competitors, non-competitive vendors, etc. – can lead to tremendous insights that will guide your pain point messaging.

Hugely creative tactics

The one-minute You Tube video below illustrates the creative side of our ABM approach. It’s one more part of the process that software alone cannot solve.

This approach is one way we open doors. The creativity of the ideas will generate “buzz” inside the company and guarantee your sales team a willing audience on the other end of the call.

The Insight

Account-Based Marketing is a powerful tactic, which is getting little attention from marketing directors because they can’t find good information on how to implement it. Many self-styled experts who get published in business magazines are distorting the tactic to fit their offerings. The water is very muddy.

Key Takeaway

As with all prospect outreach, software alone cannot solve all your marketing needs. You must pick up a phone and speak to real human beings. Account-Based Marketing, done our way, will open the door for that phone call.
Sources –

  1. Oracle’s Blog
  2. Marketo
  3. Forbes Article on ABM
  4. Adweek on ABM
  5. MoJo Media Labs post
  6. ExchangeWire.com, a retail technology news site

It’s time to start some trouble

©2019 Trouble Group, Inc.