For those of us who are neither salespeople nor marketers, marketing by account ( ABM) may seem like something that should have been part of the marketing platform.
After all, if you want Big Company to become a new customer of your products, would not you choose and not view the account as well as the individual?
Todd Berkowitz, Executive Vice President and Gartner Analyst, confided
"The notion of ATM has been around for a while," he said, "to start with the very big companies looking at their 50 biggest customers "and trying to understand. how to increase their customer base Last month, its senior director and analyst, Noah Elkin, released his "Market Guide for Account-Based Platforms". [Gartner account required.]
Traditionally, business-to-business sales were geared towards large accounts to sell more products to them, while marketing was focused on acquiring new customers.
Many digital marketers have originally found new business with their digital tools by targeting and nurturing individual profiles. Although individual profiles contain firmographic information about their respective companies, marketing automation platforms have been largely configured to handle individual leads.
"Everyone thought about [individual] leads," says Berkowitz, "because everything was based on people [who] engaged with you, who came to the website."
Now, smart new tools are enabling marketers to target potential new accounts on a large scale while juggling the interactions of individuals in this account.
As these ATM tools evolving, more and more capabilities, a battle is brewing between these tool vendors and these marketing automation platforms, and the results of this battle can impact future marketers' options for marketers. of selection of tools, management of customer data and other areas.
More people are involved in purchasing decisions
A reason m Essential arketing behind the rise of ABMs In recent years, noted Berkowitz, "the number of people involved in the purchasing process is steadily increasing," he said. This includes the number of what he called "assassins": people within a company who can kill an agreement.
Why are there more people involved in buying decisions?
An obvious reason, it As pointed out, the more complex the transaction is – and the complexity may be correlated with the amount of money involved – the larger the decision-making team. Since many purchasing decisions involve technology or other products / services used throughout an organization, a large-scale investment is often required.
"If it's an annual subscription of $ 2,000," he said, "a person can decide. "But if it's a million dollars," he noted, "there is often a committee."
And, since virtually every computer software sales, marketing and other management software are now offered as software as a cloud-based cloud.Technology purchasing decisions have been shifted from centralized IT services to other services, which often require a commitment
The IA Driver
Another reason why ABM tools have recently been used emerged is the availability of AI.At first, ABM has used AI to propel the automated selection of target accounts through predictive analytics.It increasingly directs the intelligent orchestration of marketing and other responses, depending on how targets respond, their needs and their profiles, the perceived hierarchy of individuals in that account, and so on.
The things about ABM, "said Berkowitz, are:" It takes a lot of time to get it right and do it right.
If you target, for example, 200 accounts as new business customers, some people on these accounts, different pages of your site will be downloaded, some will download white papers, while others will respond to mails. In addition, new data will appear, for example, on the location of new branches of target companies.
To respond to such a dynamic and evolving commitment, the establishment of optimal action requires a coordinated, sophisticated and automatic orchestration that
An Unstable Scenario
It might be thought that the tools of the ATM category would have been swallowed up by the major marketing automation platforms. Some additions have been made to platforms such as Marketo and Salesforce, according to Berkowitz, but they do not offer the features of ATM-specific platforms such as Engagio, Demandbase, Terminus, 6th Sense, Radius and RollWorks.
On the other hand, ATM management tools are generally not meant to be recording systems, unlike a Salesforce CRM system, and no tools ATM management does not have a fully developed native messaging feature, a critical need for account management.
As a result, ABM platforms all integrate with marketing automation tools, but Berkowitz predicts that this scenario is not stable.
The Upcoming Battle
The ABM tools will further develop the capabilities of marketing automation platforms – such as sophisticated messaging features – he predicts because the Software is always looking for competitive differentiators and as the increased use of artificial intelligence will allow new levels of dynamic response. ross channels.
With additional features, ABM tools can then coordinate e-mail interactions, orchestrate on channels and determine the best response, in addition to predicting the most responsive target accounts, track visits Web and generate reports. In short, they will be able to offer the key interaction features needed to search for an account, with only a registration system to manage target and customer profiles.
By adding features, ATM tools can get a bigger share of merchants' budgets. With these additional features, it is unlikely that they will fall victim to the desire of marketers to reduce their tools, said Berkowitz, as many marketing departments have shown their willingness to handle "a massive stack".
As ABM tools develop their resumes, the Adobe / Marketos, Salesforce, Oracle Eloquas and B2B tools growing around customer data platforms will have to decide to fully develop their GAB side or purchase an existing ATM provider.
This is not the case. Berkowitz said the battle was well under way.
This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more information on marketing technology, click here.
About the Author
Barry Levine covers the marketing technology of Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a senior editor for VentureBeat, and he wrote on these technical topics, among others, for publications such as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and managed the website / unit of PBS Thirteen / WNET; worked as a Senior Producer / Writer Online for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The first CD game; founded and directed an independent film, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T .; and served for five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find it on LinkedIn and Twitter on xBarryLevine.