If you aren’t familiar with Account-Based Marketing (ABM), you've possible been living under a rock for the past few years. In marketing circles it’s the buzzword of choice (just behind AI!), and has become the holy grail that CEOs ask about and marketing teams quest after!
However, in case you’re not familiar, Account-Based Marketing notably treats each prospect like an entire market. You create dedicated content and campaigns for each individual account, rather than for the wider segment that they belong to. For instance, you might create a unique marketing campaign designed to attract AT&T as a customer, and a separate campaign for T-Mobile, instead of assets and campaigns that speak to mobile carriers in general - or maybe to the even wider audience of all Telecom companies.
The strengths and weaknesses of ABM
Both the strengths and weaknesses of ABM are immediately obvious. ABM account-level personalization increases the likelihood that you’ll land the big fish, but doing so is incredibly resource-intensive, and doesn’t scale easily beyond your Named Accounts list. Plus, it has another less obvious weakness: ABM HAS BLIND SPOTS!
If I’m trying to secure AT&T as a client, there are a multiple influencers and decision-makers I need to get to Closed-Won. Each of those decision-makers has their own unique goals, responsibilities, and concerns, which means they require unique messaging to see the value of your product/service. In other words, each decision maker is their own persona.
ABM largely ignores this blind spot. ABM tailors your messaging to the target company but not to the individual decision-makers within that company. It pours endless resources into each prospective account in the name of personalization, but the level you can go to with that personalization is ultimately limited.
Is there an alternative to ABM as your sales & marketing strategy?
Now don’t get me wrong; ABM is an important strategy for modern marketing teams, but it's best used as a scalpel - not a club. It might be the best strategy for your top 25, or even 50 key accounts, but it's difficult to create tailored content for the long-tail of companies that will make up your future customer list.
So, is there an alternative strategy that allows you to create personalized content for every prospective account, including your key accounts? YES, and it’s called Persona-Based Marketing (PBM).
How is Persona-Based Marketing (PBM) different from Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
PBM allows you to achieve a similar level of campaign personalization as ABM, but from a different angle that’s less resource-intensive. For instance, instead of designing content specifically for AT&T, with PBM you would design marketing content aimed at mobile carriers in general.
Next , you’d personalize that content for each unique target persona under the umbrella of “mobile carriers,” which might include the personas of VP Engineering, Engineering Manager, and IT Director.
If you create your messaging using this strategy, it will resonate with not only the multiple personas under an individual prospect account but also with multiple personas under every account within that same industry category.
PBM: A solution you can personalize at scale
ABM has helped lead the move to more personalized outbound, but the cracks are starting to appear as companies realize that their sales & marketing teams are being stretched too thin.
PBM solves most of the problems inherent to ABM, allowing companies to personalize their messaging to the role of the individual seeing their campaign, and to do so at scale.
ABM might be useful for a short list of key accounts, but PBM scales to cover all of your marketing with fewer blindspots. One of the first things that every good marketer learns is everything they do should start - and now end with your customer personas.
Personas is the leader in persona-based marketing. We enable organizations to scale revenue faster through persona-based targeting and stack orchestration. Our customers can quickly build their ideal customer personas (ICPs); match high-quality lead data to ICPs; then automate that data across the entire outbound tech-stack, including CRM, outbound sales & marketing automation tools, A/B testing & personalization tools, online & social ads, and direct-mail. Visit us today at gopersonas.com.