Deciding to implement ABM is a big choice for any company to make. It requires a new way of thinking, and a change in marketing philosophy; but choosing whether to run your ABM programme in-house or work in collaboration with a marketing agency is a whole other decision.
There are plenty of capable agencies in the market, specialising in a variety of areas. Equally, you might decide that you want to oversee the whole of your ABM strategy, but is this feasible for your company? There are several factors to take into account while weighing up your decision, and the outcome of these factors ultimately will tell you whether to keep everything in-house or whether to look for external support.
It is possible to run an ABM pilot on a limited budget. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest huge sums of cash on all the latest MarTech in order to get your programme off the ground.
That said, if you are serious about true customer centric ABM, you will need to make a serious investment in order to scale.
Once you’ve made the decision to implement ABM, you need to weigh up whether you have the budget to leverage the knowledge of a specialist ABM agency, or whether to run it in-house.
How long do you have before you want to go-to-market? How long will your programme run for? How much of your own time can you allocate?
ABM is not a quick win one-off campaign. ABM is a strategic approach to sales & marketing and your target accounts need to be nurtured over time in order to reap high rewards.
Something I’ve certainly learned over my time implementing ABM strategy is that there are a lot of variables. Circumstances change all the time and you have to be versatile and adapt the programme throughout its life cycle. So if, like most marketers, you find yourself firefighting to keep on top of your forever growing task list, and you don’t have the appropriate time available to ensure best practice ABM is implemented, then you’ll likely need external support from an ABM agency.
The success of an ideal ABM programme is reliant on a collaborative effort between a number of stakeholders; you need great minds in a variety of areas including: strategy, content, creative, digital, sales and account management.
It’s not always achievable to have this vast array of talent in a single company, which is why marketing agencies exist. But depending on the size of your company, you may have resource to cope internally.
As you look to scale, running and executing a smart ABM programme relies greatly on the technology in place. What does your CRM look like? Are you looking to implement intent data? How are you planning on scoring your Accounts?
Do you have these processes in place already? If so, its likely you have a big enough team using these platforms that you can run your ABM campaign in house. If you are lacking in some of or all of these areas, you might wish to consider agency advice.
A blanket term yes, and covered in sorts already, but perhaps the most important aspect. Infrastructure, expertise, skills, budget – it’s vital that you have the culmination of everything to run an effective programme.
Account-Based Marketing can be a risky and daunting prospect for a small team. As I mentioned, there are lots of moving parts, and you need to be vigilant in your preparation, so outsourcing to an agency with the resources to support your delivery efficiently, might be an option worth exploring.
You may have capacity for some areas covered here, but not for others. The decision isn’t black and white; our advice, talk to some agencies, get a feel for the scope of your project and then weigh it up again.
If you do decide that its best for your company to outsource its ABM, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01483 778899.