Just a week after revealing its enthusiasm about account-based marketing (ABM) through a partnership with Demandbase, Oracle announced it was adding ABM lead acquisition to its Marketing Cloud.

It was the largest of three companies that declared their support this week for ABM, marketing's bright, shiny new thing. Demandbase, which considers itself a leader in the space, defines ABM as, "A practice that enables B2B marketers to drive more revenue by focusing their marketing and communications efforts on the accounts (companies) that have the most potential to become customers."

Based on the collective decision-making process, it capitalizes on the reality that most B2B buying decisions are made by a group of people rather than one individual. It enhances the ability for B2B marketers to target a cross-section of companies and then drill down to identify the most likely potential customers within those companies.

Forget ABC: Now It's ABM

It's hard to avoid ABM these days. While it's been around since the 1990s, it only recently become easier to implement. "For many years the data and algorithms necessary to scale ABM were missing, and only the top marketers could successfully incorporate ABM strategies into their organizations," explained Shashi Upadhyay, a founding partner of Lattice, in a recent CMSWire article.

In March, LinkedIn announced an account-based marketing campaign tool and two ex-Salesforce execs brought an ABM startup out of stealth.

Just last week a consortium of marketing technology companies — including Oracle Marketing Cloud, Optimizely, Bizible, Radius, Get Smart Content and LookBookHQ — joined together to take ABM to the next level.

Oracle Digs Into ABM

This week, Oracle increased its ABM clout with new capabilities to enable B2B marketers "to optimize targeting on paid media, more effectively engage target prospects and simplify data management and integration," the company said.

It also provides one of the industry’s largest sets of curated B2B account audience data for targeting on paid media through a new direct integration with the Oracle Data Cloud, which has data on more than one million US companies and more than 60 million anonymous business profiles.

The new capabilities include account-based messaging that help marketers personalize communications at scale, as well as account scoring and nurturing capabilities powered by integrations with Demandbase and other Oracle Marketing AppCloud partners.

Oracle made the announcement this week at its Modern Marketing Experience conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In addition to the ABM news, Oracle announced integrations to help B2C marketers use differentiated audience data for targeting on their paid media, orchestrate cross-channel interactions and further optimize the customer experience.

“Marketing has the opportunity to take the lead in driving a deeply personalized customer experience across all channels, touch points and interactions,” Steve Krause, group vice president of product management for the Oracle Marketing Cloud, said in a statement.

Oracle also announced the winners of the 2016 Markie Awards, awarded to what it deems the most creative, innovative and effective modern marketing campaigns. Winners included Dell, Lenovo, Tomtom, SunPower and Cisco Systems.

Terminus, Avention Extend ABM Momentum

Both Atlanta-based Terminus and Concord, Mass.-based Avention released ABM platform news this week.

Terminus 'Flips the Funnel'

Terminus claims its software “flips the funnel” and prioritizes “best-fit accounts over spray-and-pray tactics.”

With Terminus, marketers can now update this week’s pre-set account-level goals and strategies, view and segment target accounts based on these goals, create and deploy campaigns and pre-set criteria for moving accounts through the pipeline.

Marketers can also adjust campaign strategies and tactics in real-time based on account behavior and response to content. It has released a new dashboard called Account Hub. Terminus connects to Salesforce CRM, and helps marketers identify a list of companies, activate personas and use data platforms to target the right people.

“The level of precision targeting is awesome,” Sangram Vajre, co-founder and CMO at Terminus, told CMSWire. “Account Hub enables strategic, automated and measurable campaigns of all sorts,” he added. “With easy access to real-time account data, marketers can accelerate pipeline velocity and convert more leads into customers.”

Terminus has also enhanced its platform with direct mail functionality, allowing marketers to select accounts based on their current stage of the marketing and sales cycle, and automate the process of creating, printing and shipping a direct mail piece, including finding the mailing addresses.

Terminus has more than 150 customers — nearly double what it had at the end of 2015. In March, Terminus raised $7.5 million in Series A financing.

Avention Launches ABM Marketing Solution

Today, Avention launched its account-based marketing solution. OneSource ABM helps businesses choose and develop the right accounts and profiles, company officials said.

While Avention CEO Steve Pogorzelski thinks ABM has great potential, he said marketers often lack the necessary data and insight to implement it. Pogorzelski cited his company's recent survey of 100 B2B sales and marketing professionals, which revealed access to the right data and ability to leverage that data as major pain points.

“Customer data tends to reside in multiple systems, each containing just a piece of the overall customer view. The other issue marketers face is that they don’t have the complete data set. They might have the contact information, but they don’t have the complete view, including industry reports, profile analysis, trend analysis and real-time alerts," he said.

Avention's solution "offers customer data consolidation and enrichment for insights,” he added.

Pogorzelski said the ABM solution focuses on three areas:

  1. Consolidation and visualization of in-house customer data: OneSource starts with combining the multiple in-house customer data sources into one place, comparing records with the Avention Global Content Live database and filling in missing items. This sets the foundation for detailed segmentation, Pogorzelski said.
  2. Deep account and contact insights: After sales and marketing agree on which accounts to target, OneSource gives analytical data and trend analysis based on the consolidated account view. This includes real-time alerts, new facility openings or product launches. “ABM practitioners need to continually monitor target accounts and markets to ensure that planned ABM tactics, messages, offers and company contacts remain relevant as changes occur.”
  3. CRM and MAP ecosystem connectivity: The platform connects with others in sales and marketing ecosystem, including CRMs and marketing automation systems, to keep company information updated.
Title image "otters holding hands" (CC BY 2.0) by 2TOP