From NYC to Sydney; my journey as an ABMer in 2020!

The Covid-19 global pandemic has negatively impacted the world in myriad ways, but search among the bad news that has become so depressingly familiar to us and you’ll find glimmers of positive outcomes, too.  Indeed, it was Covid-19 that led to me upping sticks and moving half-way around the world back to my homeland in Australia.  

To bring you up to date, I was enjoying my career at Agent3 New York City working across a range of great clients helping deliver innovative ABM campaigns.  And then Covid-19 struck.  The result?  I quickly relocated back to my home town of Sydney and took up residence with the Agent3 team there to help service the APAC region.  After six months, it’s been a fascinating journey of discovery in terms of how each market is adopting and applying the principles of ABM and I thought I’d share my three key takeaways…..

Different flavours of ABM predominate in different regions…

While in the US, I predominantly worked across clients who gravitated more towards classic 1:1 ABM.  There my clients had large addressable markets in single accounts where they wanted to upsell or cross-sell (or even just defend) through bespoke, personalised campaigns.  Because the potential value in each account was significant, budgets tended to be correspondingly large.   In APAC, I find that while there’s still a lot of 1:1 ABM activity, the bias tends to be more towards 1:few activity where we are deploying cluster campaigns to groups of 30-50 accounts.  This is a logical approach given we always want to match the total addressable revenue in each account to the overall ABM investment .  It also means that HQ content (often sourced from the US) can be localised to reflect the cluster need meaning that activity into market can be delivered quickly and efficiently, to corporate brand guidelines. That said, Asia is not a homogenous market so we night have to create multiple iterations of an asset for wide variations in culture, platforms and language across the APAC region.

…and the ABM content need differs too

Reflective of the likely greater maturity of ABM into key accounts in the US, I found client content needs there to be much more focused around specific executive engagement opportunities; 1:1 landing pages, specific and highly targeted content for LinkedIn campaigns as well as content to engage socially were certainly in demand.  However, in APAC a lot of our clients are more focused on the earlier stage of the ABM journey and are looking for high volumes of insight into individual and groups of accounts.  This means we tend to spend more time on producing Account Profiles, Express Insights and social listening reports to help clients better understand their target account needs.

While Sales teams in both regions are on the ABM train, in APAC we had greater engagement

 To be fair, sales engagement does vary from client to client but on a broad level, in the US, our engagement with Sales was always via the central Marketing team.  We would occasionally have monthly check in calls but mostly the Sales and Marketing alignment around account activity was at the client level.  In APAC I have found we interact a lot more directly with the Sales teams; there seems to be a greater hunger for getting involved as much as possible.  Again, a logical conclusion here could be simply that the relative sizes of account teams are that much smaller in APAC which therefore creates a greater ability to drive more intimate alignment around the account. This also creates greater opportunity for Sales team personalisation – one example was a recent event where we drafted personalised content for the Sales team to invite over 150 key stakeholders to an online forum with a phenomenal response rate!   

Looking back at the last 18 months working in ABM at Agent3, I have had an amazing experience working across two continents. It was incredible to work in NYC in such a fast-paced environment – my thoughts remain with everyone there. It taught me so much and will be very beneficial for my career. Now back in Australia,  it’s great that I can contribute to the meteoric growth of ABM across APAC, combining all my learnings from the US with the opportunities here and bringing a truly global approach to ABM in this market. 

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