Account Based Marketing or ABM is a marketing strategy that puts its emphasis on creating personalised campaigns for specific high value accounts that sales and marketing teams agree have the greatest potential for becoming steady customers who will contribute significant value to the organisation.
In this way, rather than reaching out to a large and indeterminate audience, account based marketing focuses on a limited set of target accounts. This enables marketing and sales teams to laser focus their attention and concentrate their marketing efforts on a finite target audience whose needs and characteristics can be more accurately determined.
[Image source: Chili Piper]
An account based marketing strategy therefore reduces the amount of waste that an organisation would otherwise suffer in time, effort, and resources by casting a wide net in hopes of quality lead generation. By requiring collaboration and agreement on target accounts by sales and marketing teams, an ABM strategy also fosters alignment between these two mission-critical groups.
Check this out to learn more about Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Once high value accounts that fit an organisation’s ideal customer profile (ICP) have been identified and agreed upon by marketing and sales teams, account based marketing tools enable the marketing team to produce intensely personalised content for decision-makers in each target account, and sales teams to interact with these target accounts in ways most relevant to their current needs and position along the customer journey. For B2B buyers, this makes for a more engaging customer experience – one more likely to convert these high value accounts into long-standing and loyal customers of the brand.
By empowering sales and marketing teams to specifically target key decision-makers in key accounts, ABM tactics also enable B2B organisations to optimise the sales process and shorten the B2B sales cycle.
Why many businesses aren’t getting the most from their account based marketing efforts
Besides being a marketing strategy, ABM is also a growth strategy, with the potential to continuously generate a high return on investment (ROI) and revenue for B2B organisations. However, many B2B companies find it difficult to sustain an account based marketing strategy long enough for this to happen. This is largely because most organisations use account based marketing tactics that only work for the short term, limiting the scope of a campaign to just a few months.
To reap the full benefits of the ABM approach, B2B organisations need to adopt a strategy for the long term, and be prepared to commit the resources and skill required for its implementation.
[Image source: SalesIntel]
How to use account based marketing for profit and growth
You can use the following recommendations to develop and execute an account based marketing strategy that ensures profit and growth for the long term.
Identify the key accounts to focus on
Analyse data and market intelligence to identify potential high value accounts that fit your ideal customer profile. You can do this by considering parameters like industry, size, activity, location, technology use, and other factors. Using avenues such as listening on social media channels for mentions of specific products or services, establish their pain points and aspirations, so that your marketing and sales teams can appeal specifically to them.
Develop a personalised marketing plan
From the results of your research, develop a personalised marketing plan that addresses the specific needs of each of your target accounts. Knowing the pain points and challenges they face will assist you in achieving marketing alignment between the unique characteristics of each target account, and the personalised solutions that you offer them. Identifying the channels that your key accounts habitually use to engage online will enable you to prioritise those channels where your digital marketing efforts will have the most effect.
Create customer journey maps
A customer journey map provides a visual representation of how high value accounts interact with your brand. The map shows how decision makers at these accounts move through different stages of their relationship with you, and provides insights into what they need at each stage. This can help your marketing team and sales teams to create content and offer solutions that truly meet their needs.
Develop relevant content that also inspires action
The sustained success of your account based marketing efforts hinges on your continually meeting potential buyers and existing clients with relevant and valuable content that meets their personal needs and challenges at any point on the customer journey. However, this content should also inspire action. Including a clear call to action (CTA) to let your target accounts know the next steps to take in their continuing engagement with your brand.
Monitor and measure
To a great extent, account based marketing is a data-dependent marketing strategy. Accurate information is critical in determining the identities and habits of target accounts, tracking their activities and interactions with market intelligence, search engines, social media, and so on.
A consequence of this is that an ABM framework provides a wealth of data and opportunities to monitor the success of your efforts. This can range from assessing levels of engagement and reactions to your inbound marketing materials, through the behaviour of high value accounts on your website and social media, to measuring the ROI of your digital marketing and ABM activities.
Get help and support when you need it
Account based marketing can also be labour-intensive and complex. You may therefore benefit from partnering with a specialist marketing agency.
Here at Incisive Edge, we concentrate on creating a brand relationship with your prospects and customers that establishes trust, builds authority, and increases your credibility. In order to do that, we take a strategic approach to your total addressable market and your services, that will create a lasting imprint on your prospects. We'll work together to create buyer personas, map the customer journey, and determine the right path to high value opportunities.
To learn more about how Incisive Edge can help you grow your B2B audience with Account Based Marketing, get in touch with us.