Its personalised approach and attention to detail is drawing consumers in with messaging tailored just for them. However, teams are struggling to implement it across their organisation.
So let’s go over the basics, from what it is to when should you use this strategy within your company.
What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
Despite the hype, many companies struggle to define and implement ABM within their organisation. Some people summarise ABM as a sales tactic, but it’s much more than that.
Account-based marketing turns the sales funnel upside down. Because not all clients and companies are created equal. So instead of creating a marketing strategy for a broad demographic and moving interested parties through each step of your sales pipeline, ABM is about creating content and campaigns that only speak to specific accounts which you are targeting.
So ABM is not really a sales function at all. It’s a focused growth strategy which unites the marketing and sales team. Together, you identify key decision-makers and craft customised programs, content and messaging for those companies which speak to their challenges or current pain points.
For example, say you work at a design agency, and your target audience is lifestyle brands. Using inbound marketing techniques, you would develop content for all lifestyle brands and wait for them to come to you for more information. However, in this scenario, you don’t know if you’re reaching decision-makers and have no way of knowing if your content or ads are useful to prospects.
With ABM, you would focus on companies that are your ideal customer. By tracking who visits your website or researching prospects and then writing content and campaigns specifically for those companies. This way, you know your message will resonate.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Going from targeting individuals to targeting accounts will most likely feel like a shift. But the benefits outweigh the challenges. And if you do it well, it pays dividends.
ABM encourages more collaboration between marketing and sales
Marketing and sales are often siloed departments, but ABM is a team sport. Marketers and salespeople need to share knowledge and work together for optimum results. Both departments keep the other accountable while bringing their unique expertise to the table by working in unison. This also ensures both time and money are spent more wisely and reduces time spent nurturing junk leads early on.
ABM allows you to stand out from the crowd and get personal
Account-based marketing is all about personalisation and a deep understanding of your customers. By tailoring content and activities to specific pain points while weaving in your product or service offering, you stand out from the crowd by not being generic. This dialogue and hyper-personalised content around your specific offering also inherently excludes your competitors.
Track success easier with ABM
ABM is a focused strategy, meaning you’ll have fewer metrics and KPIs to track. And the detailed strategy you came up with makes it easier to monitor your progress. Making goal-setting and analysing a breeze because you are looking at a much smaller data set across fewer touchpoints.
ABM boosts your Return on Investment (ROI)
You want to be able to deliver real value from your efforts. ABM’s targeted, precise, personalised and measurable approach means that it delivers a higher ROI than any other type of marketing activity while limiting the amount of waste and risk.
Account-Based Marketing vs Inbound Marketing
At this point, you may wonder if ABM needs to replace your current strategy mean to attract clients. Inbound marketing reflects the traditional sales funnel. It’s a sales strategy that casts a wide net using content and aims to attract, delight and convert customers. ABM focuses on sales and marketing processes designed to make specific types of customers convert.
Both depend on a genuine understanding of your target audience.
So rather than picking one strategy over another, run both simultaneously. You can reuse content, resources and customer experiences to attract all types of customers.
When should you use account-based marketing?
We’ve demonstrated the benefits of using an ABM strategy and how it can complement your inbound strategy. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be used all the time. Let us explain.
For starters, do you have a clearly defined and proven person and know exactly who you want to do business with? If yes, then you should take the time to target those people and companies directly rather than hope they will come to you at some point in time. However, if you’re just starting off, and your customers don’t know that you exist, then best target a wide array of organisations you’d want to do business with. And then narrow in on hot prospects you’d like to work with later.
Once you have identified companies you’d like to do business with, can you target specific decision-makers? ABM is all about reaching out to people in power and involves identifying every person involved in the decision-making process, crafting messaging for them, delivering content relevant to their role, and encouraging them to engage with your sales reps. Our lead generation software can help you do just that by showing you which companies visit your site and the names and positions of people within that company. However, if you’re unable to target key decision-makers, then ABM will be impossible.
Lastly, ABM has high implementation costs. So it works best for larger-scale clients given the amount of time and money required and may not be worthwhile for smaller accounts with low revenue predictions.
Land high value accounts with account-based marketing
Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With an established persona, aligned sales and marketing teams and hyper-focused messaging, you can identify and reach out to valuable accounts more efficiently and grow better.