At our #B2BTalks event, we were joined by Mike Telem, VP Product Marketing at Marketo, Dana Poleg, VP Marketing at Kaltura, and Rafi Kretchmer, VP Marketing at Panaya, to discuss Account Based Marketing (ABM), its evolution throughout the years, and its contribution to the marketing field. Let’s start from the beginning.

What is Account Based Marketing?

ABM is a marketing approach used by B2B companies to penetrate and win named accounts at scale. It’s an organizational effort, combining marketing, sales and customer success teams, in order to win clients. ABM is practiced by both enterprise and small companies, and greatly benefits both. Additionally, as our experts attest, ABM lends itself to a more personalized and engaging approach when it comes to targeting key accounts.

What is the Evolution of Account Based Marketing?

Over the past ten years marketers have learned the craft of digital marketing and analytics. With the help of analytics, marketers were able to see that many of the people they were reaching were not relevant because they were not from the right accounts. Once marketers were able to master digital marketing and analytics capabilities improved, allowing them to learn what type of marketing results were actually relevant, ABM could evolve into the marketing approach that exists today.

There has always been a disconnect between marketing and sales, with marketing focused on leads and sales focused on accounts. The need to align marketing and sales to meet the business goals of a company has also contributed to this evolution. Today, ABM has become a sort of a mediator that is connecting the two departments to work together to target accounts and be involved in the entire marketing-sales process.

What’s the Difference Between ABM and “Just” Marketing?

There’s often a confusion between marketing tactics and marketing strategies. Marketing tactics (content, events, webinars, social media, etc.) are used for both ABM activities and demand generation, but the planning and execution are different.

With demand generation, people usually are led to fill out a form, join a webinar, go through some sort of journey and are either discarded or become MQLs. These MQLs are then transferred to sales, essentially ending the engagement process.

With ABM, the sales process might be longer with constant customer engagement along the way. Marketing tactics are executed in a more personalized way; when crafting content or running a campaign, the activities are tailored to a specific industry with a targeted account list in mind.

Overall, ABM allows us to start looking at accounts as a whole instead of individuals. Instead of trying to engage with one decision maker, we can engage with the whole decision-making committee within a company and focus on approaching the right accounts.

To know if Account Based Marketing is right for your organization, take our ABM Assessment.