A beginner’s guide to account-based marketing and why your business needs to start now
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic marketing approach that targets specific accounts for a more personalised and effective communication experience with clients and future business prospects.
Most inbound marketing strategies seek to engage the maximum amount of people possible, focusing on those that respond with interest and leading them towards a closing sale. However, they lack the ability to specifically target prospects and to personalise their approach.
ABM provides a more specific, targeted approach for high quality leads. Not all leads are the same, with some accounts requiring more nurturing, dependent on the conversion goal.
Marketing and sales teams have realised that nurturing one prospect can prove to be more valuable than spreading broad content to many targets of lesser worth. To meet this demand for a more personalised approach, software programs have began tailoring for companies using account-targeting approaches. However, larger companies have also found targeting on each individual campaign is hard to scale and time consuming.
According to Marketo, ABM is no longer a nice-to-have, but a critical component of every marketer’s toolbox. ABM allows you to share the best content and tailor messages to the accounts in need of a more personalised and personal approach.
The use of ABM
Marketing automation software helps you achieve specific goals for each target and client. If your goal is an initial sale, ABM helps you to pick the most relevant target, and then creates a personalised campaign and target accounts that matter in more personalized ways. While you may still use the broad-based approach of sharing your message with as many contacts as possible, you can choose specific accounts to focus on separately.
As ABM helps you to target accounts through innovative automated technology, putting more effort into targeted accounts with a higher chance of conversion doesn’t have to mean a lot more work.
What are the benefits of ABM?
Increased Marketing ROI: A survey run by ITSMA - a team of expert B2B marketers and researchers - found that ABM delivered the highest ROI of any B2B marketing strategy.
This is because it focuses its efforts on catching the biggest fish in the sea. Although it might be harder to catch, it often provides a greater investment and long-term revenue.
The broad-based marketing technique – where content is broadcasted to as many people as possible – will usually provide less valuable leads, bringing in less revenue in the long run.
ABM helps you achieve high ROI accounts whilst minimising effort and time spent by your marketing and sales team securing and converting the right accounts.
More Personal and Optimized: According to the Aberdeen Group, 75% of customers prefer personalised offers and are more likely to engage with content that is specifically targeted to them.
ABM targets specific accounts that deserve more attention, allowing for a personalised marketing plan that naturally optimises each account. Your marketing plan for these accounts should involve each of their specific goals, the type of business, the current step that the customer is at in the buying process, individual needs, and more.
Customer Relationships: After the initial sale, accounts can still be targeted for further revenue found in upselling, cross-selling, contract renewals, or even advocacy. Through personalisation, ABM allows you to target each account with a different revenue-driving goal in mind, making them more likely to engage with offers and communication. With ABM, your marketing team can focus on building a long-term client relationship to continue driving sales.
Efficiency and Productivity: By targeting the most beneficial accounts for your goals, you can stop wasting efforts on low-converting or unlikely leads. Focusing on fewer accounts with higher conversion probabilities will increase your conversion rates overall, boost revenue and increase team morale.
Your marketing team can collaborate with your sales team in order to foster a nurturing environment as you build and strengthen each account relationship. This teamwork can avoid any crossovers and ensure efficiency in sealing a deal.
Who is ABM for?
Matt Heinz, CEO of Heinz Marketing, said, “Account-based marketing isn’t about company size. If there is more than one person in the organisation you need to influence to get the deal, account-based marketing applies.”
Before the recent rise in marketing automation, and specifically the features available for ABM, only large companies had the resources to tediously target and personalise individual accounts and campaigns.
Now that ABM is available to companies of all sizes, smaller companies looking to enter a bigger enterprise or larger companies looking for a higher conversion rate are equally suited for integrating an ABM plan into their current marketing