The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

4 Ways to avoid common ABM pitfalls

Mark Treacy
Head of Sales for B2B at Oracle Data Cloud

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Mark Treacy, Sr. Client Partner, Oracle Data Cloud.

Did you know 50 to 70 percent of B2B marketers in North America have some type of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) initiative in place?

Referred to as “programmatic ABM” in a recent eMarketer report, the most common approach involves delivering desktop and mobile advertising to employees of specific companies across open web and social platforms.

While launching a programmatic ABM initiative is relatively straightforward, generating meaningful outcomes is proving to be a challenge for many marketers.

Let’s talk through four possible pitfalls with ABM—and how to avoid them!

1) Not being strategic with account selection

Account selection using data is key to ABM success. The starting point is identifying high-value customers within your existing base, then seeking to understand commonalities.

For example, are they similarly sized in employees or annual revenues? Do they operate in the same industry sub verticals? Or do they utilize a complementary business service, or technology, to your offering?

Unfortunately, many B2B marketers skip this process, choosing to direct their advertising to a wish list of disparate target accounts.

The solution:

Work with sales and outside data partners to understand the common criteria shared by your most valuable customers.

From there, marketers can build a target account list for whom their company’s offering has a clear value proposition.

2) Creating silos

As B2B marketers increasingly take an "audience first" approach to their digital media buying, their ABM advertising should be similarly platform agnostic.

However, a fragmented vendor landscape and 2nd-party data portability issues makes this difficult.

Operating siloed campaigns through a variety of ABM and media partners will lead many marketers to unintentionally target the same accounts and individuals across multiple social platforms/DSPs.

Limited reach, excessive frequency, and lack of transparency into data vs. media cost are some of the downsides of this approach.

The solution:

Marketers should seek a tech partner offering a common data currency they can utilize across all of their ABM media activity.

3) Failing to harness predictive and intent signals

Some accounts within your list will not be aware of your offering. Others will be researching similar solutions, and many will be in active conversations with your sales team.

Segmenting your account list by buying cycle stage, updating it dynamically based on data signals, and delivering content based on where companies are in the decision process, will give your ABM initiative the best chance of impacting revenue.

Unfortunately, many marketers apply a one-size-fits-all approach to creative messaging.

The solution:

Marketers can work closely with technology partners to harness a range of predictive and intent data: updating segments based on signals such as an account’s online research activities, most recent interaction with a sales representative, or recent tech purchases.

From there, an investment in tailored content becomes key.

4) Lack of investment in content

Programmatic ABM initiatives are expensive undertakings, and working with multiple tech, data, and media partners can reduce budgets allocated to content creation.

An inability to deliver engaging content to prospects will lead to performance issues for the program.

The solution:

B2B marketers must prioritize content creation:

  • Aligned to stages of the buying cycle
  • By industry sub-vertical (industry-specific case studies or white papers, for example)
  • By buying persona (ITDM vs. CMO)

Layering targeted content on top of investments in technology, data, and media ensure you’ll deliver the right message to the right person at the right time and, as a result, drive meaningful outcomes for your business. 

Download our ABM Trends Report now.

The Data Hotline today for help with your ABM campaign. (What's The Data Hotline?)

About Mark Treacy

Mark is Head of Sales for B2B at Oracle Data Cloud. In his role, he leads a team of senior client partners to deliver against key business objectives for global B2B marketers including: driving increased ROI from digital media spend, ensuring advertising is appearing in the "right" digital environments, and building successful ABM programs. The team focuses on leveraging Oracle's full suite of technology and data capabilities to create winning audience targeting strategies and custom solutions.

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