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What You Need to Know about The History of Account-Based Marketing

Recently, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has been on the rise in B2B markets. This rise is in part due to new marketing methods, such as inbound marketing, that are more inclusive and engaging. We recently shared about what account-based marketing is (and you can read more about it here), but wanted to talk a bit more about how ABM got it's start and why should even care.

The Beginning

The concept of account-based marketing was created over a decade ago by ITSMA.

Account-based marketing has really been on the up and up since the 90s. The phrase itself was coined in 2003 by ITSMA, however companies have been using some variation of these methods and ideas for years leading up ABM’s official creation.

Before ITSMA, there was Don Peppers and Martha Rogers who, together, wrote the book The One to One Future. The ideas that The One to One Future suggested were pretty crazy and out there at the time but by today’s standards it’s the new norm. The book itself discusses the way individuals buy things as well as how the company handles customer interactions. Essentially, the book was a prediction of a future involving account-based marketing and the importance of that customized engagement with a potential consumer.

So, how did ABM become the successful strategy that it is today? ITSMA has published a great timeline on their website for reference.

1993: Peppers and Rogers publish The One to One Future
1997: CSC lands mega-deals with ABM-like pursuit marketing
2003: ITSMA introduces and names Account Based Marketing concept and approach
2006: ITSMA launches ABM Council; Xerox and Northrup Grumman win first ABM Marketing Excellence Awards
2007: ITSMA introduces three-phase model for ABM program development
2009: ITSMA introduces Collaborative Account Planning model
2011: BT is first to automate account insight for ABM
2012: ITSMA introduces first marketing certification program for ABM
2015: ABM catches fire with VC funding for technology-enabled ABM
2016: ITSMA study documents rise of three types of ABM

So why should you care about account-based marketing?

Better Earnings

The main idea behind ABM is that you target high-value accounts on a personal level. By communicating one-to-one with a business, you are increasing the likelihood of these accounts successfully closing. The increased likelihood of high-value accounts results in increased revenue for your company and more efficient sales processes. ABM works so well because you can focus on the “right” accounts, the ones that can actually use your product, and you aren’t just wasting your time with dead ends. 

A Better Customer Experience

ABM is all about creating a personalized sales experience for your customers. A personalized sales experience will not only increase the likelihood of successfully closing a sale, but will also increase customer loyalty and retention. Increased customer loyalty helps ensure an increase in customer retention as well as positive referrals and positive brand-name recognition.

Stay tuned for Account-Based Marketing vs. Lead Generation Marketing, the next post in our ABM series.

October 19, 2016

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