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  • Writer's pictureBeckie Crum

From ABM to DBM: closing the gap

A man leaping over a chasm between two cliffs

Account-based marketing (ABM) and deal-based marketing (DBM) are often thought of as two very different beasts. Even though their end goals are broadly the same: drive growth, maximise revenue.

DBM does what it says on the tin. It focuses on the sales funnel and aims to find, chase and close specific deals. Once that deal is done, it’s on to the next one.

ABM, on the other hand, is all about the long-term. It centres on nurturing an account, gaining insights and building relationships. Campaigns, content and marketing messages are carefully tailored so they resonate with the needs and pain points of clients within that account.

Put down in black and white, it seems obvious that ABM and DBM should be closely aligned. But that’s not always the case. In fact, one beast may even be snarling at the other across the office floor. When everyone wants to ‘win’, it’s easy to forget that you’re on the same team, and it can cause confusion if you’re all unknowingly chasing the same potential clients. The fact that budgets come from different places, ABM: from marketing, DBM: from sales, only adds to this feeling of separate, even rival camps.

To maximise their power and effectiveness, ABM and DBM need to become new best friends and here’s why:

1. A holistic approach is more effective: by moving the two strategies closer together the business benefits from a better understanding of target accounts and the individual opportunities within them. That means they can orchestrate customer acquisition from both an account level and a deal level, with ABM bringing knowledge and insight to the DBM team, who can then swoop in and close that deal for the benefit of all.

2. Improved targeting and personalisation: ABM is known for its highly targeted, personalised approach, focusing on key accounts and decision-makers. By integrating DBM into the mix, marketers can hone their targeting of high-value deals within those accounts and deliver equally personalised content to the people involved. It’s all about the right messages going to the right people at the right time.

3. A seamless experience: if ABM and DBM are integrated, the sales team are supported at all points of engagement. Handoff between marketing and sales can potentially be seamless, and for prospects that means the entire experience is consistent and has real value.

4. Better measurement and optimisation: if marketers can analyse data and insights from both strategies, they can quickly grasp what works and what doesn't, allowing them to make data-driven decisions and continuously improve their marketing and sales efforts.

So, there’s much to gain. But how do you get the two teams working more closely together? It could be through new communication channels and ways of sharing information, a more open attitude to budget sharing, and learning sessions where team members explain their roles. Some marketers advocate the use of RACI charts (showing who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) to delegate tasks. This clarifies the part that each person plays within the teams.

Apparently only 21% of marketers are using ABM to support major deals and bids through DBM. So many businesses can steal a march on their competitors by closing the gap. If you’d like some help creating the right strategies to target important accounts, speak to the experts – us!

Now, ABM, meet DBM. Go and play nicely together.

Featured image by Alex Radelich on Unsplash



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