Account-based marketing, or ABM, has long been used by business-to-business marketers as a way to personalize product and services pitches to particular customers.

In the digital world, however, buyers connected to the web through computers and smartphones are often ahead of the game in terms of knowing what’s available from multiple suppliers before new marketing pitches arrive.

But with the right mix of digital marketing applications and strategies, B2B marketers can re-energize their ABM campaigns, Forrester Research Inc. says in a new report authored by Forrester marketing analyst Laura Ramos, “Retro Yet Revolutionary: Demystifying Account-Based Marketing.”

The report, citing a Forrester survey of 94 B2B senior marketers in the second quarter of this year, notes that only 18% found ABM to be “very effective at increasing the effectiveness of marketing and sales campaigns. 40% found them “somewhat effective,” 15% “somewhat ineffective,” and 4% “not effective at all.” 22% said ABM was “not applicable” in their current situation. (Percentages don’t add up to 100 because of rounding.)

More B2B markets can more results from ABM with the right mix of technology and strategy, Ramos says. One of her recommendations is to “take all account stakeholders on a journey.” By planning a series of online events and interactions designed to show how clients can improve their business, such as webinars and online demonstrations—coordinated with in-person meetings and conference presentations—marketers can better control the marketing experience. And by analyzing how prospects participate in and react to these activities, marketers can learn how to continue building a more personalized marketing approach to each account.

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“Webinars and online interactions let prospects hear [a company’s] voice and get a sense of its work style,” Ramos writes. “Rather than executing a random set of campaign elements, this approach allows marketers to plan and place sequenced content, from brand discovery to purchase, by tracking content consumption across the account and building engagement at a personal level.”

 

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