Marketing is an ever-evolving field where you need to come up with innovative ideas, especially in the B2B space.
One of those ideas that is trending in B2B marketing is Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
ABM complements the conventional, short-term marketing goals of generating leads with efforts focused on driving long-term revenue.
This Account-Based Marketing guide will cover:
- What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
- Importance of the ABM approach in B2B
- The Benefits of ABM
- Who Should Use an Account-Based Marketing Approach?
- ABM Mistakes to Avoid
- ABM Best Practices
- How to Use ABM to Enter New Markets
- Generating B2B Leads Using ABM
- Creating Content for ABM Campaigns
- How to Turn Your Accounts into Customers?
- How to Automate your ABM Campaign
- Importance of Quality Data in ABM
- Using Intent Data to Drive More Leads
- How to Prepare Your B2B Database for ABM?
- How to Choose the Best B2B Data Partner for ABM?
ABM is, in the simplest terms, a marketing strategy that allows marketers to target and engage a focused set of the target audience. By strategically targeting accounts, marketing and sales teams need to work together to agree on targets and create account-specific messaging.
What makes ABM a preferred approach for B2B companies?
Higher revenues in a shorter time frame.
It is just like reverse-engineering the traditional marketing approach.
Rather than throwing a large net for their lead-generation activities, marketers using ABM are working closely with the sales team to identify key accounts and prospects within them and then tailoring personalized campaigns and communications with the target accounts and their purchasing team.
To learn more about Account-Based Marketing. Here’s our webinar recap on ABM for beginners.
As ABM evolves from a modern cutting-edge approach into a well-known, trusted technique, marketers are realizing its importance and beginning to implement it.
According to a study conducted by Oracle and Argyle among B2B marketers, as many as 48% of respondents assume that ABM is a very effective tool for the marketing strategy of a business, and 16% think that ABM is crucial to the success of a business.
Additionally, 52% of respondents said ABM was a tactic that perfectly complemented the numerous marketing resources and activities of an organization. Since this approach focuses on concentrating on only important accounts, you can make your marketing campaigns more personalized and targeted. This ultimately improves your conversion rate.
Here’s a detailed article that focuses on the need for ABM strategy for your business in the first place.
First and foremost, Account-Based Marketing helps you get and keep the attention of the right people and reach them at the right time.
The major advantage of Account-Based Marketing is that it addresses the needs and concerns of customers. This demonstrates your understanding of the company, their needs, and increases the opportunities for acquiring the account.
In a study for the Altera group, 97% said that ABM resulted in a higher ROI than other investment strategies.
Aligns Sales and Marketing Teams:
The focused, high-effort nature of ABM has shown that it aligns sales and marketing. The State of Pipeline Marketing showed that marketers using ABM are 50% more likely to report better alignment with their sales team.
AMB requires a highly-focused marketing approach and a detailed strategy without leaving any loopholes. This high-contact, multi-touch marketing strategy requires appropriate time and resource distribution.
As a result, not every business can implement ABM successfully.
To ensure you do it right, brainstorm with your team on a few questions. Some of the questions that you can consider are listed below:
What is our usual customer base?
If you have big accounts on your target list, ABM is the perfect approach for targeting them. However, if your focus is on high volume, small accounts, ABM may not be a good option as it requires significant manpower and resources to devote to each account.
How much customer data do we have?
You should have a sizable database to execute an ABM strategy successfully. If your target markets are too varied, or you simply don’t have enough customer data, then ABM will be much more difficult to implement.
Here’s an eBook that will help answer your questions – Is ABM for you?
Some early adopters of ABM are getting great results. However, some businesses have seen their lofty ABM ambitions fall short after putting in much effort. Why is that?
The dirty little secret with Account-Based Marketing is – It’s easy to understand the ABM strategy, but implementing it effectively in your sales and marketing plan is difficult (that’s why most still don’t do it).
Some common ABM mistakes include:
- Not having a clear view of who your target accounts and the decision-makers or decision making unit at them are
- Not aligning sales and marketing
- Lack of personalization due to insufficient research
- Not reviewing your ABM toolkit
- Not creating ABM-focussed content
- Considering Inbound Marketing & ABM as incompatible strategies
- Making account selection like a wish list instead of a strategically selected list of accounts
Apart from the above list of mistakes, I would encourage you to explore 4 ABM mistakes that you should never repeat to become a successful account-based marketer.
While it is necessary to avoid the ABM mistakes, you need to follow some best practices to master Account-Based Marketing. Here are some of those:
- Focus on identifying and understanding your high-value, high intent audience
- Don’t make a sales pitch, address and try to resolve their pain points
- Infuse relevance and context into all your communication
- Don’t try to mix all the channels. Choose only the relevant and best channels for all communication
- Measure, track, and optimize your Account-Based Marketing campaigns
We recently presented a webinar on the best practices to execute a successful ABM pretargeting campaign. Here’s the recap of our webinar.
If you are launching a new product or expanding to a new area, it’s a huge undertaking to develop that market.
Many B2B marketing and sales teams have succeeded in implementing an Account-Based Marketing strategy to penetrate a new market. However, finding the right contacts from the right companies in a new market can be difficult if these teams do not have access to the types of information that will help them to make data-driven decisions on whom to target with their ABM campaigns.
For instance, suppose you are selling an expensive SaaS software solution or a consulting service. Rather than taking a blanket approach – pursuing small businesses, SMBs, and enterprises – you could start by concentrating on those accounts that have the highest need and the budget. By combined efforts and resources, the marketing and sales teams can more efficiently penetrate new markets and convert accounts.
If you want to dive deeper into how you can use ABM intelligently to enter a new market, here’s a webinar recap.
As Account-Based Marketing requires an account-specific approach, you need to study the accounts that you are targeting. This makes it easy for marketers to plan marketing activities.
ABM focuses on lead generation strategies to create tailored marketing campaigns for specific high-value accounts. With an eye on quality outreach, ABM enables organizations to construct strategic sets of activities that are consistent and highly tailored to improve relationship-building – not just in the short term, but also in the long run.
We have delivered a webinar on using ABM outbound tactics to drive inbound leads where we discussed how to drive engagement with your ideal client profile using account-based targeting methodologies.
Here’s the webinar recap.
Marketers often go wide, trying to reach as many people as possible, with as many pieces of content, and in the shortest period of time possible. This scattershot approach inevitably results in wasted resources, material, and time. That certainly isn’t high-value.
High-value content is content that is relevant to your specific and desired audience. An Account-Based Marketing strategy lets you define specific targets and approach them with personalized content.
Knowing your accounts and their stakeholders well is essential for thoroughly personalized content.
While creating an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) helps you recognize and segment the most valuable accounts, and target new ones, you will need more detailed information about those accounts to produce the most personalized content for your ABM strategy.
As a marketer, it’s crucial to understand how to utilize Account-Based Marketing tactics to convert prospects into buyers.
An Account-Based Marketing sales funnel is all about the customer. Taking into account the complexity (and multiple points) of the decision-making process, you need to nurture accounts using personalized content and use the right channels to reach them.
If you’re not using the right channels to reach the potential accounts, your rate of success will falter.
If a business receives a tailored offer that fits its unique needs, there is no reason why it is much more likely to engage. It is a customer-centric approach, and this is where its most prominent value is.
However, taking the right approach is crucial. Here are some useful tips from marketing experts on how to turn accounts into customers.
You have compiled a list of target accounts. For each step of the selling cycle, you map out a strategy. You build synergies between marketing and sales teams to engage your customers and close deals.
But why does it feel so complicated? ABM requires manual effort to execute.
Manual effort can leave you wondering how you can scale your ABM process.
Marketing automation plays a key role in driving the success and replicability of ABM campaigns. Automation allows companies to hyper-target their outreach based on interests and actions. You can automate your ABM campaign at every step to minimize your efforts and simplify the process.
While automating the ABM strategy may seem daunting, here are some tips on how you can make ABM automation simple and effective.
You might be thinking, what does data have to do with Account-Based Marketing?
Every step you take to implement ABM is data-fueled. If your data is weak, unorganized, or unreliable, you will never have the information you need to make your ABM strategy a success.
Prospect and customer data allows you to tailor your account targeting strategy. As discussed earlier, to target key accounts, you need to create an Ideal Customer Profile. While creating an ICP for your Account-Based Marketing, you will require data points such as:
- Company size
- Average purchase size
- What technologies they use
If you have a lot of target accounts but you are unable to connect with the decision-makers within them, you won’t be able to turn those accounts into customers.
Learn more about the impact of bad data on your ABM strategy.
As a B2B marketer, you are trying to move the needle on pipeline and revenue. You want to build compelling campaigns. However, how do you get the right message to target audiences at the right time?
By combining Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and intent data, you can influence buyers early and address their pain points during the buying process. With greater awareness of buyer interest and behaviors in real-time, marketing and sales teams are better prepared to engage key stakeholders and win over target accounts.
Unfortunately, most marketing, sales, and even customer success teams aren’t using intent data to its fullest extent.
Here’s how you can supercharge your ABM campaigns by using buying intent.
Account-Based Marketing is based on the concept of targeting a group of accounts that are a perfect match for your product or service and nurturing them with marketing outreach strategies and content. Marketing campaigns will also address several stakeholders within a company and include interaction through email, social media, events, outbound calls, and advertising.
Thus, preparing your database for Account-Based Marketing becomes a critical first step to successfully executing an ABM program.
However, preparing a quality database involves a lot of work before it is ready for Account-Based Marketing campaign. It’s critical for you to decide the information you need when adding new accounts and contacts to your database. This data most likely includes contact information for decision-markers as well as company data.
Learn more in detail about things to consider while preparing your database for Account-Based Marketing.
Preparing your database for ABM can take a lot of man-hours and painstaking work. The easiest way to do it is to utilize a sales intelligence platform.
To skip the time spent on preparing your database and spend more time on execution, many B2B businesses rely on a data partner who can make it easier for them to reach decision-makers.
However, with several B2B data partners and sales intelligence platforms available, it can be difficult to choose one that fits your requirements and offers accurate data within your budget.
Although it is challenging to decide who to partner with, you can set a few parameters while evaluating data partners.
Here’s a six-step process to choose the right B2B data partner for your business.