As ABM is adopted as a winning tactic by many in 2016, signs are already indicating that for the majority it won’t deliver the ROI originally expected.
Before taking the decision to initiate or continue a ABM program, here’s why the majority are failing:
- Supplier selection – nearly all marketing agencies now say they deliver ABM. In reality, they’re simply using the term to re-package their existing services. Or worse, they’re using your valuable budget to experiment.
- Poor program design – the majority of programs focus primarily on “physical outputs at ideally low cost”. This is because marketers deliver on KPIs based on outputs and marketing agencies make their money by producing assets. But producing low-cost volumes of html emails, video animations, brochures, social media activity etc, is me-too marketing, it doesn’t create the additional uplift desired.
- Lack of relevancy – the cornerstone of ABM, is based on a high-level of personalized content and engagement between a sales lead and a set of target contacts. This is recognised by everyone but in program design and delivery it’s only given lip service because of perceptions on how budget and effort are spent.
- Market saturation – as ABM becomes adopted by the majority as a tactic and delivered poorly, target accounts are turning off to it – because of the volume of materials containing a low level of truly relevant content.
The combined impact of these factors, means when a review of the ABM program is carried out after 12 months, the desired ROI hasn’t been achieved and a generic marketing program is in place.
Do you carry on and hope things will change?
Do you stop and start again?
Do you adjust your strategy – with minimal disruption and maximum return?
These are the decisions that we are helping clients face and make. Our starting point is to understand what the situation is that they have to overcome in the target account and what needs to be said and done to shift perception. Our recent slideshare deck about Account Based Strategy breaks down the typical situations an account could be facing and what to do about it. Please take a look if you want to find more details sometime.