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What does your product marketing team do differently when executing on an account based marketing strategy compared to traditional marketing?

7 Answers
Natalie Louie
Natalie Louie
ICONIQ Capital Product & Content MarketingMay 5

With traditional marketing we have a wider audience and are doing a marketing volume play and casting a wider net.

With an ABM strategy we know exactly who we want to go after and it’s a targeted, smaller audience. More time is spent sizing the accounts, looking at the data and deciding which to go after. It’s also a larger cross-functional lift. I have to include more cross-functional stakeholders to understand the account and map out our touch points so they are personalized or targeted for these select accounts. We are also reaching out to more stakeholders at the account and have a different message, position and tactic for each of the personas. This is not a volume play but a high quality, high touch play that brings focus to your efforts.  

  • Example: a ABM/targeted webinar invite will go out to 80 accounts and we hope to get 20 people to sign up and 7-10 to attend. Tactics leading up to the webinar may be more high-touch i.e. a direct mail campaign, a sequence of outreach emails that are highly tailored. The content will also be very targeted to that audience. A traditional webinar with a wide audience will go out to hundreds or thousands accounts and we’ll have 400+ sign up and 100+ attend and the content will be geared to cover a broader audience.
1033 Views
Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Mastercard Director of Product MarketingJune 15

ABM is near and dear to my heart as I was in the middle of the tornado that spun up the term ABM during my time at Demandbase. As the PMM there at the time, we not only defined what ABM was, but also had to execute on it as well. Based on what we preached, when building out an ABM based strategy, I started by aligning with our sales team to identify the key accounts we are trying to target. From there, start building specific feature related messages to fit that ABM campaign, and also change the marketing language to align to that specific campaign. 

For example, I once worked on an ABM campaign that focused on the financial vertical, and landing new financial accounts to build up our reputation amongst those companies. The PMM team researched the key value props that were important to financial services teams (At that time it was digital transformation, keeping ahead of their competitions, etc, rather than cost savings, increased productivity, etc). So we changed our messaging from our general messaging that we used to target our core target audience to emphasize more to these points.

1067 Views
Alina Fu
Alina Fu
Microsoft Director, Copilot for Microsoft 365November 30

ABM is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, as we just announced 7 new ABM integrations and hosted a webinar about ABM strategies.

Data-driven marketing has extended beyond analytics, social, SEO/SEM, and A/B testing into insights and 3rd party data on customers’ wants and needs to tailor and target more relevant messaging and content to the recipients. How does this impact what product marketing focuses on?

It has made targeting and segmentation a greater focus for the team. In the past, I had to convince B2B leaders to run deeper segmentation beyond firmographics because the only segments they wanted to use were small business, mid-market, and large enterprise. But not all organizations based on size have similar tech adoption maturity, motivations and challenges. I prefer to use 2x2s to determine the target sweet spot, greenfield opportunities, and secondary audiences. This has made product marketing more influential and collaborative with demand gen, growth and campaign teams because of the retargeting opportunities and MarTech solutions available.

Gone are the days when leaders say “We offer our products and services for everyone. We are one size fits all”. Now it is “what is your size and preference and we will find the perfect fit for you”.

1141 Views
April Rassa
April Rassa
Aventi Group Product Marketing ConsultantJanuary 18

Traditional B2B marketing is often done through broad-reaching campaigns. Most marketers try to get their word out—as far and as wide as possible—by leveraging different marketing channels: owned, earned, and paid. The objective is to cast a wide net and put out as much content as possible, in order to act as a marketing magnet and draw a large number of leads into your funnel.

On the other hand, account-based marketing (ABM) is in many ways the exact opposite. It’s about getting all your resources— your program dollars AND your people (including your sales and marketing teams)—working together in a coordinated way to pursue and convert very specific accounts.

PMM works with Demand to devise the ABM strategy which includes identifying the ICP (ideal customer profile, personas, key market segments, right content, integrate into multi-channel strategy, and measure/optimize).

While this is fairly obvious, you can’t do full-blown account-based marketing if you don’t even know what accounts you’re targeting. To get this right, you need to work in close conjunction with sales. ABM will not work if sales isn’t on board, since it requires both marketing and sales to focus their resources on the defined set of target accounts.

672 Views
Jeff Hardison
Jeff Hardison
Calendly Head of Product MarketingJanuary 10

Account-based marketing started because, for decades, sales did account-based selling.

Instead of a salesperson just opening up a list of, say, every financial services company in the world (thousands) with no focus, they work with their sales leadership to identify a target account list to focus on (perhaps it's the top 10 financial services companies, or a certain size financial services company they could be successful with).

Then, often times, that salesperson could only reach out to those target accounts in their list. It might be only 10 target accounts, but they might have to build relationships with 20 people at each target account (IT, VPs, etc.) to get buy-in across the company.

Why would they have to get buy-in across the company with so many people? The bigger the company, the more people who want to weigh in on what products the company buys. (Think about when a coworker has bought a tool that you've not liked from a previous job, and how you wished you could have given your input; that's the political dynamic at work.)

Account-based marketing is the practice of helping these salespeople go after these short lists of target accounts by doing more targeted marketing to just those companies (say, the top 10 financial services companies) and their stakeholders.

Account-based marketing involves emailing those stakeholders in those target accounts, serving ads to just employees in those accounts (when possible, because it's difficult), inviting those stakeholders to private events, observing intent signals (some software shows you what those accounts are researching) and more.

Generally, there's an account-based marketer — often in the demand generation team — who leads the operations efforts around ABM. Yet, like most things demand gen, they need your help in PMM to help craft messaging for these communications.

446 Views
Jena Donlin
Jena Donlin
Snowflake Product Marketing LeadJanuary 30

Building on Jennifer's reply above, we have 4 tiers. We aim to do proactive work (meaning working with BDRs, sales, account managers, success team) to identify a way to engage, grow, or expand an account within the top 10 accounts. This hits all points in the funnel and often involved multiple teams and units. This could include sponsoring a company event and creating custom content to get in front of a big portion of their employee base. In the second tier (100 accounts), we have a request field in Salesforce for "Customized Marketing Request" and will work on materials or collateral to support an ongoing effort (generally more MOFU). The rest of our work across the next two years we focus on scalabliity. Our dream state (and it works sometimes) is to think about this as a feedback loop. We can identify holes in our material and update the more general materials with this highly targeted work and narrative. 

961 Views
Jennifer Ottovegio
Jennifer Ottovegio
Narvar Fmr Director of Product MarketingOctober 17

 

To put it simply, ABM is a more targeted approach to storytelling and demand generation. Instead of telling 1 or 2 broad stories to large groups of prospects and/or leads, ABM forces the PMM team to narrow in on our top target accounts (both customers and prospects) and identify what story will resonate with that account… and sometimes more specifically, that department, or that person. While sales and marketing alignment is always important, ABM requires even stronger ties with sales or account management in order to be effective. One thing that has really stood out to me during the process of building out ABM playbooks is that marketers have to think of these leads as people… even more so than before. It requires personalization to be effective.

1610 Views
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