On Thursday 17th August, half a dozen intrepid B2B marketers gathered at the offices of Radiate B2B in central London for the inaugural meetup of the London chapter of FlipMyFunnel and a look at Account Based Marketing and its evolution into Account Based Everything (ABX).
Organised jointly by Mike & Riaz of Radiate B2B and Anneka of Cloud10Marketing, we were joined by Laura, Yemi and Charlotte, forming a diverse group with an interesting range of experiences around the implementation of Account Based Marketing (ABM) programs, both UK-centric and international.
Some of the areas covered were exactly as you’d expect:
- Sharing views on the importance of aligning Sales and Marketing (whilst noting how rarely they align naturally) was very much as you’d expect.
- So too was the lively discussion around the use of metrics (we particularly talked around engagement analysis, won-sales analysis, deal size and sales velocity). There is a healthy scepticism around over-reliance on vanity metrics to prove the ABM business case… unless we can prove a direct link between the relevant metric and eventual revenue-based metrics, the value of such metrics needs to be aggressively questioned. One suggestion was that we might revert to use of a control group within an ABM target list, to demonstrate that the ABM program itself was genuinely creating value, versus just an ability to pick future winners.
- And is any marketing discussion in 2017 complete without concerns about available resource? We talked about how we might build a business case to hire more people, either directly or through outsourcing. Historically, one of the challenges implementing an ABM strategy has faced has been around the amount of time that can quickly mount up to make it run smoothly – especially at scale. So proving the business case is really important – as is the introduction of automation techniques to improve efficiency. This part of the discussion will doubtless run and run.
- As an offshoot to the resource discussion, it was suggested that perhaps in the UK we might have a local advantage over our US counterparts: we typically form smaller teams here… often with a single person having an overview of the entire marketing activity. This can translate to making it easier to have a clear view of the total picture of such activity, avoiding the ‘left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing’ challenge.
We also celebrated FlipMyFunnel’s 2nd birthday – and its focus during the week on Account Based Everything (ABX).
Noting that we were launching two years in to the FlipMyFunnel story, we pondered whether that reflected the difference in adoption of ABM strategies in the UK & Europe versus the US. Indeed, earlier in the week we’d seen stats from eConsultancy & Act-On that stated that only 11% of European B2B marketers are using ABM, versus 32% of our counterparts in North America. That two year gap seems like it neatly encapsulates the gap in market sophistication for ABM for the UK versus North America… but we felt it was a gap that will quickly close.
We also riffed on the ABX theme: the list of Account Based ______ acronyms and descriptors has grown dramatically and quickly, so we welcomed the inclusive approach of Account Based Everything (ABX), whilst noting that there’s a tendency for things, once named, to increase in prominence. We hoped that ABX would contain this to a more useful set of buzzwords!
So six of us for the first meeting, including a decamp to the local pub to continue a conversation we think will blossom in the months to come, left us all with a sense of friends well met and opportunities for the future. We look forward to welcoming more and more like minds to our new community. News of our September meetup will follow shortly – we hope you can join us. You can see the meetup page here.