Why you should change your ABM strategy in 2021.

Theresa Dunn
Thirty.9
Published in
3 min readFeb 1, 2021

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The Grovery’s most recently published growth marketing trends, highlighted various trends for 2021, including Account Based Marketing (ABM). Simply put, ABM allows organizations to play where they can win.

With Covid-19 quarantine and travel restrictions continuing into 2021, ABM will be a major focus for data-driven and sales-focused organizations who need to adapt new strategies to keep pace with their goals.

Let’s dive a little deeper into why your strategy needs to change for 2021.

Most B2B organizations are now challenged with shifting their ABM strategies to focus on industries and markets that have shown resilience in 2020. Prior to jumping the gun to improve or pivot tactics that may not be working (perhaps due to COVID-19 impact), take a pause.

Analyze your key account list. Have these organizations been drastically impacted by COVID-19? Not sure? Marketing and sales teams should start with reviewing and analyzing industry outlook reports. These reports will provide detailed information on industry disruptions, growth pockets, and insights and strategies to consider. Deloitte, Forrester, McKinsey and Gartner are all reputable firms to start with.

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Worried about the cost of reports? Think of it this way: would you rather spend money on a one-time cost that can result in healthy and scalable sales growth plans, or continue with a spray and pray method for the next six to nine months and drain your campaign budgets without any true return on investment? Data always wins. Use the data to make informed decisions about where your organization needs to shift its account focus.

“We don’t sell products, we sell solutions.” I’m sure we’ve all heard this overused phrase, but it holds true. Providing personalized education material and value-based messaging will be crucial in keeping up with ever-changing pain points. Being able to hone in on a prospect and provide a true demonstration of your understanding of their business and departmental challenges, while providing educational resources will propel that prospect further down the funnel.

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With the help of google and social platforms, influencers and decision-makers can quickly sparse through competitive platforms, pricing, request demos, etc. but teaching them something new with a piece of educational content or identifying a problem that they did not know existed will boost your marketing teams odds for MQAs (marketing qualified accounts).

In 2020, pretty much every B2B organization was running paid search, sponsored content, and/or display ads. The quick adoption of digital advertising tactics resulted in an increase in volume, frequency and CPC (cost-per-click) and some industries saw a significant dip in CCR (click-conversion rate). So how does one continue to win in a crowded ad space? By monitoring your data.

Seeing a trend here?

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Monitor your intent data. Focus on active accounts and aggregate the intent data. What are the commonalities? What long-tail keywords are resulting in multiple touchpoints and lead capture forms? What content types and formats are these accounts opening? If these accounts are scoring out quickly, pass them just as quickly over to your team as sales-ready.

Keep in mind, your organization is not the only organization running an ABM campaign against these targets. Nothing is worse than a sales rep receiving a stale opportunity because the marketing team did not act quick enough. Remember it’s ultimately a numbers game. The more MQAs a marketing team can pass over as sales ready, the higher the probability of close rates.

Lastly, we cannot stress this enough. Make sure your marketing and sales teams are aligned. Meet weekly to discuss data, opportunities, optimizations, wins and challenges. This not only results in areas of improvement to deliver a seamless surround sound campaign approach but motivates the teams to have productive and healthy performance conversations.

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