ABM AMA : Ask Us Anything Account-Based
If you’re anything like me, you love a good AMA. Recently, I’ve noticed that marketers often go to research account-based marketing on Reddit, Slack, or in LinkedIn communities to get answers to their ABM questions, but it can be hard to find these helpful organic conversations about ABM in the moment that they’re happening (Social media sure moves fast!). So I hunted down some Triblio ABM experts and asked them the top ABM frequently asked questions I’ve come across on Reddit and LinkedIn.
What’s your advice to those just starting out with ABM?
“Start with customer expansion campaigns. It removes some of the challenges that new logo campaigns have (e.g. lack of account insights, trouble mapping the account) and so lets marketing and sales teams focus on collaborative campaign design and probably benefit from shorter sales cycles.“ - Andrew
“Understand that it is a walk, not a run. Be creative!” - Jamal
When is ABM not a good fit?
“ABM is not a good fit for products with ACV <$10k/year” - Andrew
“ABM is not a good fit if you’re too lead focused, or if sales and marketing alignment is not possible within your organization.” - Jamal
What’s the biggest challenge you see people face with ABM programs?
“The biggest challenge I see people face with ABM programs is defining shared objectives/KPIs between marketing and sales.” - Andrew
“The biggest challenge I see people face with ABM programs is when there’s no buy-in from the sales team or the marketing team is getting lost in ads and forgetting the other channels and tools critical to ABM program success.” - Jamal
What is the most important metric of a successful ABM program?
“The most important thing about ABM metrics is that sales and marketing need to be tied to the same KPIs — not fighting different battles with different definitions of success. When it comes to picking that metric, there are two I think work best — opportunity rate in target accounts & revenue per target account.” - Andrew
What’s the most useful attribution tool in your opinion?
“It’s no secret that a significant portion of B2B pipeline is sourced through inbound traffic on a demo request form (On average, 45-55% of closed won ops for B2B SaaS are sourced this way). That is a significant portion of pipeline that can be hard to attribute to specific marketing and selling activities. Learning from these inbounds is critical to focusing the efforts of your marketing and sales resources. Here are two options:
- Make it a habit to ask these folks how they heard about your brand and what led them to reach out to book a demo (then make sure that data is stored in your CRM!).
- Add a required freeform text input to your demo form that simply asks “How did you hear about us?” This will essentially force them to self-attribute what led them to the decision. Both of these tactics can provide invaluable insights into what is driving high value prospects into your pipeline.” - David
What do you think is the most missed ‘low hanging fruit’ tactic with ABM?
“Customer marketing (to drive upsell/cross-sell) is usually much quicker to return ROI than new business initiatives, but many teams leave it as a second priority. “
What’s been your favorite ABM campaign to work on?
“SugarCRM - The team was all in on their ABM program and the execution was strong.” - Jamal
What channel are you most interested in for ABM?
“Programmatic Audio Ads: This is a relatively new channel and the medium is great for succinctly communicating your company’s value proposition. With the ever expanding universe of podcasts, digital radio, and streaming services there are lots of new inventory sources that still support the necessary targeting tactics for an ABM program. This will likely become a key channel in the coming years.” - David
What’s been your experience with different channels for ABM?
“I have spent a lot of time in the display world, and it is a fundamental pillar of many companies' ABM strategy. For many, it is their first step into ABM campaigns. As such, expectations tend to be high for what this channel will do. For example, I have had many conversations with clients who expect display ads to drive landing page conversions, and are perplexed when the conversions don’t start pouring in. “We targeted the right people in the right accounts AND we see they are clicking on our ads… why don’t they fill out the form?” There are a few reasons why this isn't common:
- People are generally leery of giving up personal information.
The modern B2B buyer is generally tired of solicitation and often the value of that white paper case study on that landing page isn’t worth the trade for their personal info.
- The people you are targeting may or may not be very warm in regards to your brand.
The fact that you got them to engage in an ad (if it wasn’t by mistake) is a significant achievement. Out of the 2,000 (on average) ads they saw that day, yours cut through the noise such that they engaged. Asking them immediately for a form fill is a bad prize for that won interaction.
Display is an amplifying tactic. If you aren’t doing other things to break into the accounts you are targeting, then the display ads will have little meaningful impact. You should think of display as an opportunity to get your message into the market and in front of the right people. Keep spend lean, dialing in on the exact roles you’re going after. Do contact specific targeting whenever you can. experiment with converting the white paper/case study into the landing page content itself and/or (even better) moving the most salient points of the content down to the creative level itself. That way you can ensure that more people will see the content you actually want them to see (at the impression level) instead of hoping for ad clicks (at ~0.10% CTR) or worse, hoping for landing page conversions (at < 1% of that 0.10% CTR).” - David
How will the going away of third-party cookies impact ABM?
“Intent data from cookie-based providers is already very limited post-GDPR, but US programs have been less impacted. That will change when Google blocks third-party cookies across the board and marketers will need to find data from cookie-less solutions.” - Andrew
“It's no secret that we will miss the cookies, but Triblio is way ahead of it. If you have been taking control of first-party data, the transition will be much easier.” - Jamal
From ABM fundamentals, to questions of where ABM is headed, I hope you got something out of this, because I sure did! Thank you to Andrew Mahr, Jamal Henderson, and David Nicotra for participating. If you’d like to hear more from the ABM experts of Triblio, subscribe to our newsletter below to see more content like this in your inbox.