If you had to guess how many years account-based marketing has been around, what would you say? Five? Ten? Fifteen?
Surprisingly, account-based marketing, better known as ABM, has been around since the 1990s. ABM was developed to bring together sales and marketing teams to target their most important accounts with account-level, personalized marketing campaigns. It presented an alternative to the “spray and pray” approach, which generated a higher quantity of leads for businesses, but didn’t always convert prospects into customers.
What is ABM software?
So what is account-based marketing software? These tools help automate and expedite the process of identifying prospects and dedicating the right resources to nurture the most promising accounts. ABM software helps users sift through prospects to find the best leads, craft personalized buying journeys, increase customer lifetime value, and build more opportunities for existing accounts.
Over the years, ABM has evolved; we’ve seen the technology behind it evolve as well. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have enabled ABM software to better target accounts by identifying what keywords they search for, what events and conferences they attend, and other indicators that show interest.
When looking at these leaders, buyers would be able to identify that all accomplish account-based execution in some way. However, it doesn’t make sense to directly compare Terminus ABM Platform and Sendoso. Sendoso is a platform that engages target accounts by sending direct mail, whereas Terminus ABM Platform is an inclusive account-based marketing platform that targets accounts, activates sales, reports on revenue, and engages targeted accounts with multi-channel campaigns, including account-based advertising. Thus, to create a better experience for buyers looking for account-based execution software, we are breaking out the account-based execution software category into three new categories: Account-based advertising, account-based direct mail, and account-based web and content experiences.
Account-based execution software breakout
Account-based advertising software enables businesses to engage buyers with highly targeted digital ads. These ads are personalized to key decision makers within targeted accounts. Account-based advertising software differs from traditional advertising software like display advertising, video advertising, and social media advertising, as it enables companies to utilize different targeting methods. These targeting methods can include segmenting audiences by account or by specific contacts within accounts to create relevant, personalized ads.
The Account-Based Advertising software category includes products such as:
With account-based direct mail software, companies can send personalized direct mail or gifts to key contacts within targeted accounts. Businesses use this type of software to spread brand awareness across targeted accounts, as well as to improve engagement rates with those specified accounts.
The Account-Based Direct Mail software category includes products such as:
Finally, account-based web and content experiences software allows companies to drive better results for account-based marketing strategies by displaying unique content for targeted accounts on a company’s website including personalized text, branding, calls to action, and images. This software assists marketers with monitoring page views and conversions for different accounts as they engage with their website and content.
The Account-Based Web and Content Experiences software category includes products such as:
We’ve created one other additional category in the ABM hierarchy, account-based orchestration platforms. Account-based orchestration platforms provide one central place for businesses to manage account-based marketing efforts, and align sales and marketing teams. These platforms assist companies in targeting accounts, executing account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, and measuring and optimizing strategies. Account-based orchestration platforms provide a unified account list management which prioritizes and segments a company’s targeted accounts. By leveraging these platforms, marketing and sales teams can focus on identifying and nurturing the most promising accounts for their business. Account-based orchestration platforms can also execute multi-channel campaigns and are often included in one or more of the other account-based execution software categories.
The Account-Based Orchestration Platforms category includes products such as:
We also changed the names on a few categories to better reflect how they are referenced in the market. No changes were made to the functionality behind these software categories. Account-based reporting software has been updated to account-based analytics software, and marketing account management software has been updated to account data management software. Finally, we moved the buyer intent data tools category under the ABM software hierarchy as this is one type of data that companies can use to implement an ABM strategy (including other data types like firmographic or engagement). Buyer intent data tools aggregate and deliver context about when prospects and customers interact with a brand. Buyer intent is the probability that a customer will purchase a product, and these types of tools capture research around actual buyer journeys and their purchase intent. Organizations leverage buyer intent data tools to target companies with account-based marketing campaigns to personalize website experiences for online visitors and prioritize inbound leads based on engagement with their company.
With these changes, buyers can find and compare products within the ABM software hierarchy based on what functionality they need.
Emily is the market research manager for the applications squad as well as G2's research principal focused on marketing and digital advertising software. She earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration and Master's of Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing and business analytics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She's worked in various industries, including media consulting, information technology, employee wellness, and finance and accounting. Over the past several years, her main focus areas have included brand marketing, demand generation, customer marketing, content marketing, and digital marketing. She enjoys coaching and volunteering for Girls on the Run, attending concerts and music festivals, running half marathons, and hiking.