ABM is a business marketing strategy that focuses resources on a specific set of target accounts within a market. It employs personalized campaigns to engage each account, tailoring the marketing message to the account’s unique characteristics and needs.
ABM also takes a broader view of marketing than just lead generation. One of the keys to getting the most value from your largest accounts is to market to existing customer accounts to encourage upselling and cross-selling.
What is account-based marketing (ABM)?
ABM is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on key accounts instead of buyers or market segments. The goal of ABM is to create personalized campaigns for each account that are designed to drive results.
ABM has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more companies are looking for ways to better target their best customers. When done correctly, ABM can be highly effective in driving sales and achieving other business objectives.
There are many different elements that go into an effective ABM strategy, but some of the most important include identifying your ideal customer profile, creating targeted content, and using data and analytics to track results.
The Benefits of ABM
As companies move away from one-size-fits-all marketing strategies and focus on more personalized approaches, account-based marketing (ABM) has become a popular option. ABM is a type of B2B marketing that targets specific accounts with customized campaigns designed to generate interest and convert leads.
There are several Account Based Marketing benefits that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to improve their marketing return on interest (ROI). First, ABM allows you to focus your resources on high-value accounts that are most likely to convert. This targeted approach results in more efficient use of your marketing budget and improved lead quality.
Second, ABM provides greater visibility into the customer journey, allowing you to see which touchpoints are most effective at moving prospects through the sales funnel.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is becoming increasingly popular among B2B companies focusing on larger accounts. Account-based marketing has many advantages over other marketing approaches for companies trying to sell for large accounts with long sales cycles and large deal sizes:
Personalized marketing tactic
Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach, marketers create personalized messaging for target accounts by taking what they know about their customers and tailoring the creative assets of their campaigns to the customer’s specific attributes and needs.
Alignment of sales and marketing
Account-based marketing encourages marketing and sales teams to collaborate by identifying target accounts, creating customized campaigns for them, and collaborating to align and move individual accounts through the pipeline, both before and after the lead conversion.
Sales cycles that are shorter
Multiple stakeholders are involved in major purchase decisions. Because it begins at a lower level in the organization and moves slowly toward the primary decision maker; this typically slows down the sales process. The length of the cycle is reduced in account-based marketing because all prospects are nurtured at the same time.
Sales and marketing coordination
Account-based marketing encourages marketing and sales teams to collaborate by identifying target accounts, creating customized campaigns for them, and working together to align and move individual accounts through the pipeline, both before and after the lead conversion.
Shorter sales cycles
Multiple stakeholders are involved in major purchasing decisions. This typically slows down the sales process because it begins at a lower level in the organization and progresses slowly toward the primary decision-maker. The length of the cycle is shortened in account-based marketing because all prospects are nurtured at the same time.
Examples of Account-based Marketing:
Account-based marketing begins with the creation of meaningful segments, followed by the identification of marketing programs that can be personalized to those segments on the channels that have the greatest impact on them (events, website, email). Each company’s strategy will employ a unique set of Account-based Marketing tactics.
Your approach to targeting a specific account will be determined by the account’s specific characteristics, meaningful segments for that account, and relevant marketing channels. The target segments you choose to center your ABM programs on will add the most value to your organization. Here are some real-world examples of how B2B marketers can use account-based marketing to develop programs:
In-person events have historically been one of the most effective ways for sales teams to persuade decision-makers. Personal invitations to key prospects from target accounts, special VIP dinners, personalized gifts and schwags for target accounts, and personalized follow-up after the event can all be part of an ABM approach to events.
Webinars, like events, can be tailored to be relevant and timely for a specific target account. Webinar events and follow-ups can be customized for specific businesses, and customized webinar content can be created with the target audience in mind.
In an age when everyone is inundated with emails, direct mail has become an increasingly popular method of reaching out to prospects within a company. Because ABM is more targeted, gifts and marketing content sent via direct mail can be more valuable because the revenue potential is much greater.
Email marketing campaigns
Despite the popularity of direct mail, email remains a valuable ABM marketing channel. Whereas volume-based marketing may employ templates and marketing automation, account-based marketing entails customizing email messages for each company and individual.
PPC and paid social media ads are popular methods of reaching out to specific accounts on the web. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to target specific companies and personas, and by leveraging technology like IP targeting and retargeting, your display campaigns can be tailored to focus on a small number of target accounts rather than casting a wide net.
Personalization of the web
ABM campaigns on the web go beyond driving traffic via personalized SEM and inbound marketing campaigns. When visitors arrive at the website, website personalization technology can be used to provide a tailored, account-specific experience for target prospects rather than the generic website experience.
How to implement ABM strategies
As its name suggests, account-based marketing (ABM) is a laser-focused approach to marketing in which all activities are tailored to a specific target account or group of accounts.
While this may seem like a daunting task at first, implementing an ABM strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are just a few key steps you need to take in order to get started:
1. Formalize your account selection process
Everything in an account-based marketing strategy is predicated through a thorough and consistent understanding of the accounts and audiences being targeted. ABM necessitates marketing and sales teams strategically selecting accounts to target and nurture via personalized engagement and support.
Marketing teams should create target company personas based on the high-value clients most likely to convert and/or grow to formalize the account selection process. Consider what business objectives and values these target accounts have in common, as well as what major steps in their purchasing journey precede the purchase.
The more accurate your marketing team will be able to pinpoint high-quality target accounts, the more robust your target company personas should be. Both the CRM software and direct consumer surveys from existing customers can be used to gather this data.
2. Work together with your marketing and sales departments
The next stage is creating robust, data-backed target company personas before designing a pipeline strategy. A strategy for account-based marketing looks considerably different from a strategy for conventional lead generation.
Traditionally, marketing-led outreach ends when sales accept a lead from the marketing team, and the sales team handles client contact. Successful account engagement for ABM initiatives instead necessitates proactive, ongoing cooperation between the marketing and sales teams.
The creation of a smart, targeted campaign across several channels requires collaboration between marketers and sales representatives from the very first engagement. This collaborative effort should be continued throughout the sales process, with a strategic marketing presence in digital channels continuing after the typical sales team handoff.
As your target buyers continue to gather information and look for buying assistance, this longer communication allows your marketing team more chances to provide customized content.
Marketing leaders should develop a list of planned and implemented engagement and nurturing techniques over time in partnership with the sales team, and use the list to modify their continuing ABM strategy’s outreach and engagement activities.
3. Strengthen your tech stack and use external targeting tools
For account-based marketing to succeed, the correct software stack and technological expenditures are essential.
From account selection to engagement and nurturing, ABM software is built to strengthen every important step of an Account Based Marketing strategy. It also has reporting and analytic capabilities to help the strategy as it develops and matures by informing any necessary adjustments.
There are two approaches to provide the resources marketing and sales teams require to implement an effective ABM program: Adopt an ABM platform that covers every aspect of the process end to end, or start an ABM program with your current martech stack and scale it with additional tools as needed.
Teams seeking solutions specializing in features like improving audience management, proprietary intent data, or even complex reporting and data modeling, can locate solutions that handle certain elements in the ABM process and enhance their existing marketing technology.
For instance, intent data can add a wealth of exclusive, third-party user data to existing customer data. By including this particular technology in current sales and marketing tech stacks, teams are given the ability to build buyer personas using a wealth of demographic and behavioral data.
We advise creating both a short-term and long-term plan as you prepare your account-based marketing strategy. Think about the end-to-end or auxiliary technology plan your team will require to run a prototype ABM program and what it will take to execute your program at full scale.
Remember that there is generally no one right option when deciding between a full end-to-end ABM service and supplemental tools to support existing marketing technologies. The secret to success is open engagement with important stakeholders to identify the strategy that makes the most sense for your company and provides the highest ROI.
Account-based Marketing statistics to know in 2022
Account-based marketing might be a two-decades-old marketing concept. But not many marketers are still using it, which is a shame. That is why we have selected must-know account-based marketing statistics to help B2B marketers use the right marketing strategies in 2022. Here’s what ABM is doing in the marketing sector:
1. 1.6 billion people are expected to use account-based marketing globally
By 2027, the world ABM market will be booming, according to the most recent account-based marketing statistics. The ABM industry is projected to reach $749.4 million in 2020 despite the pandemic.
Between 2021 and 2022, ABM will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% overall. Additional ABM growth predictions are as follows:
- ABM sales in the US are anticipated to reach $202.3 million.
- The Chinese ABM market will likewise expand at a 15.2% CAGR.
- In the Asian Pacific area, South Korea, Australia, and India will lead ABM.
2. The dedicated headcount for ABM teams has decreased by 7%
Account-based marketing is a hot topic right now. To maximize outcomes, several marketers have included ABM into their standard marketing strategies.
Forrester account-based marketing figures show that the headcount for ABM teams has recently decreased by 7%. This demonstrates how ABM is becoming more widely used as more marketing teams use it.
Personalization and data management is claimed to be the cornerstones of ABM in the same Forrester report. According to 56% of marketers, tailored content aids in more effectively focusing on hot accounts.
In addition, data management is seen by 43% of marketers as being essential to the implementation of the ABM strategy. An accurate account-based marketing strategy cannot be implemented without effective data management.
3. Just 17% of marketers use an established ABM strategy
ABM is still a popular marketing term. It is recommended that most marketers don’t have a developed ABM plan, despite the big community of B2B marketers investing in ABM.
Only 17% of marketers have established ABM marketing strategies, according to accounting-based marketing statistics from the ITSMA benchmark research.
This indicates that 83% of marketers are still seeking the ideal ABM implementation strategy. But 43% of marketers are attempting to improve and track their ABM campaigns.
So, in the upcoming years, look for some creative account-based marketing efforts.
4. ABM Strategies Can Increase Marketing Revenue By 208%
Companies that have synchronized account-based marketing strategies have witnessed a 208% increase in their marketing income, according to a MarketingProfs study. However, a coordinated ABM strategy is an important idea here.
The marketing and sales teams are working together to target the same accounts as part of the coordinated ABM strategy. When both of your teams are working on the same accounts, efficiency may be increased, and greater results can be obtained quickly.
For the best possible results, marketers must therefore develop coordinated account-based marketing initiatives. You include ABM in your upcoming significant marketing efforts, be sure to seat your sales and marketing teams at the same table.
The types of accounts you should target
When it comes to account-based marketing, there are three types of accounts that you should target:
1. Key Accounts: These are accounts that are essential to the success of your business. They are usually large organizations with complex decision-making processes.
2. Growth Accounts: These are accounts that have the potential to significantly grow your business. They may be smaller than key accounts, but they have high growth potential.
3. Strategic Accounts: These are accounts that can help you achieve specific strategic objectives. For example, if you’re looking to enter a new market, you would target a strategic account in that market.
Measuring the Success of Your ABM Program
In account-based marketing (ABM), success can be difficult to measure. This is because ABM is a complex, multi-faceted strategy that often involves multiple teams and departments. There are a number of metrics that can be used to measure the success of an ABM program, but which ones you use will depend on your specific goals and objectives.
Some common metrics used to measure the success of an ABM program include:
-Number of targeted accounts contacted
-Number of meetings held with decision-makers
-Number of new deals closed
-Revenue generated from new deals
To get the most accurate picture of your ABM program’s success, you should track all of these metrics over time.
This will help you identify any areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments to your strategy.
In business-to-business markets, account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to key accounts that aligns sales and marketing resources to land and expand relationships with specific, targeted companies.
Also known as key account management or key account development, ABM goes beyond traditional lead generation methods by taking into account the specific needs of each target account. The goal of ABM is to generate quality leads that result in closed deals and long-term customers.