“A Battle for the Soul” of ABM

Some great reactions from Jason Garoutte, CEO of YesPath, following my story yesterday on so-called “Account Based Everything.” What we’re seeing, he says, is nothing short of a “battle for the soul” of ABM.

Garoutte explains: “In the last two years, a few vendors have muddied the waters by touting account-based ads as “ABM”. Even though ads can help, they’re really just one piece. So the market got confused. In response, a few marketers like Engagio are trying ‘account based everything.’ This is to remind people that ABM is bigger than ads. They contend that ABM is a misnomer and that it discourages participation by Sales.”

He makes it clear, by the way, that his remarks on ads are intended also to encompass marketing. Nevertheless, he says, “It’s not like ABM is a nascent term seeking definition. ABM has a rich history, with the definition going back over 10 years to when ITSMA first coined the term. Adopting a new label at this point would be surrendering to the confusion in the market.”

If it’s been around so long, why is it the flavor of the month? As I argued back in May, while B2B marketers have long understood the importance of accounts, but have had to rely on outmoded tools to engage with them, marketing automation opens big new opportunities of speed and scale. Jason underlines this: “It’s a lot of work to adapt messages and tactics for each account and target buyer. But recent advances in artificial intelligence allow computers to comb through big data about buyers, finding signals and suggesting actions to the ABM team. With manual ABM, a company could only take on a handful of accounts, say 5-10.  Now it’s becoming possible to deliver high-touch campaigns to hundreds of target accounts.”

Indeed, YesPath leverages AI to help B2B marketers personalize messaging across multiple channels and many accounts. “New technologies are improving personalization and relevance at scale. Whatever the label, it’s going to be a good thing.”

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