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Your ABM prospects don’t trust you. Here’s why.

2 min read - by Minaz Tejani - Executive Client Services Director

Their job titles? Tick. Their challenges? Tick. Personalization? Got it.

So, what’s missing from your ABM campaigns? Trust.

When it comes to building brand belief and trust with your customers, you might think of data as the skeleton in the closet. It’s always there in the background, but you wouldn’t want to bring it up at a dinner party.

In my recent article for The Splash, I explained why data’s creepy reputation doesn’t stem from having too much of it – in fact, it’s about having too little. In reality, you can use the right insights to unlock a new level of trust of your customers through empathetic ABM.

(Spoiler alert: the data that matters most isn’t the personally identifiable stuff that makes most marketers break out in a cold, GDPR-induced sweat.)

Don’t settle for sympathy

Of course, you already use data in your ABM. I’ve mentioned it already: the account names you use to personalize ABM assets, the insights you’ve collected about their problems. It all adds up to what I like to call sympathetic marketing.

But what creates trust is building common ground with your accounts, not knowing what their names are. In fact, that’s part of why personalization can be cast as the ‘creepy’ marketing tool. After all, if someone uses your name when you have no shared experience, you might find yourself reaching for restraining orders.

If you speak to a company, listen

We trust people who remember us, not those who forget every conversation we have with them. We trust people who share our values and goals, not those who only know what they can sell us.

That’s why we need to put the empathy into ABM. For an ordinary marketing campaign, it might be enough to present a challenge and answer that challenge. But if we talk to a specific business like we know them, then we have to do better. We have to justify that personalization by committing to a genuine relationship – an honest partnership that focuses on shared values and in which we learn from every interaction.

Build trust from better data

To do that, we don’t need less data. We need more of it. We need to focus our efforts on finding out what we have in common with the accounts we want to target, not just what we can do for them.

Most of all though, we need to pay attention to what goes on between your brand and your target account. How do we align for the greater good? What’s our purpose? How do we understand where you want to be? And what can we do to get there – together?

That way, we show our audience that we’re willing to learn, and that we’re really paying attention every time we engage with them.

See the four steps to empathetic ABM

So, that’s the goal. But how can you bring it to life and execute empathetic campaigns?

I won’t go into the details here, but you can discover the four key steps to empathetic ABM in my full article.

Check them out to discover which techniques you should consider, and what you can do with them.

[1] IPA and the Financial Times, The Board Brand Rift, June 2019.