Merging ABM and Marketing Automation for Maximum ROI

Marketing automation is invaluable for many reasons

June 5, 2017
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Marketing automation became a gamechanger in 2006 when the first marketing automation tools hit the market. Marketing automation has become a necessity in 2017, since marketers have limited time and resources.

While there are plenty of benefits of marketing automation, the technology still has room to blossom. The emergence of Account-based marketing (ABM) offers new opportunities for brands relying on marketing automation. Brands can combine the two to maximize the ROI of their marketing campaigns.

What is ABM?

ABM involves setting up specific accounts for every marketing project. This approach is generally used by marketing agencies to manage the marketing campaigns of different clients.

However, there are other applications of ABM as well. Brands can use ABM to handle their internal marketing strategy. They may set up different accounts for each product line and develop appropriate marketing campaigns for each account.

How Can Marketing Automation Be Combined with ABM?

Marketing automation is invaluable for many reasons:

  • Most marketing automation technology provides detailed analytics for all of your marketing campaigns.
  • Marketing automation makes managing your marketing campaigns much more efficient.
  • Marketing automation technology makes it easier to connect with your followers on social media.

While there are plenty of benefits of marketing automation, there are also limitations. Here are the two biggest issues that marketing automation misses:

  • It is easy to confuse the data of campaigns pertaining to different projects, particularly if you give them similar names.
  • Marketing automation applications don’t usually make it easy to set and track campaigns goal, which an clearly differ among projects.

Chris Golec of DemandBase argues there are other issues as well.

“Many marketers think of their Marketing Automation System as the central nervous system. But the technology poses three significant challenges for the B2B and B2C marketers who are embracing ABM: i) it is designed to only nurture known contacts, ii) it is not interconnected with CMS, A/B testing and web analytics systems and iii) it is architected around individuals, rather than accounts, using a cookie-based model.”

Over the last eight years, DemandBase has helped marketers leverage ABM with their marketing automation tools.

ABM is also important if you are using specialized content management systems, such as Shopify or Magento. Brands use ABM as part of their service delivery model and may even integrate it with their own technology in the future.

“Those decisions have been decided, we’ve completed the necessary infrastructure work, and are looking forward to announcing a steady stream of new platform integrations on what should approximate to a monthly basis – starting with our latest to go live, WooCommerce,” writes Whiplash’s Peter Imai.

Tips for Merging ABM with Marketing Automation

Navigating the logistics of marketing automation software is usually pretty straightforward, unless you have very limited technology knowledge. However, integrating your marketing automation platform with ABM is considerably more difficult.

Mastering the features of ABM tools isn’t the most challenging part. The difficult part is creating a strategic framework for your ABM.

Here are some guidelines that you will need to follow.

Establish Unique Campaign Goals

Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot have exceptional analytics capabilities, but they don’t help if you don’t know what you should be measuring. You need to establish clear, measurable goals before launching any campaigns.

Every campaign has different objectives. Some projects are built for lead generation, while others are meant for long-term branding.

Set Reasonable Lead Conversion Expectations for Every Account

Lead conversion rates vary significantly across industries and products. With commercial real estate agents, it can take three to four months on average to close a sale. With many B2C brands, the conversion period may be a few days.

Make sure you have clear industry statistics on lead conversions to set reasonable benchmarks with your ABM platforms.

Give Easily Distinguishable Names to Every Account

It’s easy to conflate projects if you give your ABM accounts similar names, such as Account 1 or Account 2. Make sure every account is easily identifiable to avoid future mishaps.

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