There is an ABM Race happening right now.
The race to enhance your Marketing Technology Stack and deliver on the promise of ABM is never-ending. With more than 8K Marketing Technologies & 50+ ABM-related Technologies to choose from, it’s important to focus specifically on the tech that’s going to l drive your business forward.
“The focus shouldn’t be to always stay ahead of technology. The speed and succession in which the platforms change is mind-boggling. The focus should be aimed at making sure that you are investing in the technology that makes the most sense for your specific business and customers.” —Michael Williams, former CMO of Grand Prix of America, Formula 1
Conducting an ABM (Account-Based Marketing) tech gap analysis involves identifying the technology tools and platforms currently being used in your ABM program, and evaluating whether they meet your business goals and objectives. Doing an ABM technological gap assessment can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing technology stack while also providing a glimpse of what your competitors are doing, or not doing.
With a Technical ABM Gap Assessment, you will be able to know:
- Who has what? The active technologies on your website, and your competitors.
- Where do you stand? The areas of your business are you competitive and not.
- How can you make your Tech work for you? The technologies you should be familiar with and the gap they will fill.
Here are the steps you can follow to conduct an ABM tech gap analysis:
- Identify the ABM goals and objectives: Before conducting a tech gap analysis, you need to understand the specific goals and objectives of your ABM program. For example, your goals might be to increase sales productivity, improve lead generation, or enhance customer retention.
- Identify the current ABM tech stack: Next, make a list of all the technology tools and platforms you are currently using for your ABM program. This might include your CRM, marketing automation platform, data analytics tools, and any other tools or software you use for account-based marketing.
- Evaluate the performance of each tool: Evaluate the performance of each tool by looking at key metrics such as lead generation, engagement rates, and sales productivity. Identify which tools are helping you achieve your ABM goals and which ones are falling short.
- Identify the gaps in your tech stack: Based on your evaluation, identify the gaps in your tech stack, i.e., the tools and platforms that are not meeting your ABM goals and objectives. This might be due to limitations in functionality, lack of integration with other tools, or other factors.
- Research new tools and platforms: Research new technology tools and platforms that can fill the gaps in your tech stack. Look for tools that are specifically designed for account-based marketing and offer the functionality you need to achieve your goals.
- Prioritize the gaps and new tools: Finally, prioritize the gaps in your tech stack and the new tools you need to acquire. Consider factors such as cost, ease of implementation, and the impact on your ABM program goals.
A Technological Gap Analysis can quickly capture and evaluate a company’s technology stack. Using BuildWith’s API, we can identify technologies embedded within that company, and their competitors’ websites. We can break down these findings into categories of technology, and then further refine that listing to only those that send a signal about that company’s maturity with respect to marketing technologies used for ABM efforts.
ABM Tech Stack Blueprint
A blueprint enables you to design with the big picture in mind. This way, you can ensure you reach every milestone and build your technology stack in an integrated way - even when faced with uncertainty in which technologies you select.
ABM Leadership Institute has a sample ABM Technology stack you can use to guide your efforts. The guide focuses on the main sections of the ABM Technology stack.
- Account Selection
- Sales Enablement
In the ABM Leadership Institute stack, CRM & Tag Management live within Infrastructure, and Predictive & Data reside within Account Selection. Your Technical Assessment of relevant technologies for ABM may vary slightly, but the core Categories that include Advertising, Analytics & Tracking, Lead Generation, and more is something that we most can agree on.
Based on BuiltWith’s Category classification, we focused on those categories as a proxy for what the ABM Marketing Tech Stack should have.
Here is an example of the exercise we did to designate if the Category is relevant for our Tech Assessment.
By overlaying technologies with relevant categories and tags, your ABM team of Marketers & Technologists can take this raw information and synthesize it into clear, simple, and meaningful actionable items.
Key things that we can abstract in our heads from looking at the output are:
- Does your domain have ABM Lead Generation technology such as 6sense or DemandBase?
- For your Advertising efforts, have you implemented Conversion Tracking by vendor?
- Who is using personalization technologies on their website
With any assessment, the goal is to better understand the variety of methods or tools that are used to evaluate, measure and document the readiness of your ABM needs.
This includes having discussions with your key stakeholders such as Marketing & Technology Leaders to help increase the breadth and depth of your understanding while developing critical and creative thinking about where you self-assess your ABM Tech Stack.
Who Has What
Chances are that you have many technologies integrated into your website. Many of them are from legacy personnel, some might be recently added free technologies and others are premium technologies that are the lifeblood of your demand generation operations.
Before we can assess, it’s important to look at a consolidated view of relevant technologies first. This view allows your business leaders to start those conversations with an open mind.
Where Do I Stand
Based on your understanding of the technologies you have, collaborate with a seasoned Media & Marketing Technologist to make a general observation of where you and your competitors stand by Category.
The process should be iterative and include discussion with both the Marketing and Technology team to assess the criteria of who has best-of-class technologies.
Footnote: Although the ABM Tech Gap Analysis is designed to assess your Stack, it’s important to conduct regular audits of deployment and usage to assess your team’s utilization. The Gartner Marketing Technology Survey 2020 reveals that 68% of respondents face challenges with utilizing their stacks’ full breadth of capabilities, investing in tools and add-on capabilities that ultimately go unused.
Things to Look Out For
Here are some things to look out for when it comes to ABM Gap Analysis:
Am I spending enough to support running a successful ABM?
- ITSMA research suggests B2B CMOs are spending over a quarter (28%) of their marketing budgets on Account Based Marketing programs. While spending doesn’t necessarily mean success, it’s important to have the right infrastructure in place to support a more seamless integrated marketing and sales process.
Are the technologies in my Stack supporting the business and its ABM vision?
- Your ABM Vision could be focused on dominating a specific industry. In order to stand out to your audience, you want to understand if your technology is engaging with your audience. Cisco predicts that, globally, video traffic will be more than 80% of all web traffic by 2022 (up from a prediction of 75% made in 2017). With chat and video emerging, are you positioning yourself to be competitive?
Is there any overlap between technologies that are creating redundant processes or causing issues with running an ABM Program?
- Redundant processes in technologies are a prime example where you can make errors in operationalizing your ABM program. 35% of respondents in the ITSMA survey list “getting the data and report needed to track results” as a challenge. In most cases, this happens because of a lack of reporting the results from different sources due to the lack of an integrated reporting solution.
Am I using any inferior technologies and are my competitors trying out any new technologies?
- Companies are also trying to get the first-mover advantage. By constantly evaluating your tech stack, you can be in a position to take the lead.
The Technological Gap Analysis is a simple, efficient way to provide meaningful insights to companies about the strength of their technology stack. With it, the ABM team can offer simple suggestions that are easy to act on, and which can improve a company’s competitive standing within the market.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Get in touch for your ABM tech gap analysis.