The Role of Events in Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is back on trend for B2B marketers, part of a general industry move toward personalization of content. In account-based marketing or ABM, marketers are looking at buying groups or multiple decision-makers within specific accounts. These decision-makers are on the same team, but don’t necessarily speak the same language – think financial, technical, executive and other corporate roles.

Some marketers use ABM tactics to go after a single, very large account or to target multiple smaller accounts that share similar characteristics. The target accounts can be generated through collected data or the advocates already present in their network and account relationships.

A January 2016 article in Direct Marketing News explains the “considered purchase” within accounts:

“Big-ticket B2B purchases typically need the involvement, support, and approval of multiple stakeholders. For years account-based sales techniques have focused on the approach of maneuvering between business users, champions, and executives. ABM brings a similar approach, aiming to engage, educate, and activate the right individuals within a viable prospect organization at the right time. It doesn't mean forsaking a one-to-one approach to marketing; it simply addresses the complexities of the considered purchase.”

A 2015 study by Demand Metric identified some of the key factors that are influencing the move to account-based marketing in B2B:

  • Purchase decisions are made by a buying group within the account
  • High costs are associated with the product or service
  • Longer buying cycles are the norm, typically over months

According to the study, ABM teams rely heavily on events to target these accounts. Particularly effective in our experience, are smaller conferences and venues where the agenda can be customized to the different roles with an organization charged with making purchasing decisions. The audiences will all be able to experience your company’s brand as a whole, while taking in content around their specific area of interest i.e. technical demos and interactivity, or high-level, C-suite messaging around value, ROI and capitalization.

In a secondary study from Demand Metric entitled Event Engagement: Accelerating the Customer Lifecycle, the authors describe events as critical to customer engagement, in particular for internal sales teams. “Events are the broadest, deepest touchpoint for many customers during their buying journeys.”

How is your company using events for account-based marketing?

Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. Chief Marketing Officer, Doodle owner and lover of all things chocolate.