Happy Saturday, Mélange readers! Today, we’ll talk all about account-based marketing or ABM. We’ll explore why ABM is no longer considered a fad, will talk about ways to ensure ABM success, will discover ways to scale your ABM efforts and will get tips on overcoming some of your most common ABM challenges.

An alternative to “spray and pray”

Looking for a marketing strategy that can improve your reputation by an average of 84%, boost your number of relationships by 74% and increase your revenue per account by a whopping 69%? Then take a closer look at account-based marketing or ABM, says Joe Hyland in Martech Today. More than a mere flash-in-the-pan marketing fad, account-based-marketing is based on the less-is-more premise, forcing marketing and sales teams to focus more deeply on what truly matters: interacting in a meaningful way with your highest value prospects and customers.

What types of companies can most benefit from an account-based marketing approach? According to Joe, those with “complex, long, and sometimes political buying cycles.” The ABM approach allows you to hone in on the dozens or hundreds of organizations’ leads where your product or service can truly add value rather than taking the old “spray and pray” approach that may generate a large number of leads with little to no value. Read the rest of Joe’s case for taking an ABM approach to marketing here.

Ensuring ABM success in 6 easy steps

A recent Dun & Bradstreet survey found that among B2B organizations, 60% have already adopted an account-based marketing approach while another 27% have plans to make ABM a reality this year. So how can you fine-tune your ABM approach to increase your chances of success?

According to Josh Mueller in Martech Series, building your market landscape is the most important of the six steps to ensuring ABM success. Tying together first-party and trusted third-party data will allow you to create a comprehensive ideal customer profile that doesn’t allow important information to slip through the cracks. This “master data” forms the foundation of all of your ABM activities and will drive all of your business decisions, so it’s important that it’s clean, relevant and connected. Check out the five other steps you need to tackle after your market landscape and master data are in order here.

Scaling ABM marketing efforts

When marketing and selling in an ABM environment, your brand doesn’t just have to impress a single person—it has to wow a whole team of people. So how do you ensure your product or service rises above the noise and stands out among your competition? According to Justin Keller in MarTech Advisor, it’s by concentrating on the overall feeling you’re trying to deliver and on reaching the “holy grail” of ABM activities that are highly scalable: requiring low effort yet delivering high impact.

One example Justin provides is that of dedicating time to research. “It’s no secret that understanding the habits, demographics, personalities, challenges, and passion-points of the contacts in the various accounts a brand is targeting requires hard work,” says Justin, but the resulting content gathered is a goldmine, used to inform personalized campaigns and sales communications. Read all of Justin’s piece here.

Overcoming common ABM challenges

Are you trying to move your nurturing prospects toward a deeper funnel offer like a demo or sales conversation WAY before they’re ready? If so, you’ve fallen victim to a common account-based marketing mistake that many organizations make. According to a post by Ironpaper, trying to drive the demo too early is something that happens quite a bit during ABM. Instead, focus your communication on highlighting the ways that your business can bring value in particular situations, and give context on how you’ll generate this value.

Additionally, Ironpaper suggests that you create a variety of different content that’s appropriate for each stage in the nurturing process. By holding off on the demo until your prospect has a sense of context, they’ll be able to better appreciate and understand your value—you’ll effectively be preaching to the choir. Check out the rest of Ironpaper’s tips on overcoming ABM challenges here—it’s a great piece.