The world of ABM is evolving rapidly. New trends are emerging. Old trends are dying. But which are the trends that we need to pay attention to this year?
It can be challenging to keep up with all of the trends in B2B marketing these days. To help clear the confusion, I wanted to chat with Heidi Bullock, the CMO of Engagio, to get her perspective on what ABM will look like in 2019.
In this conversation with Heidi, we’re giving you a more in-depth look than we usually go when it comes to executing our strategy and operating our business. We’ll take a quick look back at 2018, then we’ll peer forward at what it will take to succeed in 2019.
What’s your marketing goal for the upcoming year? How does it differ from 2018?
Our goal this year is to drive quality growth and making sure revenue teams have clear and repeatable use cases and “pocket stories” to help with Sales and Customer Success. We are aiming to be better storytellers internally – something we recognized was a need this year.
What worked for your business this year and what didn’t?
Hyper-personalized ABM programs worked for us this year – we were able to create meetings with the right people that resulted in quality meetings – and ultimately deals. We were spread too thin on some events this year. We needed to be more realistic about the investment/return ratio.
What crucial trends do you expect to see in 2019? What will you change in your company?
I believe more marketers are placing investment and focus on customer experience/marketing – this may even be a popular role for 2019. We are putting more investment here – specifically adoption marketing supported with programs.
We are hearing more about the “brand” as an emphasis for 2019 – but I am hopeful there is also a realization that brand and demand are not at odds with each other. They are both important and critical for a successful business. Companies that stand out and can tell a clear and compelling story will do better – but you also need a way to capture that interest, grow it, and inspire action.
Lastly, I think marketing technology will get better – less “choose your own adventure” and more recommendation-based. That being said, you will still have to use your brain and be a thoughtful marketer!
What much-debated trends do you think won’t be a hit in 2019?
I think there is a lot of hype around some tactics for ABM. No singular tactic is ABM. It is having a rigorous focus on the right set of accounts for your business, collaborating closely with Sales, and having relevant messaging for the right people. No single tactic is ever the answer.
What are your top three recommendations for marketers in 2019?
- Before any big initiative, write your “press release” first. Is it clear what the end goal is? How are people being measured? What does winning look like?
- With big projects, “bring people along for the ride” – get buy-in – and driving successful initiatives becomes a lot easier.
- Never forget the importance of internal marketing – you have to educate internal teams.
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If you’re looking to take your ABM game to the next level this year, don’t forget to check out Engagio’s Clear and Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing, 2nd Edition. It’s 175+ pages of the latest and greatest ABM best practices.