According to a recent survey, account based marketing campaigns outperform other marketing investments by a whopping 87 percent of marketers that utilize them.
Furthermore, according to another poll, 92 percent of worldwide B2B marketers regard ABM as crucial to their marketing operations.
Campaigns in ABM rely on a go-to-market strategy that bolsters engagement with specific accounts by coordinating personalized marketing and sales efforts. Compared to traditional marketing methods, ABM has increased revenue by 200 percent.
So, let's get right to it and figure out what ABM is and why it is so popular.
What the heck is ABM?
Account-based marketing or ABM, is a marketing strategy focused on a particular group of customers. Instead of broadening your marketing efforts to a broader audience, you narrow your attention to a few high-potential, high-value accounts.
It is a multichannel, multi step strategy to revenue growth under an inverted traditional funnel that brings together multiple teams, including sales, marketing, and client success.
When did account based marketing start?
It's easy to forget that ABM has been around for a long time amid the recent uproar.
ABM, which was created in the early 2000s to bring marketing and sales together around their most significant customers, has assisted many technology and professional services organizations in thinking beyond the immediate sales pitch and instead focusing on actual client needs.
Why is it trending?
According to recent research, ABM surpasses every other marketing spend by 87 percent of marketers that track ROI—investing in ABM yields much higher returns than investing in other marketing activities, making it a zero-waste strategy!
ABM is effective because the notion appeals to the prospects you target. The existing digital marketing is important, especially remarketing. It certainly involves customized messaging for specific demographics or points in the consumer journey.
It's because we've known for a long time that prospects respond better to messaging and touchpoints that feel tailored to them rather than generic, mass-market commercials—coming across as humans becomes more difficult as the world becomes more digital. Automation becomes more pervasive, making it more crucial. ABM allows you to send messages to specific accounts or people one at a time.
The Issue with a Traditional Sales Funnel
When you think of a standard sales funnel, what comes to mind? It most likely resembles something like this.
The typical sales and marketing model reaches out to many people. Its goal is to reach out to as many potential clients as possible and collect as many leads as feasible.
The leads are then nurtured to convert as many as possible into customers.
So, what exactly is the issue?
Although we commonly assume that an increase in leads will result in a rise in income, research reveals that this is not always the case.
A standard sales funnel has the drawback of getting smaller as you advance.
According to Forrester Research, more than 99 percent of B2B leads never become clients.
That's a lot of time, money, and effort spent engaging with people who aren't going to buy anything from you.
Only about 20% of marketers have effectively deployed ABM for an extended period and enjoyed the benefits, even though 92 percent feel it will positively impact their business.
How do account based marketing campaigns work, and why are they better?
From how individuals look for solutions to how they learn new things or make purchasing decisions, the great majority of the world has gone digital. It necessitates a new marketing strategy for your potential customers.
They've grown accustomed to the digital cacophony and require a more personalized approach to boost engagement and make an effect. If you're still hoping to reach many people, you're falling behind and losing leads.
The ABM strategy brings together marketing and sales teams to better engage prospects and convert them into customers. It's usually more challenging to say no to something made just for you.
You may be more adept with where your ad dollars go and more efficient with what they produce when you focus your marketing spend on a specific audience rather than a broad audience.
How to implement ABM?
Even though companies’ LinkedIn algorithm suggests, ABM is a top marketing priority, just 30% of marketers are currently implementing ABM. So, let's look at how you may get started with ABM and launch your first campaign.
1. Make a list of accounts to target.
Because ABM is about personalizing campaigns to specific accounts, the first step in your campaign should be to develop a list of key accounts.
So, where should you begin?
Targeting ideal accounts is regarded as one of the top three ABM challenges, so that's the first hurdle many B2B marketers face.
Asking your sales teams which accounts they want to close is the simplest way to target ideal accounts. However, this is primarily based on guesswork and isn't data-driven.
Rather than starting from scratch, use the information you already have about your customers.
You will find that businesses similar to your ideal target consumer help you focus on the types of companies that will do business with you in the future.
Once you have a list of firms (it doesn't have to be exhaustive), you can search for their profile pages on LinkedIn using the same social selling tactics you're already using to identify "similar companies."
LinkedIn’s algorithm suggests similar firms based on company size, industry, company type, and specialties. In minutes, you'll be able to find organizations that fit your ideal consumer profile.
There may be some firms on LinkedIn that do not meet your ideal client profile. Therefore, the next step is to explore each of the "similar" accounts you come across.
2. Research accounts.
Unlike personal research, ABM isn't about focusing on specific people (just yet).
You’ll require account-based research for ABM!
So, which information do you need to gather during the research phase?
I recommend that you begin your investigation with the following:
- Industry, company size, and rivals are all factors in the market.
- Revenue, marketing share, and history of the company
- Management, purchasing power, critical roles, and influencers are examples of people.
- Organizational structure, reporting, and buying teams are all examples of relationships.
This information will, in most situations, be publicly available, and you can obtain it on the company's website, in press releases, or annual reports.
Identifying and gaining access to critical decision-makers is one of the essential components of the research process. However, it also happens to be the most challenging task for sales teams!
Your ABM campaign will be more successful if you identify key decision-makers early on and send their contact information to sales.
3. Provide relevant content.
Can you guess what types of content interest B2B buyers? - It's material that's tailored for them.
According to a Demand Gen Report survey, 95% of B2B buyers prefer a solution source that "offers adequate content to help navigate through each stage of the purchase process."
It's simple to understand. Why? - A buyer is more likely to engage with you if the content is personalized and relevant.
Customized content is at the top of the list for ABM strategies!
Consider your website to see if you have case studies that fit the description of a midsize IT company with 50 employees if that is your ideal target account. Could these case studies still be relevant? Is there any way to make it easier to find these case studies for IT companies?
Another example would be to look through your CRM for IT firms to see how many people entered a sales process after downloading content from your website. Is the information on this page up to date? Is it possible to make this piece of content more tailored to your ideal target customer?
Both of these strategies can help you get an ABM campaign up and running quickly.
4. Distribute content to the appropriate audience.
Any piece of content in an ABM campaign should aim to target the right person at the correct account, allowing you to engage, nurture, and grow that connection.
So, what's the best strategy to get your material in front of the right people?
That's right, the good ol' email.
Even if it comes from a company they have never done business with, 92 percent of executives pay attention to unsolicited emails.
One out of every four executives will read the unsolicited email with ideas that may be relevant to their firm.
A cold email has prompted 78 percent of decision-makers to schedule appointments or attend an event.
So don't write off email marketing just yet!
Account Based Marketing Campaigns for 2024
After you've decided on a method, you'll need to consider strategies. It's just about the matter of looking at the segments you're after and tailoring your marketing campaigns to them through the appropriate channels. Perhaps your ABM plan will rely heavily on digital media, such as email, paid to advertise, and online personalization.
Alternatively, you may need to combine online and physical methods like events and direct mail. There will be no one-size-fits-all solution for your company's specific blend. Here are some ABM campaign examples for various channels.
1. Email marketing campaigns
You're aiming for quality rather than quantity, so no more mass-emailing to hundreds of prospects. ABM allows you to produce custom email marketing campaigns carefully targeted to each target client.
2. Paid advertising and social media platforms
You can target (and retarget) specific organizations and personas using PPC and paid social media ads. It is a terrific tool – tailor your material to your target audience, and voilà, account-based advertising.
3. Web personalization
What do the visitors see when they first arrive at your website? If you're wearing your ABM hat, they'll have a user experience tailored specifically for them. Today's website personalization technology can detect your most important visitors and tailor your site to their preferences: offers, content, communications, and so on. Yes, technology is incredible.
4. Direct mail
Because of the convenience and lower cost of digital, there has been a significant move toward email. However, everyone's mailbox is now overflowing, and we've all developed an allergy to spam.
That implies direct mail is having a comeback, but people are handling it more thoughtfully and strategically this time. Personalized gifts and marketing provided to prospects can capture their attention and are also more valuable because the potential gains are more significant.
Physical and virtual events are popular techniques to reach out to B2B prospects. Think tailored invites, VIP dinners or mini-events, hand-picked presents, and personal follow-up when it comes to ABM.
These can be customized in the same manner that events can. You can use the internet to display unique material created specifically for your target demographic.
7. White papers and case studies
When it comes to case studies and other related materials, make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Customize the generic text to highlight essential elements for your intended audience.
ABM is not a new concept. Sales and marketing initiatives that are highly targeted have consistently outperformed generic, non-targeted strategies. It does, however, necessitate a shift of mindset.
Yes, I realize that ABM appears to be a lot of work. While focusing on a tiny number of accounts, it is imperative to synchronize the marketing and sales teams and conduct research.
However, as the statistics show, your efforts will probably result in significant account victories. ABM is like putting all your eggs in one basket and treating them like royalty.