You might know something about agile marketing or account-based marketing (ABM), but have you heard of agile account-based marketing?

With so many marketing strategies, it can be difficult to keep up!

As marketing changes and develops, it’s essential to know about the latest strategies and tactics to get ahead of the competition. If marketing teams want to differentiate themselves, meet their business goals, and drive revenue, agile account-based marketing could be the answer.

But what is this hybrid marketing strategy? What are its benefits, and how can you utilize it? In this article, we’re first going to give a brief refresher on both agile marketing and ABM before looking at the ways the two combine into this new, exciting marketing strategy.

How are the biggest B2B brands using agile marketing?
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest B2B brands in the world that are using agile marketing systems, how they’re using them, and how they’ve benefited.

What is agile marketing?

We’ve written in the past about how agile marketing can benefit your B2B brand and how to structure your agile marketing team for success, but what is it really?

It’s become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing world, and it’s no wonder why, with 85% of marketers planning to increase agile marketing usage over the next two years. The key is remaining “agile” and using “sprints” (short, finite periods of intensive work) to tackle projects collaboratively. After every sprint, the impact on the project is measured and evaluated to slowly improve results over time.

It means keeping your plans flexible, looking back over your goals continuously to re-prioritize them so you can shift around the order of importance as necessary. By breaking work down into small increments, gathering continual data, and adapting to changes, agile marketing can lead you to data-driven success. It’s a great way for businesses to stay in sync with evolving business opportunities and meet their customers' needs.

Agile Marketing: how can it benefit your B2B brand?
Agile has recently become a buzzword in marketing, but luckily there’s no need to put your running shoes on quite yet. With 85% of marketers planning to increase agile usage in the next two years, maybe it’s time to try agile in your B2B marketing.

What is account-based marketing?

So what about ABM? We have articles about getting started with account-based marketing and the frameworks and structures, but here’s a brief overview of what it means and how it can be applied.

ABM is another popular marketing strategy, with 87% of marketers using it reporting a higher ROI than with any other kind of marketing. It’s a strategy built around concentrating resources on a set of target accounts in the market. Rather than marketing towards all potential customers, it’s about focusing on the prospects likely to be of high value. You market towards them on a one-to-one basis to avoid wasting investments on low-value leads.

Marketing and sales work closely in ABM - with 82% of B2B marketers claiming that ABM improves the alignment of these departments at their companies. Together, they target the best accounts that will turn into customers, allowing you to work and communicate with high-value accounts to personalize the buyer’s journey, tailor all communications, content, and campaigns for that account.

Getting started with account-based marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM), or key account marketing is the hot thing in B2B marketing right now. When you see stats that state things like 87% of marketers who have implemented ABM report higher ROI than any other type of marketing, maybe you’re thinking “I should give this ABM thing a go.”

How does agile account-based marketing work?

So now we’ve gone over both agile marketing and ABM, let’s look at how they can be used together. After all, the only thing better than one effective marketing strategy is two working together to create one super strategy.

In a nutshell, agile account-based marketing is when you take an agile approach to your ABM strategy. The two complement each other because their values align closely in that you focus efforts on high-value projects.

The success of ABM is driven by the use of data and needs to constantly adapt to change. Agile marketing does away with traditional organizational structures and re-centers business around the customers, making it the perfect environment for ABM to flourish.

Finding which leads to focus on is a crucial component of marketing, and ABM uses customer profiles to target these qualified leads. This data-driven approach to customer acquisition is where agile marketing comes in. With all that data being used to measure and improve campaigns regularly in those short sprint cycles, marketers can quickly optimize strategies to deliver more highly targeted ABM campaigns.

For ABM to be successful, marketing and sales need to work together; otherwise, targeting the right accounts will be more difficult. Agile marketing prioritizes customer-focused collaboration, encouraging communication between sales and marketing to remove any barriers between the departments so they can deliver an end-to-end account-based experience.

One of the key ways to ensure a successful marketing campaign is to deliver engaging, dynamic customer experiences through data-driven ABM campaigns. With an agile approach to this style of marketing, marketers can respond quickly to market changes, produce rapid campaigns that can be optimized over time, and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Getting started with agile account-based marketing

To make sure your ABM strategy is agile and ready to respond to a rapidly changing market and customer base, here’s what you need to do to get started.

  • Discover what matters to your target accounts

Your communications need to be personalized to your target accounts so you can understand their pain points - which are constantly changing. Keep on top of any industry trends and utilize social media to gain valuable insights into your customers and potential customers. As well as monitoring what’s going on, join in the conversations, share and create content to engage with your customers.

  • Alter your content to reflect changes

In your ABM strategy, you’ll choose what kind of content to put out that best engages and attracts target accounts. This is an ongoing process that constantly needs to evolve to ensure the content stays relevant. Keep everything relevant to your target customer with a personalized experience when they visit your website. Marketing is never static, so make sure you’re keeping up with any changes.

  • Measure and analyze ABM results

Assess your performance regularly, reviewing and analyzing your campaign so your ABM strategy can adapt to become more effective. Look at your KPIs, such as account engagement and ROI, as these insights will help you adjust your strategy in the future. Agile collaboration is crucial for this, so ensure you share data across the organization, so everyone knows where things are going well and where improvements are needed.

Frameworks and team structures to make a switch to ABM easy
Your team is switching from a traditional B2B marketing strategy to an account-based strategy - but what does that really mean? How will your work be different? And how might your team change?

Final thoughts

If you’re looking to take the next big step in your B2B marketing strategy, agile ABM could be just what you’re looking for. By delivering engaging customer experiences through data-driven ABM campaigns, combined with the customer-focused, dynamic, agile approach, marketers can keep pace with the constantly changing needs of their customers.

Want to learn more about ABM or agile marketing? Maybe you've got some advice to share. Join the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!