September 27, 2021
Why B2B Marketers Should Invest in ABM Technology
ABM (short for account based marketing) was the buzzword of 2018, now it’s an integral part of most B2B strategy, especially when the target market leans enterprise. But even in 2020, so many ABM programs fail due to poor planning, alignment or execution.
When thinking about the execution portion, we’re talking about strategy. Let’s assume your list is solid, there’s internal alignment between marketing and sales, and everyone is pumped to start activating the audiences. Here’s where the strategy portion comes in. When focusing specifically on the digital component (which is only one small portion), strategy usually breaks down into two parts – self service versus vendor-based. We could talk at length about how to determine your activation strategy for self-service (and we should), but let’s focus our attention on selecting a vendor.
First things first – how do you know if you should be using a vendor? Our litmus test is this – if you’re technically limited and reporting is the most important aspect of your ABM flight, you should likely be working with a vendor. Secondary to that, however, is budget. If your budget is limited (less than $25k/month all in for ABM), we recommend doing your best with a self-service strategy to begin. Reason being, vendors are expensive and we recommend pushing your ABM dollars toward media instead of a tech stack.
Okay, great – you may be thinking “Reporting is important to me and my budget is more than $25k/month, so I should be working with a vendor. What now?” Choosing an ABM vendor comes down to three main categories – reporting, integrations, and flexibility.
It’s worth noting that all the platforms have well built out reporting. Choosing between them is really a matter of preference and prioritization.
Demandbase has account level impression and engagement reporting. You can also leverage pre vs. post program reporting for lift. You have the ability to see top landing pages and assets that target accounts are engaging with. You can also connect with Salesforce stage data.
Terminus, on the other hand, reports on the number of engaged accounts (plus media spend), visiting accounts, opened opportunities, impressions by account, accounts with most engagement, and accounts with most ad clicks.
Terminus is our top pick if integrations are important to you. You can integrate your Marketo customer lists directly into the platform – that means your marketing ops team won’t be uploading new lists every day as target accounts move from one stage to the next. Terminus also provides an option to traffic LinkedIn campaigns directly through their platform. This means that if you’re on a scrappy team without an agency or a LinkedIn guru in-house, you only have to learn one platform.
Demandbase reporting does have my personal favorite ABM hack – it integrates into Google Analytics. You can set up dashboards to see company level, job title & industry level data alongside traditional Google Analytics engagement metrics. From there, you can create retargeting audiences (off those dashboards) to traffic on the GDN. This way, if your list isn’t big enough to traffic on GDN using customer match, you’ve got a chance to push down funnel engagements on the GDN (even if you don’t hit the match threshold) through this integration.
We recommend Kwanzoo for a flexible solution. As a smaller company, they’re flexible in working with clients to provide the line item solutions they need. If you’re just looking for reporting and trafficking, or if you’re looking for the full stack, Kwanzoo can build a solution for any set of needs.
Both Demandbase and Terminus are more “out of the box” options where you purchase the entire solution. There is less clarity on what the fees are going toward.
Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about choosing an ABM vendor or ABM strategy.