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Do you have to choose between ABM and Demand Gen?

ABM and demand gen

Is ABM compatible with demand gen? 

As an ABM vendor, we frequently get asked this question. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to where ABM will fit in with already existing demand gen programs.

Today, many organizations still run on well-established lead gen strategies. But at the same time, there’s often a push to become more targeted and account-based, which makes sense. Businesses are always moving towards what’s more efficient and effective, and that’s what ABM does for B2B marketing teams. Those who can get their hands on buyer intent and 1:1 campaign tools can really sharpen their targeting and manage their spend more efficiently. However, not everyone sees ABM as a viable option for generating demand within their organizations.

Based on our conversations with marketers about ABM and demand gen, we find that they talk about compatibility in three ways:

  1. No, ABM and demand gen are not compatible. We find that marketers who believe they aren’t compatible usually come from more traditional industries, for example, insurance. This is because established industries, especially those surrounded by a lot of regulation, are more risk-averse and therefore slow to adapt to new technologies and trends.
  2. Yes, they’re compatible, and ABM serves as a way to get more leads. These marketers are deeply ingrained in a lead-gen mindset.  They look to “leads generated” as the definitive metric for ABM success because “leads” is their most important KPI. However, while capturing a large number of leads may seem good, it doesn’t always help grow pipeline or revenue. If most of the leads you bring in aren’t in-target, then that’s a lot of marketing resources and effort wasted.
  3. Yes, they’re compatible, and ABM allows me to do targeted demand gen. These marketers view ABM as an efficient way to capture high-quality leads. Rather than focus on lead quantity, they’re trying to bring in more leads that sales reps actually want to talk to.

At Triblio, we encourage our customers to view ABM in the third way, targeted demand gen. Our Director of Strategic Accounts, Erin Pearson, describes ABM and demand gen as “compatible, but it’s a different strategy.” You can’t view it as just another way to get more leads. It’s a shift in strategy from leads-based to account-based. Marketers can still work towards driving more demand and top of funnel growth, but with ABM, the growth is more focused. You’re running campaigns within the segments you’re interested in, which will result in higher quality leads and better sales conversations.

While these are our recommendations, we recognize there are still other challenges that arise when incorporating ABM. These challenges can vary from transitioning to ABM or effectively measuring ABM success. Therefore, we will be addressing those challenges and more in next week’s blog post.

    Ben Fettes | Co-Founder, Director & Head of Strategy, The Lumery’s

    Joanne Mason
    Senior Marketing Specialist at Triblio
    Joanne is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of sponsored conferences and custom events for Triblio along with managing Triblio’s social media activity, as well as assist with the development and distribution of marketing communication.

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