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Marketo is bang on trend with release of Account Based Marketing module

Date: 19 September 2016

Last week the world’s fashionistas were glued to the catwalks of New York to discover what we’re all going to be wearing next spring.

In the world of B2B marketing, the big hot trend of summer 2016 was undoubtedly Account Based Marketing (ABM to those in the know). It’s made predictive analytics look so 2015. All fashion is derivative of course – and what makes this year’s ABM different to the comfortable, worn-in ABM of previous years, is the injection of new technology.

And so, in the most fashion-forward of releases, Marketo this week announced its new ABM module, promising customers the ability to reach decision makers within select accounts with highly relevant content across different digital channels simultaneously, tightly aligning the efforts of marketing and sales.

It’s an early and encouraging example of the type of product innovation that’s possible within a highly focused, independent software vendor in the CX space (with a significant injection of cash). Marketo’s acquisition by Vista Equity Partners completed last month and it’s going to be exciting to see what they deliver next – and how other automation vendors respond.

Marketo’s ABM module offers three distinct functions allowing customers to target, engage and measure on an account-by-account basis. Targeting can be by vertical, sub-vertical, category or with a custom named account list. Engagement can be triggered through email programs, web personalization and remarketing campaigns through third party ad networks. Response to these campaigns can be measured and activity scored on an account-by-account basis (although scoring is only possible on ‘known’ contacts within the database).

Much of this is already possible of course – if you’re able and willing to spend the time integrating technologies, blending data and developing the processes to make account-based activity repeatable and scalable. What’s new and different here is the ability to do it natively within a single platform.

new website version


As with any new technology, there will doubtless be some glitches and gaps in functionality in the initial release, and we’d recommend undertaking a rigorously planned and measured pilot project before promising the world to the business. Exercise particular caution if you have poor quality data in your automation platform – relying on a relatively new technology to source, de-duplicate, merge and match marketable records to key accounts is a big leap of faith. But, based on our first look during a recent partner enablement day, it will no longer be the technology that constrains the success of Account Based Marketing efforts for Marketo customers.

Doubtless, those that will benefit the most will be those companies with a mature ABM methodology already established. For those new to the ABM game, it will take a lot more time and effort to agree on a target account list, extract contacts from spreadsheets owned by Sales, develop sector-specific case studies and other content offers, and get aligned with Sales on how to interpret and act on account-based scoring. With these foundations in place however, and the promise of additional functionality from third parties – for example, predictive analytics or device-based targeting – the possibilities are boundless.

It’s safe to say that Account Based Marketing will be around a good deal longer than the fake technicolor dreadlocks and plastic boiler suits on show in New York.