Salesforce introduces new AI-driven ABM capabilities
Marketing and sales will now be able to target campaigns at accounts, not just individual contacts at account
Salesforce has announced new ABM capabilities which both promote personalized engagement with account members, and support campaigns targeted at accounts where account members are currently unknown.
The announced enhancements are Accounts as Campaign Members and Einstein Key Account Identification.
Accounts as Campaign Members. Previously, marketers had only been able to use Salesforce to target accounts if records of individual leads or contacts at that account. This new capability will allow accounts themselves to be added as campaign members, i.e. targets, even if no records of individuals are associated with those accounts.
Types of campaigns which can be targeted at accounts rather than individuals include call down campaigns (to begin identifying contacts at accounts), advertising and social media messaging, and email campaigns targeted at an account address.
Accounts as Campaign Members allows users to associate the Salesforce CRM account record with a campaign for execution within Pardot, and is therefore exclusive to Salesforce Pardot users. “Having direct access to all of the rich data on the Salesforce account object and related objects when targeting accounts will be an advantage for customers using Accounts as Campaign Members with Salesforce CRM and Pardot,” Meredith Brown, SVP and Head of Product, Salesforce Pardot, told us.
We asked what this meant for Salesforce users with marketing automation integrations other than Pardot — Marketo, for example. “Use in Marketo would require additional synchronization and API calls between the Salesforce CRM account object (the source of truth for most customers) and Marketo’s account object. It also may not be real-time,” Brown said.
Einstein Key Account Identification. Einstein AI will identify accounts with high purchase intent through scoring and surface recommendations and insights to help sales teams optimize engagement. The AI will draw on data from Salesforce CRM and online marketing.
Why we care. Digital-first B2B marketing and selling will require more and better capabilities, and this looks like a way for marketing and sales teams to start nurturing accounts with a degree of personalization before much is known about the buying team. Also, as with the 360 Audiences CDP, we see Salesforce promoting capabilities within its own product suite as an alternative to integrations with independent best-of-breed solutions.
Account-based marketing: A snapshot
What it is. Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a B2B marketing strategy that aligns sales and marketing efforts to focus on high-value accounts.
This customer acquisition strategy focuses on delivering promotions — advertising, direct mail, content syndication, etc. — to targeted accounts. Individuals who may be involved in the purchase decision are targeted in a variety of ways, in order to soften the earth for the sales organization.
Why it’s hot. Account-based marketing addresses changes in B2B buyer behavior. Buyers now do extensive online research before contacting sales, a trend that has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of marketing’s tasks in an ABM strategy is to make certain its company’s message is reaching potential customers while they are doing their research.
Why we care. Account engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI increase after implementing account-based marketing, according to a recent Forrester/SiriusDecisions survey. While B2B marketers benefit from that win rate, ABM vendors are also reaping the benefits as B2B marketers invest in these technologies and apply them to their channels.