WHAT IS ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING AND HOW CAN IT GROW KEY ACCOUNTS?
The best marketing strategies offer a personalised customer journey that leads prospects gently through each stage of the buying cycle. Account-based marketing (ABM) takes this a step further by tailoring marketing campaigns to each and every prospect, offering a more personal approach to marketing.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing involves a hyper concentration of marketing resources on a target account using highly personalised campaigns to make sales. The strategy can be used to either convert an account into a new customer, or to increase revenue from someone who’s already a customer and aims to communicate value across the buying influencers who typically make up a buying committee in larger accounts.
ABM requires a close and collaborative working relationship between sales and marketing, and demands the sharing of data and insights that will help convert that single account. Without this collaborative effort, it’s unlikely that either your sales or marketing team will have the information, insights, or knowledge to successfully personalise their campaigns to make the sale.
This strategy takes customer-centricity to the next level by targeting a single key account rather than marketing to a wider audience.
Why should B2B businesses consider Account-Based Marketing?
There are roughly 6.8 stakeholders involved in purchasing decisions within a business, and you need to convert every one of those before making a sale. Account-based marketing allows you to reach out to stakeholders in a more personalised way.
ABM is your path to personalisation
Account-based marketing is built around the idea of personalisation. By focusing all of your attention on a key account, you can produce marketing campaigns that are 100% designed to speak directly to the decision makers within an account.
Developing marketing campaigns that are designed to target a wider audience, often results in many prospects slipping through the cracks. ABM allows you to focus on engaging with a single prospect to generate more revenue from that account.
Marketing is all about creating trust, and personalised campaigns are a great way to build it.Marketing ROI is easier to measure
When your marketing campaign has a singular goal and just one target, it’s pretty easy to tell when you’ve achieved it.
ABM allows you to track every step of the buying process, and measure the effectiveness of each action you took to make the sale. This makes it much easier to measure your success, while the insights gained from the campaign can help inform future marketing campaigns targeted at a wider audience.
The knowledge that you gather from this style of marketing will help you make better decisions in the future to improve your ROI.
ABM gives your sales team a single goal, which means they won’t need to split their attention between multiple leads. It allows you to generate highly qualified leads by tailoring marketing efforts specifically to that single, chosen account.
When prospects feel like they’re having a conversation with your business, they’re more likely trust it. And the more a prospect trusts your business, the faster they’ll travel through the buying cycle.By zeroing in on your customer’s needs and interests, you can have a better conversation that offers them all the information they need to make a purchasing decision.
Drive your Smarketing alignment
Having a project and a mutual goal is a great way to develop a healthy working relationship between your teams. By sharing information and working together to convert a single account, your sales and marketing teams will learn how to work together.A sense of shared achievement will help your teams discover how much they stand to gain from collaboration.
Steps to Account-Based Marketing Success
The first thing you need to do is understand who your ideal customer is.
You need to identify the most profitable and long-term customer types who have a high lifetime value, and are usually the most satisfied with your solutions.
Once you know your ideal customers, it’s time to look for accounts who fit the profile, and are looking to expand their relationship with your company. Analyse these accounts to see if there are any who have urgent needs that you could satisfy.
You need to recognise the key stakeholders and decision-makers within a key account. These are the people who have the power to influence buying decisions, and they’re the people you need to be engaging with to inspire action.
Once you know who your key stakeholders are within the business, you can start to research their priorities, values and needs so that you can open a personalised dialogue with them.
Content is key. You need to develop a personalised campaign that establishes relationships, and nurtures prospects by offering valuable information and education at key points in the account’s buying cycle.
Start by developing a value proposition, and then begin creating content that’s relevant to each key decision maker, and that you believe will influence their buying decision.
Establish a content plan that answers the following questions:
- What are your stakeholder’s values and beliefs?
- Why should they choose your solution?
- What will this decision maker gain from your solution? (Try using real-world case studies that demonstrate how your solutions have benefited others).
Now is your chance to really personalise your communications and tailor your marketing to each individual. People are more likely to trust brands that understand them, and the more you can craft your content to speak directly to your prospects, the more they’ll feel you understand their needs.
During the research stage, you should have discovered what channels your stakeholders are spending their time on. You need to know which platforms to focus on, or you’ll end up wasting time and resources marketing on platforms that your customers don’t even use.
For example, there’s no real point in marketing to an individual on Twitter, when they spend most of their time on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve decided which channels are the most important to your customers, you can develop a streamlined, omnichannel marketing strategy that reaches each stakeholder in the right place at the right time.
Now it’s time to launch your marketing campaign.
The information you’ve gathered about the decisions makers within the targeted account will determine what your account-based marketing execution will look like.
For example, your team may find themselves executing multi-channel communications that uses email, special events, social media and SEM ads to develop a relationship that drives engagement and ultimately sales.
The final step in the ABM process is to measure your success… and it’s a little different from measuring standard lead generation tactics.
You goal is to lead a very specific account through the buying process, which means your greatest measure for success is whether or not the account actually converts. Other measures for success will include account engagement, opportunities created, and of course, the value of the deals closed.Key takeaways
- A shared ABM project is an excellent way of aligning sales and marketing efforts and producing a ‘team’ mindset.
- Content marketing allows your team to establish relationships and educate key stakeholders within a targeted account.
- ABM allows you to explore and test personalised marketing activities before scaling your efforts to a wider audience.
- Targeting a single account makes ROI measurement easier.
Align your sales and marketing teams with account-based marketing
Without the insights from your sales team, and the content creation skills of your marketing team, you simply wouldn’t have the information or the material to convert a selected account. ABM is the clearest test of your sales and marketing alignment.
Want to get your teams working together for a better ROI?