Back in 2008, things didn’t look so good for marketers. In fact, I finished my MBA that very year and at our graduation, the faculty encouraged us to travel rather than look for jobs. Yikes.
Marketing was lost and it wasn’t hard to understand why–up until this point we had only spoken about our brand, our brand, our brand, and did we forget to mention our brand? Getting your logo out there whether plastered on the walls of a stadium, falling from the mouth of a celebrity, coyly featured on the set of a sitcom, or, the Holy Grail–movie placement–was all that seemed to matter. The problem with this was that there was no way to measure the actual ROI in real dollars. We had no way to say to our colleagues, “Here is the tangible impact we’ve had on this business based off our efforts.”
Marketing Automation was driven by (and enabled with) the emergence of portable, powerful devices like iPads and smartphones. These devices created a whole new world that made connecting with people easier than ever. This was a very appealing business strategy for marketers and we took to it instantly.
Suddenly, email was the new Direct Mail, but now the audience carried our messages with them in their pockets wherever they roamed! Add in the ability to track how many eyeballs are on our brand (not to mention when and for how long) and the pre-set goals for marketing outreach and success tripled overnight.
Marketing Automation soon emerged and made the marketing team’s life so much simpler with its automated emails, webinar scheduling and follow-ups and detailed reporting available at a click of the mouse. Meanwhile, the business world was watching this new wave of digital marketers succeed, and for the first time ever, we finally had our numbers to show how we were directly influencing profits.
Sales got a little jealous.
Sales teams were still stuck with having to send one-off emails. Sure, they could send out batches from Salesforce.com and other Sales Enablement tools, but the metrics were missing. Marketing automation platforms tried to get Sales involved, adding in some capabilities like Marketo’s Sales Insights, but the available reports maintained their marketing focus.
Enter Account Based Marketing (ABM) and, more importantly, Account Based Everything (ABE). Spawned directly from marketing and sales’ mutual desire to collaborate, win over large accounts and, most importantly, track outreach results, ABE is positioned to be the solution to a great deal of our current challenges.
While the days of singing kumbaya and holding hands between marketing and sales teams are still a ways off, ABE has put us on the path to getting there.
So there’s the breakdown, the opportunity and why I think ABM is here to stay for good. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.