Even though Account-Based Marketing has been around for over a decade, it’s still seen as being under-utilized when comes to a B2B Marketing Strategy. Traction is starting to pick up with the general marketing audience though, as you can see from this Google Trends graph from the last decade:
Source: Google Trends 2007-2017
So, here’s 5 reasons why ABM should be a focus for your B2B Marketing:
ABM allows you to concentrate on a small amount of accounts (ABM-lite) or even focus all your efforts on an individual target account (Strategic ABM).
You communicate with these individually with e.g. customized newsletters and webcasts, dedicated enterprise social networking sites, account-specific digital marketing, and onsite 1 on 1 events. There’s no “spray and pray” with ABM, it’s like having a laser sight on top of your marketing every element of your marketing is targeted specifically at your target.
According to an ITSMA survey, 50% of customers are more likely to purchase from a vendor when they personalize their sales and marketing materials to a customer’s specific business issues.
The amount of research a good ABM strategy requires is enormous. By focusing your attention on a small amount of clients allows you to really understand what makes them tick. By creating the content and messaging that resonates with their needs puts your company at the top of the list when they are making their consideration for purchase.
The highly personalized nature of ABM means that all communication with the target client is synchronized across channels and highly targeted to maximize relevance. You look like one company with a single, compelling story.
According to ITSMA (who actually coined the term) “Account-Based Marketing delivers the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach. Period”.
You’re looking at tracking your content’s ability to drive engagement and making sure the right accounts and the right points of contact are the ones engaging with your content. As your marketing approach is specific, the volume of content’s reach is irrelevant: you’re in the market for very particular targets. Using a platform such as Koble, that gives you specifics on who has read your content, for how long and the open rate will provide you with this information.
Once you have your data and returns numbers in place, you move on to evaluating your message. By diverting your resources away from less successful forms of content and transferring that to high-performing content It’s just a matter of rinsing and repeating: retargeting your accounts, publishing content, and waiting to see what comes in.
As an example: SAP’s initial ABM approach exceeded their expectations and led to the establishment of a dedicated Global ABM program.
One ABM win can bring in more income than many smaller deals sourced through traditional demand generation. ABM deals can be bigger than normal ‘key account’ selling too: they’re more likely to have buy-in from a wider team; to lock out or constrain competitors; and to reach higher into the account.
Research shows that ABM significantly out-performs the more ad hoc or unaligned approaches of the past. Demandbase saw a whopping 285% higher close rate for targeted enterprise accounts, and a 166% higher close rate for mid-market accounts when ABM was used.
Internal silos can shatter a good marketing strategy. Sales and Marketing should in theory work together, but I’ve worked in situations in the past where this wasn’t the case. The truth was that we didn’t communicate the longer-term marketing plans well enough to Sales and they, in turn didn’t share their key accounts’ details. This meant we were not working effectively.
ABM marketers should speak the same language and have the same knowledge as the salespeople they work alongside. They have to work closely with the Sales team to accurately identify target accounts, map them out, and align on sales initiatives.
This type of teamwork between marketing and sales is what ultimately leads to the powerful, predictive marketing and targeted communications that wins deals.
In Summary: Researching as much as possible about your target potential customer is vital to gain the understanding of how to communicate with them and what messages will resonate with them. Using a platform that allows you to research and target these potential accounts is a necessity especially when it comes to reporting the results.
Smart buyers tune out all but the most relevant, helpful messages. Account-Based Marketing allows marketers to target potential customers and wholly focus their efforts to grab that all-important closing of the deal.
Find the right channels, communicate with relevant, engaging content and react accordingly and ABM will help you get the accounts you want. By working together and focusing their efforts, Sales and Marketing can achieve even more for your company.