How one company unlocked the power of ABM

The creation of a global ABM Centre of Excellence helped IT services giant NTT take its marketing from fragmented and localised to centralised and effective.

NTT MW Awards 2023
Source: NTT

Despite its position as a market leader, IT infrastructure and services company NTT faced a problem.

Consistently viewed as a ‘tech only’ business by its key accounts, the company boasted strong relationships with IT customers and comparatively weaker bonds with those working in business strategy. Furthermore, NTT’s marketing was fragmented and decentralised, with disparate initiatives being run at a local level.

Convinced account-based marketing (ABM) was the route to successful reputation change, the company teamed up with agency Agent3 on the creation of a global ABM Centre of Excellence headed by the brand’s first vice-president of ABM.

Success meant establishing a centralised approach spanning data analysis, campaign planning and ongoing engagement. The team gathered customer insight based on first- and third-party data, alongside stakeholder research. A ‘rallying cry’ positioning document was developed, part of a wider content strategy designed to put NTT front of mind with key accounts.

With a centralised structure in place, NTT launched one-to-one programmes with strategic accounts to quickly demonstrate the impact of ABM and secure support from the sales function. The marketers collaborated closely with their sales colleagues to reposition NTT from transactional tech reseller to provider of managed services.

A customised, one-to-one approach was reserved for 18 strategic clients, informed by detailed knowledge of each customer. The team also developed global clusters tailored to clients in specific sectors, as well as programmatic ABM focused on a broader group of accounts.

A commitment to ABM not only helped NTT drive millions in pipeline and forge hundreds of new customer relationships, the business also scooped the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Best Use of ABM.