It’s a few days until my wedding so I apologise in advance for these analogies, but I’ve often thought that PR and ABM should be joined in holy matrimony. Public Relations and Account-Based Marketing work as a pair and can certainly make beautiful content babies together, so why are teams still operating separately?
We are gathered here together…
ABM is a strategic marketing approach, largely adopted by B2B businesses in IT, services and consultancies, whereby an organisation communicates with a prospect in a highly personalised way. Rather than a marketing campaign to a group of prospects who are similar (because of industry, size, need etc), or an approach through a certain communication channel, ABM aligns marketing tactics with sales goals and picks off prospects that require special attention.
If ABM is the groom, then ABM’s best man is sales. Of course, they must stay in constant contact as the primary objective of ABM is to convert the prospect using the insights from the sales team.
Meanwhile, the friendship between PR (the bride) and content marketing (her maid of honour) blooms as PR has moved further and further away from being purely media relations focused, and instead become a more holistic communication approach, reaching audiences through many channels.
Do you, PR, take ABM, to have and to hold?
So, why should PR and ABM be walking down the aisle together? ABM teams are driven by the very specific audience they’re targeting, very clearly understanding the challenges this audiences faces. This insight and understanding serves as great inspiration for PR content and can unearth some interesting viewpoints and insights. Sometimes, PR can get stuck in an echo chamber where very similar views are put forward on social media channels and in the press. But it’s important to say something new, bringing a fresh perspective to the conversation. Otherwise it’s just a lot of people saying the same thing, which gets tedious very quickly.
ABM, meanwhile, can make use of the bank of content the PR team develops. PR teams are in constant contact with executives and thought leaders in the organisation, teasing out advice and viewpoints which can benefit prospects. Even short ‘how to’ type content, or a comment on a topical issue could help build the relationship with the prospect and stay front of mind.
That’s what they get from each other, but once paired up, what’s next? ABM teams have an in-depth understanding of their accounts whilst PR’s speciality is storytelling. Together with this insight, PR can assist in creating a story arc for prospects and help produce content to support the campaign. But remember that tailoring content doesn’t necessarily mean creating something completely new every time. Reusing and re-purposing existing content works too and makes the most of everyone’s efforts.
So, while I head down to a farm in Somerset to marry the person that brings out the best in me, I encourage all PRs and ABM leads to start dating (metaphorically, of course) and spark a relationship that might just bring about the happiest day of your life – or at the very least, help with that latest customer deal.