What is Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM in the rest of the text) is a B2B strategy that focuses not on the attempt to reach a wide audience but to cultivate high-value relationships with specific businesses. It means you’re targeting your prospects with your content and offers only if they are highly relevant to their needs. You’ll have an account for each prospect, and you’ll treat it as an individual market, crafting a specific marketing message to target it.
So instead of developing a generic marketing campaign that would speak to a large audience, you target specific businesses that would make good clients. When you prioritize these prospects, you develop a customized approach to each of them.
In certain ways, ABM is just a more sophisticated take on direct marketing that we’ve been doing for decades. The most obvious difference is the shift from broad to narrow targeting of prospects.
SiriusDecisions conducts a yearly survey to evaluate the state of ABM. In 2017, they found that 81% of the respondents have already adopted ABM strategies. When compared to 49% in 2016, that’s a huge percentage that indicates a growing trend.
B2B marketers identified “revenue generation” as the top priority for conducting such a campaign. The other important goals include pipeline acceleration, lead generation, and sales and marketing alignment.
What does this mean for salespeople focused on B2B marketing? Does the fact that most other marketers rely on ABM mean that you should adopt such a strategy as well? Not necessarily. That’s just a hint of all the reasons why you should get interested in ABM.
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Importance of Account-Based Marketing
ABM is important to your marketing strategy because it can help you to create a more targeted, and effective campaign.
In other words, it has the potential to fuel growth for years into your future and develop stronger relationships with customers who matter most in support of our business objectives.
Account-based marketing is not a quick fix but rather an investment that could pay off off for years to come.
ABM is more than just social media advertising, it also incorporates traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and email marketing.
Marketing automation tools are an important part of account-based marketing because they can help you with lead qualification and prospecting activities that give you a competitive advantage over other companies in your industry you a higher chance of getting the right person in front of your offer.
Creating relevant content is another important part because when it comes to account-based marketing, relevance is everything. Your offers need to be tailored just for these qualified customers or prospects and not all noise will cut through the clutter any more than traditional advertising techniques do now days.
Should You Use Account-Based Marketing
If your business is struggling in any way and you’re looking for an edge, consider this:
- ABM helps you land accounts that could prove to be a big win for your company. This is especially important as winning customers can help your business grow and expand even more.
- Your marketing strategy should include some targeted campaigns or it’s not really an integrated one at all, so account-based marketing has the potential to make your marketing strategy more effective and targeted.
- ABM can help you to identify new prospects, so it has the potential to fuel growth for years into your future.
- Account-based marketing is not a quick fix but rather an investment that could pay off in big ways over time giving you better ROI than what other types of campaigns can offer.
- Your ABM campaign can be a strong foundation for your future campaigns, and it will help you to develop stronger relationships with the customers or prospects that matter most to your business.
Do you want more reasons? No problem! We’ll list 5 reasons you cannot neglect since they are focused on the main aspect of your job: generating sales.
5 Important Reasons to Use ABM to Boost Sales
There are five reasons why account-based marketing offers better return on investment than more traditional methods such as direct mail and email campaigns.
1 Focus is everything!
With ABM, you focus your efforts on a small number of accounts that have a high potential of becoming your clients. You identify how many clients your company would be able to serve at this point, and you obtain the exact number of customers that the ideal situation imposes.With greater focus, you’re able to achieve better results. It’s pure logic. Click To Tweet
You’ll communicate with your prospects on an individual basis. You won’t be sending email messages as part of a general marketing campaign. The so-called “spray and pray” approach is not part of ABM. The communication will be highly specific for the particular account.
With greater focus, you’re able to achieve better results. It’s pure logic.
The sales and marketing teams collaborate to target those individual accounts in the most meaningful manner possible. They focus their resources on a handful of businesses, so they make sure to get the right messages to the right prospect.
2 ABM creates cohesion between sales and marketing
Theoretically, the Sales and Marketing departments of an organization should always work together. But is that always the case? If you observe situations from your own experience, you might realize that these two teams are focused on a common goal, but work separately towards it.
According to research from Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn, 81% of marketers in highly aligned companies were more likely to closely collaborate with their sales team on the way they use content when compared to just 25% of marketers in low-aligned companies.
The most interesting fact that came out of this report is that ABM was considered to be a definite sign of alignment. 57% of highly aligned companies had implemented this strategy into their marketing efforts. Account-based marketing has a direct relation to using high-quality content since it has to direct it to specific accounts.
The most common obstacles that prevented consistent collaboration between the marketing and sales teams involve different internal incentives, varying approaches to measuring results, teams in different locations, use of different technologies, and lack of meetings.
So how does ABM help the teams to overcome these obstacles?
It provides a shared goal: personalization. The marketers are focused on researching the audience and knowing its needs, inside and out. They are looking for ways to reach them. For the sales team, the focus is on understanding the leads and delivering personalized content that triggers buying decisions. ABM is where these two teams meet.
The personalized approach is driven by content marketing, and it conveys itself through personalized sales pitches.
When a company implements ABM techniques, the marketing and sales teams simply have to collaborate and meet as frequently as possible.
3 ABM drives ROI
The return of investment is one of the strongest arguments in favor of ABM.
Do you remember the stats we mentioned at the beginning of the article? The biggest reason why B2B marketers were implementing ABM was generating revenue. They invest in this promotional approach with the intention to return the investment and generate high revenue.
How is this goal being achieved?
- Through ABM, the marketing and sales teams share a common goal, so they focus their efforts on a consistent campaign. That saves them from making unnecessary costs, so they spend less on marketing while still getting results.
- This strategy encourages sales. It’s as simple as that. When a business gets a personalized offer that fits its specific needs, there’s no reason why the offer shouldn’t be accepted. This is a customer-centered strategy and that’s where its greatest value is.
- As the team measures the ABM performance, they identify and reinforce the most effective strategies. It’s easy to measure insights when you have a highly focused and narrow campaign. You see what content approach gains traction, and what attempts fail to succeed.
- ABM marketing does not require much time to deliver tangible results. The team won’t take much time to research the market and identify companies that could become clients. It’s a much faster strategy when you compare it to the process of online branding that caters to a large audience. When the businesses are identified, an account-based approach will offer exactly what a business needs. If the marketers put in the work, the offer will be accepted in no time.
4 A personalized approach
What makes ABM so appealing to clients? Personalization.
Imagine you’re a business owner. Let’s say you own a private language learning school. You get a personalized offer from a cleaning company, which offers to provide cleaning services every day once you finish classes. They tell you exactly how you’ll benefit from this approach, and they offer flexibility to arrange the details. Plus, they explain that they solely use organic cleaning products that couldn’t possibly affect a child’s health. They offer to adjust their practices if any of the kids have allergies to any of the ingredients used in the products.
On top of everything, this company gives you an affordable price. You realize that you’re getting a lot of value from this investment since you’ll be making your school more attractive for the new users.
Now that’s an offer that sounds too good to refuse, right?
ABM has a way of turning attention to detail. The nature of this marketing approach is highly personalized, so it immediately gets a client’s interest.
Of course, the marketing and sales teams have to be capable of in-depth research of potential leads. When you get that matter covered, they will target clients based on their likelihood of converting, and they will develop personalized offers with high chances of good results.
5 ABM helps you understand your clients better
A successful ABM strategy requires extensive but focused research. You’re not reaching out to a generalized target audience, but to specific business entities that could become your clients. When you have such a narrow focus, you have a chance to understand what would really gain someone’s interest.You’re not reaching out to a generalized target audience, but to specific business entities that could become your clients. Click To Tweet
Now, let’s use the same example with the school, but we’ll put you on the other side of the equation – you represent the business that offers cleaning services.
If you identify the foreign language school as a potential client for your cleaning service, you’ll try to research as much as possible about this prospect. You’ll find out how many learners and how many classes it hosts on a daily basis, and you’ll dig into their values. If they stand for a clean environment, you’ll offer cleaning services that fit within those values.
You get a chance to communicate with the specific prospect, so you can craft an even better offer for them. If you get their interest when you reach out to them, the business owner or the employee who deals with such expenses will probably have questions. They may ask you to adjust something in your offer, and you can easily do that.
If, for example, they inform you that one of the kids is asthmatic and has reactions to the scent of mint, you’ll make sure not to use cleaning products based on that ingredient. You can afford to change the strategy for a single requirement since you’re developing personalized offers that work for the client.
If you own a B2B brand, then account-based marketing is the best kind of marketing you could invest in. It allows you to target realistic potential clients and personalize the communication to a high level. Due to the high focus and personalization, you’ll reach a high ROI much faster than the one you’d achieve with a general marketing campaign.
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