Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a business marketing strategy used by B2B marketers to identify and target the accounts they value the most. It uses personalized campaigns to engage each account, tailoring the marketing message to the account’s unique attributes 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.
ABM enables marketers to identify and target the accounts that are most important to them. Accounts can be segmented in many ways, such as by partner, prospect, or customer. You get the information that is most important to your business. ABM scales and integrates into every stage of the marketing funnel. You can easily target 50, 500, or 5000 accounts to support your business objectives.
Definitions of Account-Based Marketing in Market
According to ITSMA – “Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a structured approach to developing and implementing highly customized sales and marketing campaigns for single accounts, prospects or partnerships.”
According to Wikipedia – “Account Based Marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. ABM is typically employed in enterprise-level sales organizations.”
According to SiriusDecisions – “Account Based Marketing (ABM) is strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of accounts, including strategic accounts and named accounts. ABM helps to evolve the role of marketing to reflect a stronger alignment with sales objectives and customer needs to deliver better execution and revenue outcomes.”
Why Account-Based Marketing?
- Focuses on Best Opportunities – ABM delivers the accounts that matter most, focusing on quality. You spend your marketing resources on the best opportunities.
- Supports Sales Reality – Marketing teams who understand ABM are in a powerful position to align with the needs of Sales. Shifting the focus to accounts, rather than individuals, bridges the previous gaps between Marketing and Sales.
- Delivers Customer-Centric Experience – Focusing on a limited number of target accounts means you can deliver a highly personalized experience focusing on every stage along the buyer’s journey.
- Connects Marketing To Revenue – Most importantly, ABM connects your marketing programs to revenue. You’re not guessing anymore – you see exactly how your efforts are impacting revenue.
The Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is becoming increasingly popular among B2B companies that are focusing on larger accounts. Account-based marketing has many advantages over other marketing approaches for companies trying to sell into large accounts with long sales cycles and large deal sizes:
Personalized Marketing Approach
Instead of using a generic marketing approach, marketers create personalized messaging for target accounts by using the information they already have about their target audience to customize the campaign’s creative materials to suit customers’ specific needs and attributes.
Aligning Sales and Marketing
In order to align and move individual accounts through the pipeline, both before and after lead conversion, marketing teams and sales organizations must collaborate. This involves identifying target accounts, creating campaigns that are specifically tailored for them, and collaborating to identify target accounts.
For the Sales team, alignment means they will have greater predictability about the quality of the marketing sourced leads. Rather than a giant bucket of leads, the leads they receive will be directly related to the target accounts they are driving to close. And because these leads are connected to the target accounts, they don’t need to waste any time sorting through unqualified leads.
For the marketing team, this alignment means they can focus their resources and investments efficiently on the kinds of programs that reach the target account list and that impact the bottom line of the company. They know that the programs they implement really impact revenue goals. This is a partnership through the entire funnel, through the entire buyer’s journey, which delivers better results and transparency.
Shorter Sales Cycles
Multiple stakeholders are involved in major purchase decisions. This typically slows down the sales process, because it begins at a lower level in the business and proceeds slowly toward the key decision maker. Account-based marketing shortens the cycle because all prospects are nurtured at the same time.
Better Return on Investment (ROI)
Of all B2B marketing strategies, account-based marketing offers the highest ROI since it is precise and measurable. Account-based marketing outperforms all other marketing strategies, according to 85% of marketers who track ROI.
Less Wastage of Resources
Time and resources are devoted to a small number of accounts that are most likely to result in sales. This frees up resources that would otherwise be wasted.
How to Implement Account-Based Marketing
A step-by-step guide for setting up account-based marketing is provided below.
- Step 1 – Identify your high-value target accounts.
- Step 2 – Conduct research on those accounts.
- Step 3 – Develop customized marketing campaigns.
- Step 4 – Run your customized marketing campaigns.
- Step 5 – Measure your customized marketing campaigns.
Account-Based Marketing Tech Stack
Today, we’re shedding some light on the account-based marketing technology stack and what tools you’ll need to make ABM work for your company for those marketers who are excited about ABM but are unsure of the technology required to make it a success.
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 tactics.
Your approach to targeting a specific account will be determined by the account’s specific attributes, meaningful segments for that account, and its 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:
The best chances for sales teams to influence decision-makers have traditionally been in-person events. Personalized follow-up after the event, customized VIP dinners, personalized gifts and swag for target accounts, and invitations to important prospects from target accounts are all examples of an ABM approach to events.
Like events, webinars can be tailored to be timely and relevant for a particular target account. Webinar follow-ups and events can be customized for particular businesses, and original webinar content/topics can be created with the target audience in mind.
PPC and paid social media advertisements are popular methods of contacting target accounts online. Using technology like IP targeting and retargeting, your display advertisements can be modified to focus on a small number of target accounts rather than casting a wide net. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to target particular businesses and profiles.
Despite direct mail’s growing popularity, email continues to be an effective marketing channel for ABM. Account-based marketing entails creating customized email messages for each firm and person, as opposed to a volume-based marketing strategy that may employ templates and marketing automation.
Direct mail has grown in popularity as a means of connecting with prospects inside of a company in an era where everyone is flooded with email. ABM is more targeted, therefore gifts and marketing given by direct mail may be of more value because the potential for revenue is significantly higher.
Website/ Landing Page Personalization
ABM campaigns go beyond simply generating visitors through tailored SEM and inbound marketing campaigns. Website personalization technology can be used to develop a customized, account-specific experience for target prospects as opposed to the generic website experience once visitors arrive at the site.
Account-Based Marketing and Personalization
Website customization is a crucial component of an ABM strategy since it enables you to customize the messaging and content on a website for each of your target accounts. The experience that visitors enjoy when they arrive on your website can be modified through website personalization, just like how offsite marketing activities are personalized for each account.
Web personalization for ABM is carried out by using firmographic information, which commonly originates from reverse IP lookup, first-party, or third-party data to identify anonymous site visitors. Once the visitor’s company has been identified, it can be matched to your target account list in order to offer a personalized web experience.
There are many components of a website that can be tailored through account-based personalization, including messaging, images, calls-to-action, and social proof.