We didn’t know it was called ABM, but since day 1 we’ve taken the approach of cherry picking best-fit prospects for agencies, and undertaking highly tailored outreach. (Outsourcing lead generation doesn’t de facto mean forgetting everything you know about building long-term, high value relationships!)
We find that in many cases, an agency proposition tailored to the prospect, plus proven experience will open doors. We don’t rely on marketing to start reaching out to prospects. In fact we see our initial comms as the most tailored form of ABM any agency will do.
Later, as agencies attend meetings with new prospects and have one-on-one conversations, the information they gather should be fed into the marketing agenda, to develop super relevant, valuable and interesting marketing that responds to the challenges uncovered. That is then used to keep in touch, confirm expertise, and convert.
If an agency has limited relevant experience, that’s when we’d recommend marketing is first on to the stage to set the scene, and lead generation follows up once a case for the agency being considered has been established.
Whichever order you plot your ABM to play out, the best agencies don’t jump into it with both feet and tear up every alternative approach. There’s absolutely still a time and a place for mass emails (event invitations) and broad strokes PR (award wins and client wins)! And if you’re publishing ground-breaking research, by all means shout about it loud and proud, but just make sure you also take charge of personally delivering it to those individuals it speaks to most, and whom you’d love to be working with.
The power of ABM is in connecting with individual stakeholders on a human as well as business-need level. Make sure you factor in time and planning to at least apply ABM to your top tier prospects, if not all of your new business strategy.