Here’s Why ABM is the New Outbound (and Why it Matters)

Ever since the concept of “inbound marketing” was made popular just under a decade ago by HubSpot, marketers have understood the world of marketing in two dichotomies: inbound and outbound. The inbound marketing movement took aim at TV ads, unsolicited mass email, junkmail sent via direct mail, and telemarketing to consumers in favor of inbound tactics such as blogs, SEO, social media, and content marketing.

The fervor around this groundswell contributed to the demonization of outbound tactics in B2B marketing and sales, as cold calling and prospecting became the enemy – and for good reason. Many organizations abused the ability to mass email and mass-dial prospects, sending irrelevant, unwelcome outreach. Outbound became an evil – a necessary evil in many cases.

The world of B2B, however, requires a certain proactive discipline to drive growth. As long as there are people in business, doing business, there will be a role for outbound sales and outbound marketing.

ABE is an outbound activity.

“Treating individual accounts as a market in their own right. A structured approach to developing and implementing highly customized marketing campaigns to markets of one. This approach involves marketing and sales taking a close look at key business issues facing the target account, mapping those issues to individuals, and tailoring campaigns to address those issues.” -ITSMA

Especially within environments that depend on major, complex, long-cycle deals, your main objective is to land and expand them systematically, efficiently, and measurably. The reason targeted account-based prospecting works is because it focuses your very limited resources on the biggest accounts that are most likely to buy. Leveraged properly, and combined with the ideals of an Account-Based Everything (ABE) strategy, outbound prospecting can open doors and create meaningful interactions.

Without insight, ABE is no better than cold calling

If you want to grow, you need to knock on people’s doors. But, without proper insight, these efforts are no better than cold calling. This entire strategy depends on your ability to do homework and learn as much as you can about target accounts (and key buyers at those accounts). The whole point? To maximize your relevance and resonance within each Marketing Qualified Account.

50% of customers are more likely to purchase from a vendor when they personalize their sales and marketing materials to a customer’s specific business issues.

– ITSMA survey, 2014

Insight-driven account-based sales and marketing applies the best concepts from demand generation to targeted, outbound prospecting.

  • It’s content driven  not product led
  • It’s helpful and valuable – providing real utility to the audience
  • It’s focused on the buyer – not your company’s agenda

It’s personalized, and super-relevant.

Related reading: Consider these creative ABM email and direct mail ideas.

The Impact of Smart Outbound ABE

Leveraged properly, account-specific insight will have a dramatic impact on every engagement:

  • People will be more likely to open and read your emails.
  • They’ll consume and share more of your content.
  • They’re more likely to attend your events and webinars.
  • They’re more likely to take and return your sales or account development calls.
  • Your sales and customer meetings will be more productive and effective.
  • Your sales and cross-sell cycles will be accelerated.

That’s the power of relevance and resonance – and that’s why insight is so critical to ABE success.

 

Jon Miller
Jon Miller
Jon Miller is CEO and founder of Engagio. Previously, Jon was the VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo. He is a speaker and writer about marketing best practices, and is the author of multiple Definitive Guides including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. Jon has a passion for helping marketers everywhere, and is on the Board of Scripted and is an advisor to Optimizely and Newscred. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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