Account-based marketing is here to stay as more companies jump on the opportunity to see higher conversion rates and engagement with more focus and less wastage. There are five things that we believe will become more important next year and will hopefully be addressed by technology.
Today’s B2B buying experience should reflect the way people shop and buy in their everyday lives. As marketers, we need to be able to replicate this prescriptive, personalized experience, but doing so means an easier way to serve up desired information to that buyer. Not every marketing department has the resources or the budget to highly personalize multiple pages for three to five different buyer types. The personalization process just needs to get easier.
Second — and we’re already seeing this — content strategy will evolve to include less gated content. Let’s face it: the buyer may not be at the point where they are ready to fill out a form. Focusing on form fills is limiting as you only see engagement from those willing to raise their hands. We have all been trained to rely on lead forms, but as more vendors provide better options for tracking anonymous activity and engagement at the account level, we have an opportunity to remove barriers without putting our metrics at risk.
Third, driving engagement with prospects still requires a lot of effort and analysis. The sacred demand generation has always been the MQL: ideal customer profile (ICP) + engagement. We think the days of driving engagement with one single buyer who is not that into you for various reasons is over. That’s where ABM wins. Fully embrace multi-channel and account level — anonymous and known — engagement as a way to monitor buying readiness. Get in tune with how the entire buying committee is interacting with your brand, including known and anonymous activity.
Fourth, with all this data we’re generating, we’re bullish on predictive intelligence and using that data to tell us which accounts are in an active buying cycle. Then, we can tier our accounts and spend more time creating targeted, personalized campaigns for those companies that are likely to buy in the next three to six months. Also, marketing teams have a reputation for trying a lot of stuff to move that account along. Our expectation is that we’ll soon get intelligent insights from our technology that tell us what the next best action is based on data, not guesswork.
Finally, in 2019, we expect to see more cross-departmental participation in demand generation. We all know that if marketing and sales are not completely aligned, ABM will not work. We believe that more departments will want in on ABM — customer success to factor in NPS, identify renewal propensity, predict upsells or look for early warning signs of churn from existing customers. Even product teams could benefit from understanding the buying cycle and what features or product information tends to draw more interest from prospects.
It’s a great time to be in marketing these days where anything is possible!