How to Build a Best-in-Class Account-Based Marketing Technology Stack
If you’re reading this blog post, it’s safe to say you’re a tech savvy individual. You know OpenView Labs is a go-to-source for the latest tech trends. Chances are you’ve probably heard about account-based marketing – the buzzword du jour of the B2B marketing world.
And while you’ve heard about #ABM, talked about it, or maybe even started to implement account-based marketing strategies in your own organization, there’s still the overarching question: how do you actually do account-based marketing?
Because you’re tech savvy, you know that modern marketing requires digital technology solutions, popularly called #MarTech thanks to Scott Brinker. There are thousands of software tools and web-based solutions to help B2B marketers do our jobs.
The evolution of MarTech has given B2B marketing professionals many advantages. The rise in technology now enables marketers to do marketing at scale. By scale, this means reaching your contacts and accounts in the hundreds and thousands without manual processes. The value this brings includes:
- Speed: Your marketing team saves time and money by not having to manually reach out to each individual prospect. With technology, you can reach a lot of people in a short period of time, thus expanding your marketing’s reach faster.
- Results: You can track and measure success metrics for your marketing activities to understand what works and what doesn’t. Depending on the technology tools you use, you can see these results in real-time and use the results to make data-driven decisions.
Keeping in mind that the goal of account-based marketing is to generate revenue from your best-fit customers and prospects, using technology allows your team to do ABM at scale. But when it comes to taking an account-based marketing approach, how can we use what we already have in our MarTech stack to make it applicable to ABM?
From the SiriusDecisions 2016 State of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Study, a key result indicated how ABM adoption is rapidly accelerating and has gained fast acceptance in B2B, with more than 70 percent of B2B companies having staff that are fully or partially dedicated to driving ABM-specific programs.
This rapid adoption can be attributed to the fact that B2B marketers already have some of (if not all) the tools to launch account-based marketing activities and campaigns.
There are essential software platforms which already exist in your MarTech stack for account-based marketing.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
- Marketing Automation (MAP)
- Content Management System (CMS) i.e. your website
- Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
To take this a step further, I apply the #FlipMyFunnel model to look at additional technology for a scalable account-based marketing stack. This model includes:
The first stage of account-based marketing is to identify accounts to target. Selecting accounts should be done collaboratively with marketing and sales. Predictive technology can augment a team’s ability to choose the best accounts prioritizing based on fit with current customer base or predicting intent. After selecting a list of accounts, data tools allow you to fill your CRM with contacts and other important data to begin engaging accounts.
Expanding reach within accounts is a key step that provides a significant advantage over lead-based marketing. Tools for expansion provide deeper access and coverage within an account in a variety of ways – enriching contact data, providing an account-based structure to leads and contacts, or allowing engagement campaigns to reach the right stakeholders. Many tools that expand reach are also used to identify or engage accounts.
Marketers must engage individuals within accounts across the entire buyer’s journey. In each sub-category, consider the tools used to execute your account-based marketing strategy and exclude those that are exclusively used for other marketing strategies. Modern ABM tools allow practitioners to engage the right personas at more accounts with personalized and targeted messaging and content.
The relationship with an account doesn’t end after signing the deal. Account-based marketing is the best way to drive adoption, upsell and cross-sell, and referrals. For the customer journey, the ABM stack is focused on marketing tools to create new revenue and expand revenue in existing accounts. The tools in this section allow customers to become your best advocates both within their company and across the market.
Insight into the effectiveness of your account-based marketing efforts is critical. These tools help with measuring and reporting ROI, spend, attribution, and impact on revenue. Account-based marketing metrics should alway tie back to revenue and pipeline measures including size, stage progression rates, and time to close. These tools provide insights and results from an account-based perspective to see what efforts moved the needle for each account.
To help, Terminus just launched Account-Based Marketing Stack Grader. This new website allows B2B marketers to build hypothetical software stacks with tools organized by the five core components of any account-based marketing strategy. The Stack Grader lays the groundwork for understanding the components of a proper ABM environment and provides feedback to marketers as they select various tools.
In the ABM Stack Grader, you can build your own MarTech stack by selecting tools you’re currently using in your B2B marketing stack, then add in technologies you’re considering using for ABM. After building your stack, you’ll get a “grade” based on how well these technologies will enable your team to do account-based marketing at scale.
Ready to get started? Check out the ABM Stack Grader!
The success of our businesses will largely be determined by our ability to let go of old assumptions and habits, many of which have served us well, and create the dynamic conditions that allow us to speak to our customers in ways that are personal and important to them.