3 Arguments to Get Executives to Buy Into Account-Based Marketing Programs

Tejas Oza
October 21, 2019 at 10:56 PM

Do you face a situation where you know the value of account-based marketing (ABM), but your boss does not? Businesses across the nation are facing similar problems, looking to drive their companies into the future with little or reluctant support from executives who prefer more traditional marketing efforts.

It doesn't have to be that way. The benefits of ABM are such that, with the right strategy, executives in your company can actually get convinced to join into the excitement. Build that strategy, and you can leverage the concept to its maximum success level with full organisational buy-in.

It requires understanding the mindset of these executives, and building a convincing argument to change that mindset. When you do get it right, you can become part of the gap between the 92% of companies who recognise the value of ABM, and the significantly smaller 20% who have actually implemented it.

Argument 1: ABM Can Enhance Existing Marketing Channels

Too many marketing managers present the argument for ABM as one against existing strategies. Yes, can be more effective than traditional lead-gen tactics based on mass audiences when it comes to closing the deal. But that doesn't necessarily mean one should exist without the other.

That's why the best arguments for account-based marketing are framed around existing channels. ABM and lead generation, for instance, can actually become great allies in achieving larger organisational goals:

  • Traditional lead generation efforts work well to generate initial interest among a broad audience base. The net is wider, and automation capabilities allow for easily scaling up as your business grows. Through these efforts, you can grow the top end of your funnel on a massive scale.
  • Account-based marketing can take over when the leads are in the system and a base level of qualification has occurred. It takes these leads, takes a much more personalised approach, and maximises the customer potential of every one of them. No leads can get lost in the funnel, and customer conversion rates increase significantly.

Similar arguments can be powerful for other digital and non-digital channels, as well. Through account-based marketing, your company can ensure that all of its resources spent on top-funnel marketing will actually pay off in customers. It's difficult to say no to that from an executive's perspective.

Argument 2: The ROI of Account-Based Marketing is Impossible to Ignore

All of the above, of course, is largely hypothetical. Business decisions are largely (and ideally) made on numbers, and it's on you to present those numbers when it comes to account-based marketing.

Fortunately, plenty of research has been conducted on this topic. You can easily compile its results into a compelling argument for an investment in ABM:

Plenty of other studies confirm and reinforce these findings. A single survey finding a higher ROI might be an outlier, but a large number of organisations beginning to find the same thing is a different story altogether. 

Every executive wants to increase ROI, and be the driving figure behind that move. Proving the ROI value of account-based marketing will and should play a major role in your quest to get executive ABM buy-in.

Argument 3: The Switch to ABM Can Happen in Tiers

Finally, the conversation will likely turn to the implementation of account-based marketing. Even the most significant theoretical benefits matter little if the implementation is not well-thought out or proves to be complicated with existing resources.

The questions will revolve around commitment of both people and money should the executive back the move to ABM.

There is no easy answer, and the exact response will depend on anything from your industry to company size. That said, one core piece of your argument should be the fact that ideally, this concept is not black and white. Instead, its implementation can occur in tiers.

Start by segmenting your existing leads that would turn into the focus of your ABM strategy. Only those most qualified, the hottest of your prospects, should be treated as VIPs with truly unique strategies. Start with them and build out your ABM effort there first.

Below the VIPs, you have lower-rung leads who have shown some engagement but less willingness to buy, but that tier doesn't need nearly the same attention. Instead, it can merely receive some personalisation as modern marketing beyond ABM allows.

If possible, start from the bottom up. Build some basic personalisation for somewhat qualified leads, which might even be possible in your existing platforms. Then, slowly build your way up to truly account-based, individualised marketing.

The resource commitment is little, making this strategy much more palatable for most executives.

Bonus Strategy: Pilot Implementation to Convince with Results

For hesitant executives, you can take the above tiered approach even further. Create a pilot group for minimal budget that you treat with account-based marketing. Then, measure the results and conversion rates of this group compared to your other prospects.

You need your boss to buy into a small starting investment. As a result, you can get actionable data that helps them make the decision of moving the company deeper into the concept.

This last step might actually be the most beneficial in your effort to get executive buy-in for account-based marketing programs. Launching your first ABM program quickly gets you valuable insights. These insights, in turn, will be much more convincing than hypothetical benefits or random statistics. The sooner you start, the more quickly you can move from brainstorming about ABM in a meeting to actual implementation and benefits.

Done right, ABM becomes a core part of your growth marketing strategy to build a unique, personalised presence in the marketplace. Join our growth marketing session to learn more, or talk to us. We're happy to provide you with the talking points you need to convince your organisation's leadership that account-based marketing will help the business succeed.

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