Are you tired of traditional marketing tactics that lead to wasted time and money? Consider account based marketing (ABM). Instead of targeting broad audiences, ABM focuses on individual accounts to cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships with potential customers.
ABM has become increasingly popular in recent years, as companies seek to personalize their marketing efforts and improve their return on investment. By tailoring content and messaging to specific accounts, ABM can produce better quality leads and drive more sales than traditional marketing methods. Ready to learn more? Keep reading for an overview of account based marketing and how it can benefit your business.
Why ABM is Relevant Today
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is gaining popularity in the B2B marketing world due to the shift in the way businesses make purchases. In the past, marketing and sales teams would cast a wide net, targeting as many companies as possible with their marketing efforts. However, this method has become less effective at reaching decision-makers in complex B2B sales.
With ABM, marketing teams focus on a targeted group of high-value accounts, treating them as markets of one. This strategy allows companies to reach decision-makers and personalize their messaging to better resonate with their specific needs.
The Basics of Account Selection
In order to run a successful ABM campaign, Companies need to identify the ideal accounts to target. This starts with understanding the specific criteria that make a company a good fit for your product or service. Factors such as company size, industry, and buying power are key considerations in this selection process.
A company’s buying power is especially important, as it determines whether they have the budget to make a purchase. By focusing on high-value accounts that have significant buying power, companies can ensure their ABM campaigns have a higher potential for success.
Creating Buyer Personas
Creating detailed buyer personas of target customers is essential for running effective ABM campaigns. Companies should develop a clear understanding of their target customers, including their pain points, goals, and decision-making processes. These personas should be based on real-world data gathered through research and analytics, as well as insights from the sales team.
By creating detailed buyer personas, companies can ensure their messaging and content is tailored to the specific needs and challenges of their target customers. This will help engage decision-makers and build stronger relationships that lead to increased sales.
In the next section, we will look at the importance of creating a customized ABM strategy for each account, and how to measure the success of your ABM campaigns.
Developing Targeted Content
In account based marketing (ABM), creating targeted content is crucial to resonate with each account’s specific needs and align with their buyer journey. When developing targeted content strategy, it’s crucial to take into account the account’s industry, their position in the sales funnel, and their specific pain points.
Effective account segmentation is necessary to understand the unique needs of each account. ABM strategies are most successful when content is individualized based on the account’s unique position in the sales funnel, preferences, and pain points. In other words, the content must be highly tailored to the individual account.
Often, creating content exclusively for the ABM program has a higher rate of success. The custom content must be precise, useful, clear, and compelling to attract the target account audience. Providing relevant information for each stage of the buyer journey also makes the content more compelling and relevant.
By creating targeted content, you ensure that every account gets the information they need to be convinced of the value of your product or service.
Another critical aspect of ABM is personalizing communications across multiple channels to achieve greater engagement. Personalized communication goes beyond merely adding the recipient’s name on the email or newsletter; it entails understanding what type of message and content will resonate with them and consistently demonstrating an understanding of their needs.
The ABM approach requires brands to reach out to their target accounts consistently. By using several channels, such as email, social media, and direct mail, personalization can be carried out across a wide spectrum. Brands can tailor messaging to individuals or accounts, providing them with the right information at the right time, on the right platform.
In account-based marketing, lead nurturing aligns with personalization. By nurturing leads through every stage of the funnel with personalized content, brands can engage, educate and guide leads to the point of making a purchase decision.
Aligning Sales and Marketing
In ABM, aligning sales and marketing is critical. ABM programs are more successful when sales and marketing teams align their efforts and share information and insights. This alignment can be beneficial in many ways, including creating a more targeted and relevant content strategy, more successful outreach efforts, and ultimately driving revenue growth.
Joint Account Planning
Joint account planning ensures that marketing and sales teams are aware of their respective efforts. It also ensures that both teams are working together and moving forward in the same direction. By developing joint account plans, sales and marketing teams can work together to ensure that account targeting, outreach efforts, and content strategies are aligned and serving the same goals.
Data sharing ensures that both marketing and sales teams have a comprehensive understanding of the account and its unique needs. By sharing insights such as pain points, buyer journeys, and engagement history, both teams can develop better-targeted strategies and offer a personalized experience for the account. Sharing this information also eliminates the risk of redundancy.
Measuring ABM Success
One of the key benefits of account-based marketing (ABM) is its ability to deliver measurable results. By targeting specific accounts and aligning sales and marketing efforts, ABM can drive revenue growth and increase customer lifetime value. To measure the success of your ABM program, consider the following metrics:
ABM focuses on high-value accounts that are most likely to convert. By tracking the number of leads and opportunities generated from these accounts, you can measure the impact of your ABM efforts on pipeline growth. This metric can help you identify which accounts are most engaged with your brand and where to focus your resources.
ABM is all about building relationships with key accounts. To measure account engagement, consider metrics such as email open rates, website visits, and social media interactions. By tracking these interactions over time, you can see how engaged your target accounts are with your brand and adjust your tactics accordingly.
Ultimately, the success of ABM should be measured in terms of revenue impact. By tracking the revenue generated from ABM-targeted accounts, you can determine the ROI of your program and make informed decisions about future investments. This metric can also help you demonstrate the value of your ABM efforts to other stakeholders within your organization.
Challenges of ABM Implementation
While ABM can be highly effective, it also presents some common challenges for marketers. Some of the key challenges of ABM implementation include:
ABM requires a high degree of alignment between sales and marketing teams, which can be difficult to achieve without the right tools and technology in place. To implement ABM effectively, you may need to invest in new marketing automation, CRM, and analytics platforms.
ABM requires close collaboration between sales and marketing teams, which can be challenging in organizations with siloed departments or conflicting priorities. To overcome this challenge, consider establishing clear roles and responsibilities for each team and fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual accountability.
Managing Complex Campaigns
ABM campaigns can be highly complex and require careful planning and execution. To ensure success, you may need to invest in project management tools and processes, as well as provide adequate training and support for your team members.
Choosing an ABM Solution
When choosing an ABM solution, it’s important to consider a range of factors that will impact the effectiveness of your program. Some of the key features to look for in an ABM solution include:
The ability to identify and prioritize target accounts is a key feature of any effective ABM solution. Look for a platform that offers robust account-based data and analytics capabilities, as well as the ability to easily segment and target specific audiences.
To engage with target accounts effectively, you need to be able to deliver personalized content and experiences. Look for an ABM solution with robust personalization capabilities, such as dynamic content and tailored messaging, to maximize engagement and drive conversions.
Reporting and Analytics
Finally, a good ABM solution should provide robust reporting and analytics capabilities to help you measure the effectiveness of your program and make data-driven decisions. Look for a platform that offers detailed campaign performance metrics, as well as the ability to track revenue impact and ROI over time.
Implementing ABM with CRM
Account based marketing requires a thorough understanding of target accounts. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) systems come in handy. Integrating ABM with CRM systems can enhance account intelligence, identify buying signals, and optimize targeting.
Gathering Account Intelligence
With a CRM system, you can track each customer’s interactions across all channels, document their needs and challenges, and pinpoint their preferred content formats. This information can be used to create personalized communications that greatly improve the customer experience. By having better communication, you can also better deliver the right message to the right person. This approach is integral for ABM campaigns.
Identifying Buying Signals
CRM data can also help to identify buying signals such as a series of website visits, attending a relevant industry event, etc. Real-time monitoring can alert you when your target companies are engaging with content or displaying online behaviors indicating potential interest. Leveraging these signals, ABM teams can provide highly personalized content tailored to the individual account’s needs thereby increasing the likelihood of achieving their marketing goals.
ABM can be integrated with CRM to optimize targeting, by using data-driven profiling to determine the attributes of your best-fit leads. Combined with CRM, ABM allows companies to better tailor their content and outreach targeting the key individuals within target accounts responsible for decision-making, therefore, distributing their budgets effectively.
Examples of Successful ABM Campaigns
Companies that have implemented ABM are reporting impressive results. Salesforce increased their revenue by 38% by focusing on high-value accounts, reducing their sales cycle time and achieving an average deal size that was two times the previous. Another brand, Terminus, implemented intent data along with ABM reaching a 40% higher close rate and a 20% increase in deal size.
Strategies and Best Practices:
The best account-based marketing campaigns focus on the customer by understanding their unique needs and delivering customized, high-quality content to the account’s decision-makers. One of the best ways to achieve that is to align your marketing and sales teams through an ABM program. As sharing sales insights enable the delivery of personalized content to prospects throughout the entire buyer’s journey, resulting in increased engagement and a higher likelihood of a close.
Using AI and Machine Learning in ABM
As ABM involves managing relationships with a few high-value accounts, it requires a level of personalization that would be impossible to maintain without some form of automation. AI and machine learning excel at delivering deeper insights into account behavior and using that information to automate targeted outreach to decision-makers.
Advanced Account Insights
AI can analyze data sources, including web analytics, social media interactions, and CRM data to predict if an account is a good candidate for ABM campaigns. Insights generated by machine learning algorithms go beyond the capabilities of a human analyst, enabling personalized communication with each recipient.
AI can explore different scenarios such as which buyer persona would be best suited for each message, facilitating predictive modeling. This allows you to understand how specific accounts will react to different forms of outreach and match your message to the account’s stage in the buying process.
Automation in ABM
The use of AI in ABM can help automate account-based activities such as segmentation, email responses, and lead scoring. This allows ABM teams to focus on crafting messages tailored to a specific account rather than repetitive, menial tasks.
ABM in the Context of the Customer Journey
Account based marketing is all about treating individual accounts as markets of one. ABM allows marketers to target key accounts with personalized messaging and content delivered through the most appropriate channels. ABM works best when it’s part of a larger customer journey that spans the entire funnel, from awareness to advocacy.
Driving Awareness with ABM
At the top of the funnel, ABM’s role is to drive awareness and build relationships with target accounts. This is achieved by targeting identified decision-makers within the organization through highly personalized campaigns that address their specific pain points. These campaigns are delivered through a range of channels, including targeted advertising, social media, and content marketing.
Engagement with ABM
Once awareness has been established, ABM can then focus on engagement. Here, the aim is to build stronger relationships with the target accounts by providing them with personalized content and offers that resonate with their needs. This might include account-specific landing pages, personalized emails, or targeted webinars.
Retention with ABM
ABM’s role in retention is to keep existing customers happy and engaged. By focusing on the individual needs of each account, ABM can deliver personalized content and experiences that enhance the customer experience and drive loyalty. This might include personalization of customer service interactions or the delivery of targeted upsell offers.
ABM for Upselling and Cross-Selling
One of the lesser-known benefits of ABM is its ability to drive upsell and cross-sell opportunities. By targeting existing customers with personalized messaging and content, ABM campaigns can help identify new areas of need or opportunities for deeper engagement.
Identifying Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities
ABM campaigns can be used to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities by analyzing customer behavior and purchase history. By understanding the individual needs of each account, marketers can deliver personalized offers and promotions that are more likely to resonate and drive conversions.
Delivering Account-Specific Offers
ABM also allows marketers to deliver account-specific offers and promotions to target accounts based on their unique needs and preferences. By delivering personalized offers that address specific pain points or challenges, marketers can increase the likelihood of cross-sell or upsell success.
Using Social Media for ABM
Social media can be a powerful tool for ABM campaigns, allowing marketers to engage with target accounts in a more personalized and direct way. By leveraging social media, marketers can listen to conversations, target specific decision-makers, and deliver highly personalized content.
One of the most powerful tactics for social media ABM is social listening. This involves monitoring conversations on social media to identify key pain points and challenges faced by target accounts. By using social listening, marketers can tailor their messaging and content to address these specific concerns.
Account-Based Advertising on Social Media
Another tactic for social media ABM is account-based advertising. By using social media advertising to target specific decision-makers within target accounts, marketers can deliver highly personalized messaging and drive engagement with key accounts.
Finally, influencer outreach can be an effective way to increase engagement with target accounts on social media. By partnering with influencers who are trusted by target accounts, marketers can deliver more personalized messaging and content that resonates with their needs and challenges.
ABM for Targeted Events
If you’re looking to reach a specific audience at an event, account-based marketing is the way to go. Here are some strategies for using ABM to make your events more successful:
Before the event, research your target accounts and identify key decision makers. Reach out to these individuals and schedule a meeting or dinner during the event. Create personalized invitations and follow-up emails to get their attention and create a buzz.
To engage with your target accounts at the event, make sure your booth and materials are tailored specifically to them. Use personalized messaging and have a knowledgeable team ready to answer their questions. Plan a special event or activity for your target accounts, and make sure they know about it in advance.
After the event, continue the conversation with your target accounts. Send a personalized follow-up email with a recap of the event and any relevant materials. Schedule a call or meeting to discuss next steps and how you can further support their needs.
ABM for Global Expansion
Account-based marketing can be a powerful tool for expanding your business into new markets. Here’s how:
Identifying Key Decision Makers:
By using ABM to focus on specific accounts, you can identify the key decision makers within those organizations. This can help you understand who to target and how to engage with them.
Localize Your Message:
By creating personalized messaging for each target account, you can customize your approach to meet the needs of different markets. This can help you stand out and build relationships with potential customers.
Expand Engagement Efforts:
Once you’ve identified key decision makers and tailored your messaging, expand your engagement efforts in the new market. Attend events, sponsor conferences, and target online advertising to further build awareness and interest.
The Future of ABM
The use of AI-driven personalization is an emerging trend in ABM. As AI becomes more sophisticated, it will be able to identify and deliver highly personalized content and experiences at scale. Additionally, the role of account-based customer experience will become even more important as businesses focus on delivering tailored experiences that delight their customers.
ABM Best Practices
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a highly-customized approach that focuses on individual accounts and requires a strategic approach. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Identifying Target Accounts
Start by identifying the accounts that would benefit most from your product or service. Get cross-functional buy-in from marketing, sales, and customer success teams to understand the ideal customer profile, create target account lists, and prioritize accounts based on their potential value.
Creating Personalized Content
With ABM, the content needs to match the interests and needs of the specific target companies, decision-makers, and stakeholders. This personalized content could include whitepapers, webinars, reports, case studies, and more. Create content that is easily shareable and aligned with each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Measuring the success of ABM requires a framework for tracking and analyzing results. Metrics could include engagement levels with target account websites, pipeline growth, deal velocity, closed-won rates, customer lifetime value, and mentions in industry publications or relevant forums.
ABM vs. Demand Generation
Although ABM and demand generation share some similarities, they have different goals, audiences, and tactics.
Where demand generation aims to create brand awareness and generate demand across a broad audience, ABM focuses on a more targeted approach with specific accounts. ABM aims to increase customer lifetime value, cross-selling, up-selling, and ensure customer retention.
Demand generation targets more of a general audience, often including broad segments of consumers, a company’s database, and buyers who have not yet engaged with your product or service. ABM targets high-value accounts that are a good fit for your product or service.
While demand generation uses tactics such as display ads, email campaigns, and webinars, ABM employs a one-to-one approach that includes customized and personalized content, account-based data, and engagement with buyers’ specific interests. ABM also includes account-based sales development and customer success strategies tailored to each account.
The ROI of ABM
ABM is a highly effective strategy when executed well, and data shows that the ROI potential is higher than other marketing techniques.
A study by ITSMA found that 87% of marketers attributed ABM to delivering a higher return on investment than any other marketing approach. The study also found that ABM resulted in 38% higher close rates and 36% more customer lifetime value.
Another study by Alterra Group found that ABM had a 97% higher ROI compared to other marketing strategies. The study found that using ABM led to an 80% increase in deal size.
These statistics prove that ABM can deliver significant results for companies when executed well.
The Power of Account Based Marketing: A Game Changer for Your Business
You now understand the immense benefits that Account Based Marketing can have for your business. By focusing on a targeted list of accounts, you can create personalized experiences for each of your prospects, resulting in stronger relationships, increased revenue, and higher customer lifetime value.
Don’t hesitate to implement an ABM strategy into your marketing efforts – it’s a game changer that can take your business to the next level.