The Agile Account-Based Marketing Manifesto

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Buyers today have more power than ever before. To meet their ever-increasing demands, marketers must take a more more targeted and personalized approached, and engage with buyers on their terms. 

Traditional marketing tactics such as content and SEO are becoming increasingly less effective. In order to differentiate themselves in our increasingly competitive, fast-paced business environment, marketing teams must narrow their focus and target specific accounts to cut through the noise. 

Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, is a business-to-business (B2B) strategy designed to drive collaboration between corporate marketing and sales teams to target specific client accounts as a way to drive revenue and achieve business goals. 

Agile Marketing

The same processes and tools that revolutionized the software industry over the past decade are being applied to help marketing teams adapt and better engage with modern customers. Agile marketing is a tactical marketing approach in which marketing teams collectively identify and work on high-value projects and deliver them on time with the minimal amount of effort. 

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Agile helps marketing teams reach their goals, by enabling marketers to…

  • Respond quickly to changes in the market.
  • Produce rapid campaigns that can be tested and optimized over time.
  • Try lots of things and repeat the ones that succeed.
  • Use input from other departments to augment marketing efforts.
  • Justify choices in campaigns and projects with hard data.
  • Collaborate with team members to prevent a tunnel-vision approach to marketing.

 

“In a world of rapidly changing customer and market demands accelerated by digital, agile helps teams keep pace.” – Marketing at the speed of agile 

 

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The Values of Agile Marketing

Agile and ABM compliment each other because their values are closely aligned.

  1. Testing and data over opinions and conventions.
  2. Rapid iterations over big bang campaigns.
  3. Responding to change over following a plan.
  4. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  5. Customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy.

While there is value in the items on the right, the items on the left are valued more. 

1. TESTING AND DATA OVER OPINIONS AND CONVENTIONS.

Marketing to a wide audience then finding which ones are qualified to pass to sales is time-consuming and inefficient. ABM uses ideal customer profiles to target qualified leads from the beginning, so sales and marketing have more time to focus on the right leads. Successfully executing this aspect of ABM requires a data-driven approach to customer acquisition. That’s where agile marketing comes in.

2. RAPID ITERATIONS OVER BIG BANG CAMPAIGNS.

With agile marketing, data is constantly being used to measure and improve campaign results every 2 – 4 weeks. With shorter planning and review cycles, oftentimes referred to as Iterations or Sprints, marketers can quickly optimize strategies to deliver more relevant and highly-targeted ABM campaigns.

3. RESPONDING TO CHANGE OVER FOLLOWING A PLAN.

ABM success comes from the combination of an organizational structure that emphasizes customer data, fosters sales and marketing alignment, and embraces constant change.  Oftentimes, organizations aren’t able to respond and adapt to changes in business because the way the company is structured. Agile ditches the bureaucracies and hierarchies of traditional organizational structures and re-centers the business around the consumer, fundamentally transforming into the ideal environment for ABM.

4. CUSTOMER FOCUSED COLLABORATION OVER SILOS AND HIERARCHY. 

Customer data is critical to the success of any ABM program, as well as making sure sales and marketing are aligned. In order for ABM to be successful, it’s essential that sales and marketing interact on a daily basis. Without alignment, it is much harder to properly target the right accounts. Ceremonies such as daily standup and sprint planning encourage communication and collaboration between teams help to remove any barriers between sales and marketing. Only when these two teams are fully aligned, will you be able to successfully deliver an end-to-end account-based experience – engaging with customers in the right way and at the right time throughout every stage of the funnel.  

5. INDIVIDUALS AND INTERACTIONS OVER LARGE MARKETS. 

Marketing to a wide audience then finding which ones are qualified to pass to sales is time-consuming and inefficient. ABM uses ideal customer profiles to target qualified leads from the beginning, so sales and marketing have more time to focus on the right leads. Successfully executing this aspect of ABM requires a data-driven approach to customer acquisition. That’s where agile marketing comes in.

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Takeaways

The biggest differentiator for successful business will be their ability, not to sell products and services, but to deliver engaging, dynamic customer experiences through data-driven ABM campaigns. To improve customer acquisition and retention, businesses need to focus on the customer experience and fostering relationships with those customers before, during, and after the sale. By becoming more customer-focused, iterative, and data-driven with an agile approach to marketing, today’s businesses can keep pace with the constantly changing needs of customers.

 

It’s time to work smarter, not harder!