MMO 7: The four forces and account-based marketing

Our last email talked about lead management in the context of modern marketing operations. Account-based marketing is marketing focused on specific leads, customers, or prospects. It is, therefore, a particular way of looking at lead management. It turns the traditional ‘sales funnel’ on its head, making it a pyramid. Instead of targeting everyone who has ever made contact with the company, it focuses on the needs of particular customers.

It should therefore come as no surprise that it fits well with the four forces of marketing technology.

Account-based marketing focuses on a ‘market of one’, looking at each individual customer’s wants and needs. It therefore requires accurate identification of customer needs, and also their point in the buying cycle. This has been made significantly easier by marketing technology, because it can be done for more customers, and automated. Centralising data and analysis makes it easier to identify patterns in behaviour that may be indicators of need.

The focus on a market of one requires marketing operations to build personal connections with customers, humanising the marketing process. It also requires close working between marketing and sales teams, and other organisational functions, because customers may come into contact with several different parts of the business. Centralised messages may be used, but they also need to be tailored to the individual at the time—and that means both sales and product expertise are essential.

Account-based marketing has been around a while. Digital and social channels have simply made it more effective—and more essential.

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