ABM take-aways from Scott Vaughan at MarTech Fall 2022

Follow these guidelines to launch, or relaunch, an ABM go-to-market approach within your organization.

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Account-based marketing (ABM) go-to-market strategies help B2B marketers engage buyers in an intelligent way, communicating with key decision makers on their preferred channels. In order to get a new ABM go-to-market plan in place, or to restart an existing one, it’s important to have a solid strategy first, and then build out your stack.

Let’s take a look at two important steps to take when executing a successful ABM go-to-market strategy.

1. Make sure the ABM strategy is cross-functional

“Whatever we do has to be cross-functionaI involving the people that are going to impact [the strategy] and are going to touch the accounts and the buying committees at those accounts,” said Scott Vaughan, chief advisor for Vaughan GTM Advisory at The MarTech Conference.

He added, “One of the things that really gets you off on the right foot, not just when you’re starting but every year in your planning, or every quarter in your quarterly business reviews, is to go back to the definition and the blueprint that you’re building for your account-based strategy.”

The strategy needs to include a range of functions that fit with the markets and geographic areas where your buyers are. And the strategy should be reviewed regularly to make sure the strategy remains aligned with your customer base.

“Does it still fit?” Vaughan asked. “Have we optimized it? What do we learn? This regular review process will help you find the cracks and challenges where you need a makeover…Getting it straight, reviewing it, optimizing it and going through those success metrics consistently and regularly, at least on a quarterly basis, is essential to continue to make progress to get the most value out of an account-based strategy.”

2. Keep strategy as the top priority along with the people executing it

“Make sure you absolutely slow down and focus on strategy and the people involved first,” said Vaughan. “Technology comes last. One of the big mistakes is you get so excited and energized that you’re going to move to an account-based strategy, or you’re going to revise your account-based strategy, that you need to run out and change every process and  buy new technology. That’s probably all true, but that’s not how you want to start.”

Organizations can run off the rails with new technology if they don’t have a solid strategy in place first.

Also, there should be more than just one leader running the entire ABM show.

“It takes a village — you need integrated plays across functions, departments, systems,” Vaughan explained. “You don’t want to anoint somebody as the ABM person because that’s when you put somebody out on an island, and they’re not set up to succeed.” 

Spread out responsibilities across the marketing team and other departments. To avoid silos, have more than just one single ABM person on each team. This will make sure that the ABM go-to-market approach is a connected strategy.

Organizations can then decide what kind of ABM strategy they’re looking to execute. Do they want a one-to-all strategy, where they target every prospect with ABM tactics? Do they want a one-to-one strategy where they are training the ABM strategy on one particular high-priority buyer? It’s up to the organization to find the right mix, either with one or multiple strategies.

“You may start one-to-one to really get an understanding of what works for you in terms of account-based [strategies],” said Vaughan. “[Or] you may start one-to-few to get your feet wet.”

Now you can pick your technology

“Once you have that set, then you can begin to think about technology, automation, scale analytics, and actually how you’re going to activate,” Vaughan said.

He added, “A lot of times what we find is you can start with some of your current stack tools and make small adaptations…The label of ABM platforms vary widely, so we also want to be thoughtful and cautious.”

Dig deeper: 24 questions to ask account-based marketing vendors during a demo


About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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