I have trained and mentored many people at different stages of their Account-Based Marketing (ABM) journey. My own ABM career started back in January 2008, when I became Fujitsu’s first global ABM-er — working for the one and only Bev Burgess! I was reflecting on this recently with my Inflexion colleagues and we identified a few recurring errors made by ABM-ers. Here are my top five ABM mistakes to avoid.
1. Misunderstanding what is driving the account
People often confuse market trends and business issues when building an understanding of what’s driving an account. Getting insight into your target account isn’t just about researching information, it’s also about interpreting the facts correctly.
2. Failing to include the client in your value proposition
Very often marketers start their value propositions from their own business point of view instead of tailoring this offer to the client. Demonstrating how well you understand the client’s situation is at the heart of ABM, and should be the foundation of your value proposition.
3. Not selling your benefits
For your ABM programme to hit home, you need powerful messaging which spells out very clearly the benefits you can bring to your client and why they should choose you, rather than a competitor. Quantifying these benefits, and including proof of your experience, will add weight to your argument.
4. Reverting to old tactics
ABM works when your campaigns are innovative, creative and, most importantly, reflect what’s driving the account. Regressing back to the same old tactics simply won’t work. How you deliver the campaign should also respect what you’ve learned about how the stakeholders you’ve profiled prefer to communicate.
5. Setting unclear objectives
Your success will be measured by whether or not your programme achieves its objectives but if your goals are hard to evaluate, so is your plan. Building smart objectives into your strategy will mean both you, and your manager, will be sure when you’ve achieved them.
Find out more about Inflexion Group (where I am still working with Bev!): www.inflexiongroup.com
And Bev has written a great deal about the challenges of developing and implementing a new ABM programme, including in the 2nd edition of A Practitioners Guide to Account-Based Marketing published by Kogan Page in 2021.