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Top Ways ABM Is Creating Opportunities for CMOs

Think of traditional marketing as fishing with a net – designed to reach as broad and wide as possible to snare any potential deals of all sizes. This works well if your goal is not to miss any opportunities but ultimately leads to significant waste.

Then there is ABM or account-based marketing. Compared to traditional marketing, ABM is like spearfishing – targeting only the ideal accounts that are most likely to close and/or generate the most revenue. That’s why, according to a recent report by ITSMA, 87 percent of companies state that ABM delivers a higher ROI than traditional marketing.

So, why should CMOs care about ABM in 2019? Jon Miller of Engagio explains some of the best reasons.

professional meeting - ABM

Better Alignment With Sales

One of the most common frustrations CMOs face is a lack of alignment with sales teams. With different goals, KPIs, and responsibilities, marketing teams often find themselves pursuing one thing while sales is actively pursuing another.

The result? Your prospects receive mixed messages and inconsistent marketing materials. That weakens your brand. But with ABM, marketing and sales are more fully aligned. With a small selection of specific, hand-picked accounts, CMOs can produce marketing materials that are more personalized, targeted, and branded just for those accounts. Marketing and sales are now working in tandem, sharing the same goal of landing those identified accounts.

And that means better ROI for CMOs. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, sales and marketing alignment can drive up to 36 percent more business growth and 27 percent faster profit growth.

Stronger Brand Recognition

Related to the “waste” associated with traditional marketing methods mentioned above, even the strength of your brand can get lost in the shuffle. For every mass email blast that reaches an audience it wasn’t intended for, your brand is seen as inaccurate, irrelevant, or – worst of all – pitching a message that you did not intend for that customer to hear.

“ABM allows [CMOs] to establish and cultivate trust with your customers, thereby building a strong brand over time,” Miller explains. “If you take the time to utilize the core tenants of ABM, and send a personal and relevant message to a targeted audience,” you are able to portray your brand as an authority, a trusted advisor, and an approachable resource. That specificity and intentionality strengthen your brand.

brand idea poster - onsite services

Marketing Guides the Customer Journey

ABM is a “land and expand” type of strategy. It involves identifying and targeting accounts that are not only ideal new customers but that present likely upselling and cross-selling opportunities as well. “ABM guides intelligent account expansion at existing customer accounts,” Miller says. “In ABM, all customer-facing teams work in harmony to ensure a buyer’s experience is positive, consistent, and in context with the rest of the account.”

This means that ABM uniquely puts CMOs in charge of creating the customer’s journey since CMOs are the best-qualified people in most organizations to safely steward the brand’s identity and value propositions across multiple channels.

“It is about providing a holistic view of each account, coordinating interactions across departments for every stage of the customer experience, and measuring results with an account-centric lens,” Miller continues. “The right person to own the coordination and orchestration of the relationships is [the CMO] because they have the technology and skills to do so.” ABM presents savvy CMOs with an opportunity to apply their strategic expertise to real-world account-based campaigns.

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Account-based marketing, or ABM, is changing how marketers generate leads for the better. With this new focused, granular outlook, ABM presents CMOs with several exciting opportunities to improve both the public perception of their brands and the operational effectiveness of their marketing departments. And that can lead to better ROI, more qualified leads, and stronger revenue forecasts.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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2019 Retail Trends: Transactional to Relational

female using interactive screen to customize shopping

As the world changes, so does customer behavior. And as customer behavior changes, the ways they want to shop do, too. And perhaps no industry needs to remain more on top of shifting customer trends and behaviors than retail.

Retail, which has already been turned upside-down by the advent of e-commerce, now must adapt to whatever 2019 has in store. With U.S. retail sales up 5.9% in 2018 from a record mark of $5.7 trillion in 2017, retail brands will need to stay sharp to keep growing. According to Daphne Leprince-Ringuet of WIRED, here are some key trends retailers should consider when looking towards the future.

Sustainability Will Be Important to Shoppers

From “hippies” to countercultural “hipsters,” environmental responsibility and sustainability have always been important to certain shopping demographics in society. But in 2019, ecological sustainability will become a major selling point for brands and retailers looking to see a little more “green” themselves. Leprince-Ringuet cites the example of British luxury fashion brand Elvis & Kresse, which reclaims thousands of tons of out-of-service fire hoses in London each year, repurposing and recycling the hose leather to create new premium goods.

“We live in the age of the circular economy, recycling materials instead of letting them go to waste at the end of their life,” Leprince-Ringuet says. “It’s [already] an upcoming trend in retail.” Brands that can position themselves as environmentally sustainable could bolster their profits, too.

shop with digital network graphics - retail continuity

Removing Friction with Strategic Partnerships

With competition stiffer than it’s ever been, and most markets increasingly saturated with choices, brands will need to continue to compete on the strength of their customer experiences – not just on price and product. In fact, a recent PwC study found that consumers will spend an average of 16% more for a better retail customer experience. And that may mean exploring new strategic partnerships for many brands. “Everything we do needs to be done for the customer, to remove friction – whether that means integrating Google Pay, or working with [partners] to develop technologies we don’t have the capacity to work on ourselves,” says Cliff Cohen, Chief Information Officer at ASOS.

What other sorts of “frictionless” experiences will customers expect?

  • “Invisible” payment. Look at Uber. With payment linked directly to customers’ credit cards, users never even think about paying for their ride. It’s taken care of automatically. And that removes part of the friction that makes Uber so attractive compared to, say, going to an ATM and calling a taxi.
  • Multichannel experiences. Today, customers expect brands to recall the entire history of that shopper’s interaction with them and be able to offer them promotions, coupons, and suggestions based on that personal history. And if your brand can’t do this today? Partner with someone who can. Citing one retailer’s strategic CX goals, Leprince-Ringuet says, “The technology is beyond the retailer’s technical capacity, so the company has teamed up with [a strategic partner] – all with the goal of making the customer experience better.”
  • Third-party payment. Not unlike “invisible” payment, millennial consumers are increasingly comfortable storing their payment information with a third-party and allowing that third party to provide that information when they “pay” for things, like Mint and Apple Wallet. This functionality can help make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Physical Stores Becoming Experience Centers with Innovation

With the online purchasing process faster by-and-large than in-store for many brands these days, brick-and-mortar stores are shifting to effectively occupy a new role: experience centers, where customers can touch, try, taste, and be tempted by your products in person. “Future retail is moving from transactional to relational,” says Emilie Colker, Executive Director at IDEO. “Brands will use the offline space to create more opportunities for people to connect with the products.”

For many brands that were once digital-only, like by-mail eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker or online mattress retailer Casper, creating physical spaces for shoppers to interact with their products adds authenticity to their brand’s perception, and is a clever way to create customer experiences that they just can’t replicate online. And to succeed with experience centers, retailers need to be agile, flexible, and ready to innovate. “In the current climate, speed matters,” says Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud. “Tools that can give retailers insight into inventories, financial forecasts, technological skill,” anything that helps create a single point of visibility into marketing supply chains will be tremendously helpful.

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Yes, retail is changing.

But by understanding the most important retail trends before they happen, and by establishing partnerships that prepare your brand for success, companies of all sizes can make 2019 their most successful year yet.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Future Focus: How Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Can Shift for Success

arrow with success

Far from making brick-and-mortar retail spaces obsolete, the explosion of e-commerce has simply reshaped, and repurposed, the ideal deployment and leverage of retail spaces. That’s according to Alexandra Sheehan on Shopify, who explains that despite the looming challenges of evolving technology, increasing competition, and changing consumer behaviors, smart brands can plan for these changes and create opportunities from them by “future-proofing” their businesses. Let’s take a look at a few key areas poised for forward-looking success.

In-Store Experiences: Driving More Sales

In-store experiences – that is, creating fully immersive multisensory displays that engage with your customers – are becoming increasingly important for multichannel retailers.

“Unique store experiences give shoppers a compelling reason to visit a location and engage with a brand,” Sheehan explains. Beyond the normal value-adding propositions of promotional marketing materials, unique in-store experiences help drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar stores and more revenue through your physical channels. They are a clever way to diversify your revenue streams across a multichannel business model.

What’s more, they create an immersive “identity” for your brand, one that sticks with customers and contributes enormously to brand loyalty. The ability to quickly create dynamic in-store experiences that change to fit your marketing messaging and brand identity will set retailers apart.

three female shoppers-retail

In-Store Events: A Marketing Bonanza

Hosting in-store events are becoming an increasingly popular – and effective – way to increase foot traffic and buzz around brick-and-mortar stores. Fitness apparel retailers, such as Lululemon, have begun hosting yoga classes, complete with branded giveaway mats and water bottles. Anthropologie, the apparel and home goods retailer, hosts pop-up “markets” in its stores and provides shoppers with free, branded tote bags.

The key to the future of physical retail is creating value that online shopping can’t offer. With an agile and reliable marketing supply chain to make sure everything arrives on time, on price, and goes off without a hitch, in-store events are a great way to do just that.

New Customer Behaviors, New Possibilities

One of the most unique phenomena of the age of digital commerce is the rise of “showrooming.” Showrooming is the practice of visiting a brick-and-mortar store to see or interact with a product with the intention of buying it online later.

This requires a fundamental re-thinking of best practices for in-store marketing materials and displays. Before e-commerce, with physical as the only or primary channel, it was important to devote floor space to as many of your available products as possible, and to make that space easily navigable. Now, with digital analytics, creating high-conversion, engaging, narrative in-store displays for the most in-demand, best-selling, or highest profit-margin products can lead to greater revenue and marketing ROI. Brands must invest the time, effort, and resources towards understanding these new and changing marketing best practices, because they truly are an investment in ongoing future success.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE