What to look for in an account-based marketing partner

If you’re in search of a B2B marketing partner for 2017, you’ve probably come across the term “account-based marketing” (ABM). Account-based marketing is an integrated approach grounded in the efficiency of targeting specific organizations.

This strategy has received a lot of praise in the past year, with 92 percent of business-to-business companies recognizing value in ABM for the upcoming year. However, 47 percent of these same companies have cited inability to execute ABM in-house as a top reason for the lack of implementation, leaving many to forgo it entirely. Today, we’ll walk through the benefits of outsourcing ABM and what you should look for when selecting an account-based marketing partner.

What is account-based marketing?

As we noted in our blog post on consumer psychology, ABM is a strategic approach that involves your marketing partner making the deliberate decision to pursue accounts that fall in line with their existing customer base. These will be high-value accounts that align with existing customers in terms of size, industry and geographical characteristics. ABM can also involve pursuing deeper engagements with existing customers. ABM is heavily integrated with the sales process, resulting in an extremely targeted approach that has one of the highest ROIs of any B2B strategy.

In ABM, marketers and salespeople begin by working together to identify accounts to focus on. This is a prerequisite for the personalized marketing that makes ABM work. In order to drive higher-value leads, you need to gain a better understanding of the decision-making process at your target organizations, and you need the marketing-sales alignment to give your sales team the insights they need.

Hiring an ABM partner

When selecting a marketing partner for ABM, you must choose an organization who understands your target market and the tactics that will most resonate. Then, define a clear communication strategy prior to hiring the marketing partner. Your sales team will be integral to your ABM strategy’s success, and they’ll need actionable insights from your marketing partner. You should be able to get a sense of whether an organization will provide clear and regular updates before you hire them. When considering an agency to be your ABM partner, ask questions about how they will communicate with your team throughout the process.

Another trait to look for is whether or not your new marketing partner will have access to tools that will give you insight into prospective buyers, as well as help nurture prospective client relationships. According to CIO, much of ABM’s success is found in informed marketing automation campaigns and the ability to “get in front of the decision makers proactively.” If your marketing partner is unclear on the methodology behind digital campaigns and sales’ role in the process, this may be an indicator they are not the best fit.

We recommend making a shortlist of two to three potential marketing partners and reaching out to all of them for insights into their marketing/sales process. Keep in mind that your sales team will be working closely with whichever marketing partner you choose. If their processes don’t align, it will be next to impossible to achieve success.

If you’re interested in learning more, or working with Movéo, contact us here.

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