ABM has been making waves since its inception in 2000. In fact, 87% of marketers declare that it delivers a higher ROI than any other tactic. Thus, growing interest and demand for ABM led marketers to develop it into a broader process which is now divided into three categories:
One-to-one or Strategic ABM
ITSMA describes Strategic ABM as creating and executing highly customized marketing plans for individual accounts. With Strategic ABM, a dedicated senior-level marketer takes charge of crafting customized marketing plans for each individual account needed for the entire program, which enables account teams to build stronger engagement with most valued prospects and customers through targeted outreaches that exhibit a deeper understanding of their challenges and needs.
One-to-few or ABM Lite
ABM lite is described as creating and executing lightly customized programs for clusters of accounts with similar issues and needs. It is applied to groups of smaller accounts with similar business profiles, needs, and strategies. The method requires collaboration between sales and marketing teams on vital decision points such as which accounts to target, what business issues to highlight, which propositions to consider, and how to carefully tailor current content.
One-to-many or Programmatic ABM
The one-to-many ABM method leverages technology to tailor marketing campaigns to specific named accounts at scale by refining targeting, analytics, and personalization across multiple accounts, but requires alignment with the company’s sales design, and focuses on a certain vertical or horizontal market.
Over the course of time, ABM has shown impressive growth in sales and marketing, but some still struggle with understanding its importance, implementation, and benefits.
To give you a clearer view of how ABM, here’s a good example from Quip, an online oral care solutions company that sends their subscribers an oral kit package every 3 months to be able to change their toothbrush regularly and become more orally healthy. The electronic brushes are equipped with a 2-minute timer, vibrating and pulse features to guide the user on proper tooth brushing. The package also comes with toothpaste, dental floss, and other oral care products.
Quip was able to achieve the following successes which were coherent with ABM’s four underlying principles:
- Client centricity and insight or solving the buyer’s problem rather than promoting the products you want to sell. Quip was able to personalize its audience by addressing their challenge on regular brush change and proper tooth brushing by delivering their toothbrushes and other oral care needs right at the doorsteps of their homes.
- Focus on reputation and relationship before revenue. The potential return on investment was visible at the earliest period of time, but Quip was able to fortify its relationship with its customers by leveraging on social media for easy interaction and rapport before the surprise factor on ROI was realized.
- Tailored programs and campaigns have shortened the sales life cycle as subscribers are compelled to change toothbrushes every 3 months instead of 9 or 12.
- Aligning sales and marketing
The strategy did not only help improve their 2 million subscribers’ oral health but made brushing fun and enjoyable as well. And just four years after launch, they were able to raise more than $20 million in sales growth.
As LinkedIn puts it simply, ABM is a strategy that directs all marketing resources to engage specific target accounts through personalization that translates to higher revenue, which can be implemented individually or a mix of two or all three.