Account based marketing or ABM is all the rage… again… Farland Group, along with many of our clients and partners like ITSMA have elevated the importance of ABM for more than a decade, because it works.
Let’s begin with what it is – ABM is a focused approach to B2B marketing that aligns the sales and marketing teams in targeting select accounts that have the potential to grow and prosper. In most instances, these accounts have the highest possible ROI.
In our work with clients, we find the discipline and process used for driving a successful Customer Advisory Board (Board) can be applied to help ABM programs succeed. Here are some observations that may help those of you setting out on the ABM journey:
Personalization of content:
Tailoring and co-creating content shifts Board meetings from selling programs to customized, two-way, dialogue-based engagements. In ABM, personalized propositions and content strategies drive longer term engagements too.
Client-first versus vendor-first:
Focus on client goals, strategies and outcomes first. Over time, you will earn the right to sell your offerings and share your expertise.
Long-term relationship focus:
Unlike events, Customer Advisory Boards are long-term commitments for the vendor and the customer. Typical Board terms are 2-3 years, and as a result, the content, dialogues and behaviors are relationship versus transactional in nature. ABM programs are also long-term in their focus. Build short and longer-term milestones and know that with more time will come more success.
Integration of marketing and sales:
To be successful, Customer Advisory Boards should engage the marketing and sales organizations and connect into a larger set of ABM-based goals. By focusing on client-goals first, sales and marketing leaders are able to collaborate to meet the outcomes that matter most to the client.