ABX: Evolving the ABM model

Account-based experience, or ABX, is a go-to-market strategy that provides a unified and customized experience for prospects and customers from the moment they first interact with your brand, to the engagements they have with you as customers and advocates.

An evolution of the more familiar account-based marketing (ABM) model, ABX encourages us to think beyond the practice itself and focus instead on the experiences people are having with our brand throughout the buyer journey and customer lifecycle.

For the buyer, the magic of ABX is in the relevance – getting the most useful information at just the right time, without having to click endlessly or fill in dozens of forms. For the marketer, the appeal is the potential ‘zero waste’ approach – focus on the accounts in-market for your solutions and not those who aren’t.

While other teams in your marketing organization looking to engage a wider addressable market or target account list, with ABX you can focus on the most immediate revenue opportunities. And with a connected martech infrastructure, you can do so efficiently and at scale.

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Account-based customization at scale

It’s possible to build an effective ABX program with a lean and minimalist tech stack, and this is often the right option for smaller organizations. But to scale an ABX program to cover hundreds or thousands of accounts, technology that can automate and orchestrate some of the key processes is essential. One such example is creating personalized digital experiences for accounts or segments of accounts that share certain characteristics such as industry, business challenge, or existing customer.

The ability to personalize Sitecore.com for people who have visited our website before, or who have interacted with one of our campaigns, is baked into our technology. But offering a customized experience for unknown or new contacts, those visiting us from a different device, or people interacting with our paid media on third-party websites, presented a new challenge for our teams. 

Starting with our own technology in Sitecore XP, CDP, and Personalize, we have layered on account-based intelligence from industry-leading ABX platform 6sense, and execution capabilities from additional sources, such as our marketing automation and conversational marketing platforms, to help us meet that challenge. 

By connecting these platforms to ours we can better understand visitors’ needs and interests and automate highly relevant, customized experiences on Sitecore.com at the individual account level, or for a segment of similar accounts. This gives us the ability to customize the website experience from the first visit by the solution of interest, industry, individual company, or similar. As with any other digital experience, we then learn from the interactions we see and optimize to improve them further. 

End-to-end personalization

Offering a personalized, account-based experience on Sitecore.com is a great start, but the goal of ABX is to coordinate this across multiple touchpoints from the beginning of the buyer journey. Using a combination of Sitecore, 6sense, channels like LinkedIn, conversational marketing, sales outreach, marketing automation, and more, it becomes possible to automate and orchestrate account-based experiences, helping us reach more accounts with personalized, relevant content at scale.

A typical ABX journey could have the following steps:

  • Account-customised paid media, so accounts showing intent for a particular type of solution see ads relevant to those interests, rather than our most recent general brand campaign
  • On Sitecore.com, we then continue that customized journey on our website using data from 6sense integrated with Sitecore XP and CDP, regardless of whether the visitor clicks through directly from the ad or visits our site at a later date on a different device
  • Post site visit, we retarget key personas from those accounts on LinkedIn or other platforms, with content and offers that allow them to continue their research when the time is right for them.
  • On their next visit, we can continue the personalized journey with the next best action, based on their previous site interactions and updated 6sense data. And so on across the journey.

The end result is that our marketers don’t need to prematurely push target accounts to a form to identify themselves – we can nurture them while they remain anonymous until they’re ready to make contact with us at the time that is right for them.

Intelligence, reach, and relevance

When we think about scaling ABX, we keep three principles in mind: intelligence, reach, and relevance. More simply, understanding what our buyers want, where they will look for it, and what we can provide them that is useful and meaningful.

Scaling ABX – start with one segment and one journey

If you’re looking to deliver account-based personalization at scale throughout the buyer journey, stay focused on the experiences you want your customers and prospects to have. Start with one segment of accounts, one topic, and one journey, and identify the data and platforms you need to connect to make delivering that experience possible. From there, you have infinite potential to scale.