Thursday, August 25, 2016

ABM Vendor Guide: Special Features to Deliver ABM Messages

Our tour of sub-functions from the Raab Guide to ABM Vendors has now reached Execution.

ABM Process
System Function
Number of Vendors
Identify Target Accounts
Assemble Data
External Data
Select Targets
Target Scoring
Plan Interactions
Assemble Messages
Customized Messages
Select Messages
State-Based Flows
Execute Interactions
Deliver Messages
Analyze Results
Result Analysis

This has a very broad definition:

These are systems that actually deliver messages in channels such as email, display advertising, social media advertising, the company Web site, or CRM. As used in this Guide, execution may include direct integration with a delivery system, such as adding a name to a marketing automation campaign, sending a list of cookies and instructions to an ad buying system, or pushing a personalized message to a company Web site.

That definition could apply to almost any system that delivers marketing messages, but the ABM Guide includes only ABM specialists. This narrows the field drastically. Most Execution firms in the Guide specialize in a particular channel, such as display advertising, social media advertising, Web content, or email. Many can also push messages to other channels via marketing automation or CRM integration.

Differentiators include:

  • channels supported (display advertising, social advertising, CRM, marketing automation, email, direct mail, telemarketing, text, mobile apps, content syndication, etc.)
  • channels supported directly vs. via integration with external systems
  • targeting at account and/or individual levels
  • targeting based on external data assembled by the vendor
  • maintain central content library
  • present externally-hosted content without losing control over the visitor experience
  • integrated a/b and multivariate testing
  • vendor provides content creation and program management services
  • capture detailed content engagement data across multiple content types and deliver to external systems (e.g. marketing automation or CRM)
  • capture detailed behavior data and deliver to external systems
  • analyze content consumption to identify visitors with specific interests or surge in consumption volume and pass to external systems
  • send alerts to CRM regarding behavior by target accounts
  • assign tasks in CRM to sales reps
  • salespeople can create custom content streams for specific accounts
  • support for channel partner marketing (lead distribution, gamification, marketing development fund management, pipeline optimization, etc.)
  • user can specify which ads are seen by each account 
  • set up ad campaigns within the system and transfer to external vendors to execute
  • buy and serve ads using the vendor's own technology (in particular, platforms that can buy based on IP address or device IDs rather than cookies)
  • pricing for ad purchases (some vendors pass through actual costs; some charge fixed CPMs or monthly flat fees and may profit from effective buying)
  • tele-verify, gather additional information, and set appointments with leads identified by the vendor
  • fees based on performance vs. program costs
  • self-service features vs. vendor managed services
  • program reporting and analytics
As with the Customized Messages and State-Based Flow subfunctions, Execution functions can also be delivered many non-ABM specialists.  If you want to go this route, be sure to check how well the system can integrate with your messaging and flow management systems and be sure they can work at the account level.  Those are the places where ABM specialists are most likely to shine.

No comments: