AI, Automation, Intent: The State of Account-Based Marketing in 2023

Industry surveys show that account-based marketing is consuming an ever-larger share of B2B budgets, and it’s easy to see why: smarter targeting, increased efficiency, and better ROI are enough to make any CMO’s eyes light up.

Many of the early struggles that slowed ABM adoption — such as sales and marketing alignment and coordinating efforts — are eminently solvable today. But too many marketing leaders still report that they haven’t built a complete ABM tech stack to deliver the automation they need.

The good news? With increased investments in intent data, targeting capabilities, buying committee concepts, and integrated ABM technology tools, creating a solid ABM engine is more accessible than ever. 

Intent Data: Avoid Waste, Propel Growth

The goal of an account-based funnel is to measure how an account is progressing through the customer journey. That starts with going after the right accounts that match your ideal customer profile (ICP). The difference-maker is looking beyond the firmographic data that describes an ideal prospect, and leaning into tell-tale buying signals: website visits, intent topics, job changes, new funding round alerts, and executive changes. 

When you have access to intent signals and buying data, you can create a coordinated ABM effort to target the accounts that align with your ICP and have the highest propensity to buy in the moments that matter. 

Bottom line: intent data is gold. You cannot waste precious ad dollars on accounts that aren’t going to respond or convert anytime soon. This is especially true during uncertain economic times — it’s a (near-term) waste to try creating demand that isn’t there. Intent signals can also create better alignment with your sales team when it comes to account prioritization and campaign messaging, giving the entire go-to-market operation a much more targeted list to prioritize. 

Everyone wants to be the first vendor in the door when accounts start showing interest in solving problems that you can help address. Studies have shown the vendor that responds to a lead first has the best shot of winning the deal. Having access to real-time intent signals increases the likelihood that you reach out to accounts at the right time and ahead of the competition, even if they don’t come in as a new lead.

Optimize Your Workflows with AI and Automation

From chatbots to self-driving cars and everything in between, the AI craze is fundamentally about increasing automation and efficiency. If you can let AI tools take key data points, like intent signals, and turn them into a thoughtful action at a time that’s most relevant, it’s going to save time and money for sales and marketing teams while increasing productivity at scale.

Wondering how to incorporate AI and automation into your ABM strategy? You can start by taking a page out of our very own ZoomInfo GTM playbook. With GTM Plays, sales and marketing teams can launch coordinated actions in lockstep — it’s inbound talking to outbound. This not only increases efficiency, but maximizes the impact of your campaigns.

One of the best ways to scale your ABM strategy is by starting with target account

alignment between sales and marketing, and within marketing across channels. This sets your strategy up for success and scalability because the parameters for your lists, channels and messaging are all aligned from the start. 

Remember: Make sure there’s consistency in your target list long enough to show impact and be the most effective. Changing your ICP, altering your target accounts, or switching strategy too often can limit your success in ABM.

Additionally, AI can be great for drafting emails to specific accounts because you can prompt the tool to write in a way designed for those accounts or groups of accounts. Leaning into AI can help kickstart a lot of processes that may have been more manual in the past.

It’s Time to Revolutionize Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy

In 2023, efficiency and automation are the name of the game. With a well-crafted ABM strategy, powered by the latest tools and techniques, you’ll be poised to outpace the competition, drive more conversions, and accelerate your business growth to new heights. 

Learn how ZoomInfo Marketing can help you kickstart those efforts.