Why does Account-Based Marketing matter to charities and non-profits?

kaboompics_Designer work flow chart on a blue background

If you are working in non-profit marketing space, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of the buzz around the account-based marketing (ABM). Most of the MarTech or Marketing Automation companies (HupSpot, Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, etc.) are paying serious attention to ABM as you can see from the increased number of their blog posts around this topic. So what is ABM?

Here’s a visual explanation from Terminus, an account-based marketing company.

Well, basically ABM is a form of strategic B2B marketing, specifically for high-price point, enterprise solution business providers. An organization takes a handful of business accounts and implement marketing and sales strategies specifically targeting each account or segments. As enterprise-level sales involve multiple stakeholders and key decision-makers, highly personalised communication and curated contents are key for successful customer engagement. ABM offers values your client’s decision-makers are looking for.

If there is more than one person in the organization you need to influence to get the deal, ABM applies.

Matt Heinz

President and CEO, Heinz Marketing

So how can you implement this in the fundraising sphere? I think sponsorship and MG officers can work together with their marketing team to implement ABM.

Here are 3 key things you have to know about account-based marketing:

Having right technologies

Measurements are a key part of achieving your marketing goals. To measure what matters to your organisation and goals, you have at least digital analytics tools and a CRM that is capable of supporting your ABM tactics and analytics. Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Hubspot, all those CRM/marketing automation software have account-based marketing capabilities. To know the CRM software suitable for your account type, Gardener’s Digital Marketing Hub report can help you to see the pros and cons of each vendor. If your nonprofit is using Salesforce’s Lightning MarketinCloudnd,  you may

Alignment between marketing and front-line fundraisers

ABM blurs the line between marketing and fundraising. Instead of feeding pipeline with prospects, marketers need to think like fundraisers – cultivating accounts by providing a personalised experience. Their tight alignment allows a feedback loop that informs both teams and allows marketing and fundraising team to work with the same data set.

Right steps and framework

Account-based marketing has four main steps to mapping out your marketing strategy: align sales and marketing, identify and prioritze target accounts, implement and improve highly targeted and personalised donor/sponsor engagement,  and measure and optimize campaigns. SiriusDecisions, a B2B marketing consulting company, describes these steps in more detail.


Is ABM a right marketing solution for non-profits and charities?

Account-based marketing is showing a great success in the private sector, and it’s a matter of time for the fundraising sector to adopt this new approach. Traditionally, non-profits have been suffering from the lack of an alignment between fundraising and marketing. Since fundraising, specifically sponsorship and Major Gift, is highly targeted customer engagement activities, the principles of ABM are well suited for the sector. For instance, if you have big corporations as main sponsors, subcontractors or business partners of those companies can use your event as part of ABM to increase their brand’s visibility and awareness among the senior executives. In that case, you have to offer them B2B meeting opportunities. As a sponsorship officer, you need to understand how your sponsorship property can help those companies’ ABM activities. B2B companies know why they should consider about sponsorship, and your understanding of ABM will definitely help you to offer them a better recognition and activation plan.

With a right tool, technology and understanding, ABM can have a dramatic impact on your organization. If you want to learn more about the private sector’s ABM success stories, #flipmyfunnel is a great place to start. Here is the article.

Have you ever tried Account-based marketing in your charity or non-profit? What were obstacles or hurdles? Please tell me your experience in the comment column below. 



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