CMO Brief­ing

Sin­ga­pore’s mar­keters re­veal how data-driven ABM is be­com­ing the norm for busi­nesses in the city state.

Singapore Business Review - - CONTENTS -

If busi­nesses are to have any chance of at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing cus­tomers and thus earn re­turns on their in­vest­ments, they must have an out­stand­ing grasp of their cus­tomers’ sen­ti­ments, tastes, and pref­er­ences. For the long­est time, tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing ful­filled this need, but as busi­nesses—es­pe­cially those in the cus­tomer ser­vice sec­tor—be­come more com­pet­i­tive and tech­nol­ogy lev­els evolve, busi­nesses are find­ing the need to step up and sim­i­larly boost their mar­ket­ing ef­forts to a higher level.

En­ter data-driven, ac­count-based mar­ket­ing (ABM), con­sid­ered by many an­a­lysts to be the fu­ture of busi­ness mar­ket­ing. “Ac­count or ac­tiv­ity-based mar­ket­ing work is for analysing the pro­cesses of a busi­ness mar­ket­ing ef­fort to iden­tify strengths and weak­nesses,” says Benny Chow, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer and co-founder at Fire­fly Pho­tog­ra­phy, adding that, specif­i­cally, ABM is more ori­ented to­ward cre­at­ing cost ef­fec­tiv­ity—“seek­ing out ar­eas in mar­ket­ing where a busi­ness mar­ket­ing ef­fort is los­ing money so that those ac­tiv­i­ties can be elim­i­nated or im­proved to in­crease prof­itabil­ity.”

How do busi­nesses con­duct ABM?

“Data-driven ABM uses in­for­ma­tion col­lected on your busi­ness’ ac­counts/clients, ei­ther in­ter­nally-sourced or ex­ter­nally-col­lected, to bet­ter tar­get them,” ex­plains Roy Ang, mar­ket­ing and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Withers Khat­tar­wong. Ac­cord­ing to Ang, data-driven ABM fo­cuses on achiev­ing more ef­fec­tive B2B (busi­nessto-busi­ness) mar­ket­ing via bet­ter col­lec­tion and data use.

Ac­cord­ing to Chow, data-driven ABM is ac­com­plished by sev­eral lev­els of test­ing be­fore ar­riv­ing at a quan­tifi­able con­clu­sion. “When mea­sur­able data is col­lected based on cer­tain mar­ket­ing ef­forts or ac­tions, via AB test­ing, the dif­fer­ent tests or ef­fort is shown via an an­a­lyt­i­cal plat­form re­port, i.e. Google An­a­lyt­ics, that shows you which tests or ef­fort is work­ing and which is not.”

Th­ese days, data-driven ABM has be­come more com­mon­place thanks to sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances in data tech­nol­ogy. “ABM has gath­ered trac­tion in the last few years, largely in part be­cause we have the tech­nol­ogy to scale ABM now that weren’t avail­able be­fore. ABM uses data to un­cover rel­e­van­cies and op­por­tu­ni­ties within a cus­tomer/ac­count, drive growth, and in­crease re­turn on in­vest­ments within said cus­tomer,” says Wong Yongjie, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer and co-founder at on-de­mand lo­gis­tics start-up Quorier.

Wong notes that data ac­cu­racy and pre­ci­sion is key. “The more you know about your cus­tomers/ac­counts, the bet­ter equipped you will be to select the right tar­gets. In­dus­try and rev­enue alone don’t tell you much. Com­bine th­ese two and you have a rough idea of your mar­ket,” says Wong.

What are the pros and cons of ABM?

De­spite its cur­rent rel­e­vance, a num­ber of busi­nesses and mar­keters alike con­tinue to face hur­dles in data anal­y­sis, a cru­cial com­po­nent of data-driven ABM. “Mar­keters have al­ways known that ABM can drive growth in the B2B mar­ket­ing space, but the lack of data or the lack of tools to an­a­lyse th­ese data are of­ten a hin­drance,” notes Ang.

Nev­er­the­less, the ben­e­fits of data-driven ABM con­tinue to out­weigh any po­ten­tial hur­dles as mar­keters seek ways to max­imise its use in or­der to de­liver ROI. Ac­cord­ing Ang, the suc­cess of data-driven ABM is rooted in data ac­cu­racy and in­tegrity. “Mar­keters can max­imise the use of data-driven ABM to dis­cover new op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket and the key clients to fo­cus on by en­sur­ing that the data is up-to-date and ac­cu­rate,” says Ang. “It is im­por­tant to check in with the ac­count man­agers and sales teams to en­sure that the data is up-to- date and any cam­paigns you have planned are dis­cussed with the ac­count man­agers,” he adds.

What does the fu­ture hold for ABM?

Mov­ing for­ward, an­a­lysts pre­dict data-driven ABM’S fur­ther de­vel­op­ment as tech­nol­ogy pro­vides busi­nesses greater ac­cess to cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion and anal­y­sis while shrink­ing costs and ex­pand­ing scale. “I be­lieve ABM will be more preva­lent and ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy will af­ford mar­keters more data points and in­sights to en­rich a cus­tomer ac­count pro­file. In three to five years, ABM will drive the strate­gic mar­ket­ing di­rec­tion for most com­pa­nies, as we move from ‘one mar­ket fits all’ to a more be­spoke ap­proach,” says Wong. “Data-driven ABM is in the spot­light now, due largely to ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy and ex­per­tise in mar­ket­ing an­a­lyt­ics that make ABM more scal­able and cost-ef­fec­tive than be­fore,” adds Ang.

Data-driven ABM uses in­for­ma­tion col­lected on your busi­ness’ ac­counts/clients, ei­ther in­ter­nally-sourced or ex­ter­nal­ly­col­lected, to bet­ter tar­get them.

How will ac­count-based mar­ket­ing trans­late to suc­cess?

Wong Yongjie

Benny Chow

Roy Ang

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