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Back in the 1990s, alongside such classics as ‘N Sync, the bowl cut, and Geocities web pages, a little strategy called account-based marketing (ABM) was born. Back then, ABM was a way for large companies to tailor marketing to the needs of their largest prospects. Fast forward to today, and the ABM you thought you knew is reinventing itself in a way that could mean serious growth for you and your company—no bowl cut required.

The difference between the ABM of the 1990s and that of today is scale. Just as dial-up (oh so thankfully) evolved into cable Wi-Fi, a strategy that once meant focusing the efforts of your entire marketing department toward landing and keeping one big client is now the framework for any strong customer relationship, no matter the customer’s purchasing power.

Actually, today’s faster data speeds had a lot to do with that change. Thanks to big data and real-time analytics, the same team that once used ABM to land a single account can now target thousands just as accurately. Here are some of the new tools of the ABM trade:

Personalized, multichannel campaigns. Reaching out to customers across multiple channels is great, but the big step up here is having the insight into your data to know how your prospects are engaging with you. By adding nurturing activities like webinar invites and follow-up emails to your campaign, and then linking them to specific prospect actions (like filling out a form on your website), you’re starting a one-on-one conversation with each and every customer who shows interest.

Advanced segmentation. We’re not talking about simply sending one email to cat owners and one to dog owners here. Every detail in your customer’s profile is now powerful, fertile data that helps you get to know them better. By assigning different criteria to each message you work up, then checking that criteria against each customer’s order history, personality traits, and other pertinent data, you’re much more likely to put your best foot forward every time.

Analytics. Just as important as setting up your delivery system is maintaining the great relationships you’re establishing. Track sentiment online, especially when your key influencers are involved. Know when a customer has stopped ordering and reach out. Surprise customers with specials on their favorite products and tell them when something new you know they’ll love is available.

As Dun & Bradstreet’s Rishi Dave recently put it, “generic lead generation and relationship-building are not enough. It’s time to refocus… and give [customers] something special by leveraging modern data, technology, analytics, and thought leadership.”

When it comes to ABM, there’s a wealth of new opportunity out there. Check how prepped you are to take advantage of it all by testing your analytics IQ with our white paper, Measure Your Impact: 5 key principles of analytics proficiency.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!