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Converging Tactics OR… Not? ABM v/s Demand Gen

Converging Tactics OR… Not? ABM v/s Demand Gen

In a recent collaboration with Integration, senior marketers gathered to discuss how they plan to continue to build an integrated growth strategy.

The Challenges

For one participant, his organization conducts a one-on-one ATM for some strategic accounts but also puts a lot of effort into a list of a few hundred high potential companies. For these non-ABM organizations, they don’t really have the in-depth knowledge required for ABM, and they probably don’t have the time and/or the money to learn and act anyway, but there is still a lot of potential they don’t want to lose.

Currently, for these high potential non-ABM prospects/prospects, their organization relies heavily on metrics, such as MQL, but they want to become more strategic and focus on their marketing. In this case, it appears that the objective is to reduce the gap between ABM and conventional demand generation. In other words, ensuring that all targets, whether ABM or not, are targeted with relevant and appropriate marketing.

It was a common theme throughout the roundtable.

Indeed, one participant argued that both ABM and demand generation has now reached a state where, in reality, they are part of the same overall strategy, or at least should be. Marketers are no longer necessarily looking at one or the other strategy, but rather how they can use both in order to target all buyers in a relevant way.

For one participant, the challenge was to try to build on the success they had achieved with ABM and combine it with traditional demand generation. Right now, their next step is to take the high engagement rate they have with the content and do some ABM tweaking.

Quality, not quantity

Another theme that emerged during the roundtable was the clear agreement that the quality of leads generated by demand generation efforts is not sufficient. Generating leads can be a marketer’s bread and butter, but it’s not very good if those leads are unlikely to go anywhere.

There was general agreement that traditional demand generation needs to mature so that the leads it brings are genuinely relevant and really have the capacity to turn into sales.

How to do it? Better targeting. In the end, it all comes down to the idea of bringing ABM together and asks gen. In fact, one participant joked (or perhaps said) that one in many ATMs could be the next generation of demand! If we continue with the status quo of demand generation, we will waste hours, days, and years on empty tracks. Instead, we need to know more about our buyers, and not just those on the ABM list, so that we can target them effectively and ensure that the leads they bring are valuable.

In the right place, at the right time

A participant noted that it’s the job of marketing to know when and where to interact with buyers. With the mar-tech tools, we have today, we are able to understand where buyers want to engage and when they want to engage – not just the customers targeted by ABM.

Learning how, when, and where to interact with customers will be the key to bringing demand generation into the new era.

Final Considerations

The main theme of the roundtable was that of positivity. We have come out of the era of marketing automation, and ABM has grown in popularity and importance. We are now seeing these worlds collide, and we need to make sure that ABMs and demand generation blend perfectly to target all of our potential buyers with relevant and effective messaging.

However, it won’t be easy. As one participant noted, the challenge is finding who is in the market, targeting them, and accompanying them on a journey that shares content over time and increases engagement.