Sunday, 28 February 2010

Account based Marketing

Account-based marketing is hot and attracting a great deal of attention among forward-thinking marketers in the technology sector. Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organisation considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

When implemented well, account-based marketing helps companies establish, nurture, and grow highly collaborative and profitable relationships with key customers by continuously addressing their business and information needs. Many marketers think they can’t afford account-based marketing because it’s so tailored. But as mass marketing quickly moves into more contextual marketing, the question is no longer, “How can I afford to do it?” but rather, “How can I afford not to do it?” The challenge lies in balancing between scalability and relevance.

Key accounts are accounts that are identified within organisations as being a focus for account-based marketing. Not all accounts meet the requirements to be designated as a strategic or key account and organisations need to be careful about which accounts to focus on for their account-based marketing efforts or risk losing a valuable client. When choosing, organisations should look at revenue history, account history, margins and profitability as well as the viability that the client in question would be interested in a long-term relationship. Lastly, ask what the client and your company have in common. This will help solidify the approach that the client cannot find this kind of service anywhere else.

ABM is a strong example of the alignment of sales and marketing teams. In the aligned model, organisations able to unite tactical marketing efforts with defined sales goals and use feedback from sales to identify new potential markets. For ABM to succeed, joint workshops and a close working relationship between sales and marketing are essential.

Recently, several blue-chip consulting services and product companies such as BearingPoint, HP, Progress Software and Xerox are among those who have successfully implemented Account-based marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

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