“A culture of customer obsession starts with ABM. Understand and apply the principles and your marketing strategy will resonate with your customers,” says Andrea Clatworthy, head of ABM at Fujitsu.
Customers want to feel heard, understood and have a connection. They want bespoke solutions marketed in an even more personalized way. Andrea Clatworthy, head of ABM at Fujitsu and guru in account-based marketing, explains why ABM is the best solution.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is taking over. Join in or move aside.
It’s the topic everyone is talking about, not just because it's the fashionable new thing, but because it successfully caters to any modern marketing challenges. At its heart is higher revenue generation through personalized marketing.
Renowned ABM guru Andrea was one of the first to use account-based marketing when she rolled it out across Fujitsu in 2010. She calculated that lead generation was pointless, as the amount the company spent on it equated exactly to its return. She decided to divert the resource to strategic one-to-one ABM and turn every marketer in the UK team into an expert. It had revolutionary results.
What have you enjoyed most about this journey?
Building a plan and seeing the results is satisfying. Most human beings want to see something tangible.
What are the results you can expect?
If most people have a win rate of 1 in 10, you can expect a three-fold increase on that, particularly in large, complex deals.
How to start an account-based marketing program — Andrea’s way
Deploying ABM across Fujitsu was an enormous change, and Andrea used the full-throttle approach. She trained all 54 people in her UK team with two-day, face-to-face training. The company created a portal of resources as part of their content marketing, including how-to guides written by every specialist on the team so that they could combine its knowledge.
The result was a strong team of marketers that could serve themselves and each other. Those who previously never interacted with customers found themselves in client-facing roles. These skills could then be applied to their day job. “It helped instill customer obsession in the community,” she says.
Scaling up account-based marketing
At the end of the first year, Fujitsu launched a strategic growth program, focusing on a small number of global accounts across the region. The decision was made that ABM would be part of that strategy from the get-go.
In the first year, win rates increased significantly, with excellent feedback from account executives and clients. “There was recognition from that first big year that ABM had a role to play at a strategic level,” Andrea says.
The next step was to go from being UK-centric to looking at strategic accounts across EMEA. An EMEA ABM team was created, with dedicated roles and a move away from a country-focused approach. From that point, 60% of Fujitsu’s influenced pipeline came from Andrea’s team of just seven marketers.
The company is now on its third iteration of ABM, and she’s enabling another 48 dedicated EMEA ABM roles.
How has account-based marketing transformed the industry?
It’s given a lot more people job satisfaction. Marketing has been repositioned as vital to an organization, not just a support function.
The dos and don’ts of account-based marketing
- Get sales and marketing collaborating – strategic ABM only works when both sides understand the benefits.
- Invest in training and e-learning modules.
- Pay attention to detail. Be obsessed with the little things and take a hands-on approach, that’s what ABM is about.
- Start an ABM program with 54 accounts! Start small and scale up.
- Over-invest in flashy martech. Marketers need to understand the needs of the customer, which is about skill. Andrea started ABM with just a spreadsheet.
- Lose a good ABMer. They’re a rare breed, so if you find someone with skills, treat them well.
Are you ready to join the ABM revolution? Read The Future of Content Marketing: 10 interviews with leading CMOs on the trends they’re using to disrupt in 2019.