⚠️ Prefer to read a formal version of the same topic? head down here
So, It doesn't take a genius to understand that we are going to talk about is Marketing here. But, let's bring "account-based" to the equation and see how the whole thing stacks up.
Traditionally in Marketing, Marketers worked their butt off and did a number of creative things to get seemingly, interested people into what they called a Marketing funnel. They called these people as leads. They did more creative things to entice their leads to pay for what they were trying to market. When the Marketer thought their lead is coaxed enough, they gave the lead details to the Sales people and washed their hands off. From then on it was the Sales guy's headache to convert and close the deal.
Now, there is problem with the approach, and it becomes mani-fold when it's applied to B2B.
First up, the notion of funnel itself is flawed. Why? When was the last time you poured something into a physical funnel that did not pour out fully? Perhaps never. But in the marketing world though, apparently it happens, a good number of Leads evaporate as they slide down the marketing funnel.
The concept has been around for awhile and everybody understands so let's give the benefit of doubt and stick to it!
Now, the creative things Marketers did, not only attracted people who can be enticed and converted to a customer but also a vast majority of them who will never become one, because they just don't have a requirement for the particular product or service.
Next, if a Marketer just applied the lead based marketing technique in B2B transactions where a lead is not just one person but 10-15 people, who make collective buying decision, things starts to become iffy. Why? Everyone had their own opinion, and their needs had to be met differently. The lead based marketing never satisfied the conflicting needs.
Lastly, in the B2B businesses where buying cycles are looooong, think 6 months, a year, If marketers disappeared from the plot after the initial handover, instead of co-working with the Sales, to keep the folk together, you know what will happen. That's right! Deals don't get closed soon, and not enough of them. It's a BIG problem - heartburn for some, pink-slips for many.
Is there a solution to the problem?
You betcha! When this issue started happening more often some superhero marketers did, what they had to. They declared war on conventional b2b marketing practices. And they conquered. What was the secret armour in their arsenal - adding account-based (finally huh) to everything they did ?. And thus was born Account-based Marketing. And that's how the funnel inverted.
How is this technique any different?
Very different!, Instead of treating all leads from a certain company as equals and doing a spray-and-pray, S(mart)marketers grouped all the important people from a company and called them as Accounts, personalised the engagement for each of them, worked hand-in-hand with Sales throughout the customer acquisition journey and beyond - for next-sell, up-sell, cross-sell, for every sell. This whole process obviously made better sense because they choose the customer before the customer chose them. ?
So, that's how it all ended. Happy customers. And happier Marketers.
By extending this idea further and applying it for targeting, The ABM proponents came up with another concept called Account-based Advertising. Before you ask, What in the world is Account-based Advertising? We got you covered here ?.