Selbey Anderson has strengthened its strategic business-to-business marketing services by launching a consultancy specialising in strategic account-based marketing (ABM). Called Incubai Consulting, the new firm is led by Samantha Andrews, who has held senior positions at two of the UK’s leading ABM agencies.
WHAT IS ABM?
The IT Service Marketing Association (ITSMA) describes ABM as “a strategic approach that combines targeted, insight-led marketing with sales to increase mindshare, strengthen relationships, and drive growth in specific new and existing accounts”.
ITSMA claims that account-based marketing delivers the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach and evidence from early-adopters of the strategy back this up. Consequently, ABM adoption rates are forecasted to increase by almost 20% by next year.
ABM is seen as transformative because it ditches departmental silos and encourages a cross-functional approach to create business outcomes by working as one team.
Incubai Consulting employs only strategic ABM (one-to-one and one-to-few) and blends a unique combination of strategy, technology and creative. Incubai is aligning it mission with the deep resource available throughout Selbey Anderson to create a community of senior level, strategic practitioners ready to tailor, target and support our clients and to achieve a new level of performance outcomes.
LEAD GENERATION IS GETTING HARDER
Group CEO, Dominic Hawes, explained: “Traditional demand and lead generation campaigns still form the core marketing activity for most business-to-business clients and we’re continuing to drive that activity through Hartley Stone. But, lead gen is getting harder and harder because the way that organisations buy has changed. The old model of a senior decision maker supported by a number of influencers has been replaced by multiple decision makers or even multiple buying committees. That’s made the sales and marketing process a lot more complicated and reduced the effectiveness of automated lead generation marketing. There are two answers to increasing complexity and reduced effectiveness and the most effective is ABM, but it’s not a panacea.
“To my mind, ABM is the single most effective strategy for targeting high-value sales on a one-to-one or one-to-few basis. It unifies sales and marketing team efforts, delivers an insight-led approach to building customer value and has proven to be a highly effective strategy for those early-adopting companies that have pioneered the discipline. ABM, however, requires a significant commitment from clients in both time and money. I believe those that have the ability to think, plan and budget for ABM over the longer term will have a distinct competitive advantage over their shorter-term minded competitors.”
ABM IS WORKING
The case for B2B marketers adopting ABM is a convincing one. Those B2B organisations with more tightly aligned sales and marketing operations have reported 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth (source: SiriusDecisions) whilst where ABM has been in use for at least a year, 60% of users have reported a revenue increase of at least 10%. 19% have reported a revenue impact of 30% or greater. (source: DemandBase).
Hawes continued: “As a marketing group with mainly B2B clients, we already knew that ABM was going to be an important part of our future, but we had no clear way of either buying or building capability. Until we met Samantha.
“We were blown away by Samantha’s vision, intellect and energy and asked her to join the group within twenty minutes of meeting her. We asked her to transition a recent acquisition from owner-managed to group-managed and to build out the Incubai offering in the background. But Incubai is not the kind of company that can stay in the background for long. Its work is too important, so in September this year, we asked her to launch the business as a standalone and that’s what she’s done today.”
Simon Quarendon is a veteran marketer and communicator with a career spanning nearly 40 years. He has bought, built, sold, rescued, led and mentored just about every kind of creative communications agency in existence and run global accounts for the best in the world. Today, Simon runs the business end of Selbey Anderson, working across the group to make sure clients get the best and the agencies all prosper.