Collaborative Account-Based Marketing
Collaborative Account-Based Marketing is:
• a widespread concept within the ABM professional community,
• generally viewed as important and valuable, and
• increasing in adoption.
For most ABM functions it is still a relatively new activity with collaboration confined to a small number of trusted partners and allies. However, there is a growing population that is exploring collaborative ABM to a much greater extent and expanding interactions beyond traditional networks. This group is experimenting with new ways of creating and implementing marketing campaigns that have a broader cross-section of marketing elements within them.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise. ABM functions are typically dynamic environments with high demand rates. Anything that provides access to a broader and deeper pool of skills, experiences, ideas, relationships and (most important of all) resources, is almost certainly going to be welcome. ABM is also a highly competitive ‘tactical’ marketing discipline that evolves rapidly. New approaches that provide even small competitive advantages tend to be adopted quickly, and collaborative ABM is an excellent way to get exposure to new ideas and test them in pilot campaigns.
Unfortunately, collaboration comes at a price. In some instances it means a shared workload and shared costs, but there are always indirect costs and challenges. As a minimum it requires administrative and organisational effort that pulls time away from other activities. For some ABM functions this is just too much. They are already over-burdened, running from one campaign to the next, and don’t have the time to manage engagement with third parties. The leaders of these functions may see the potential benefits of collaborative ABM, but don't see the benefits as outweighing the costs.
Even when collaborative ABM is fully embraced it is still (often) a relatively undeveloped activity. Less than a quarter of organisations have defined processes for collaboration and each ABM campaign is in many ways a new event. Past experiences (along with proven tools and templates) are certainly leveraged where available, but they are not codified into standard practices that can be adjusted and refined over time. The intersections with other parts of the organisation that allow for alignment around aspects such as people, contracts, finances, systems and brand are rarely developed into structured methodologies.
The bottom line is that collaborative ABM is something that is recognised as having great potential but is not yet a mainstream activity.
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