A long, long time ago, in a time that happened almost 2 decades ago, “the 2000s,” marketers thought that the easiest way to pull as many leads as possible was by casting these super-wide nets.
Their underlying philosophy at the time was to attract as many fish as possible into the net, and you were bound to have a few keepers in there somewhere.
Over the years, a lot of things evolved, including the marketers who now have replaced the net with a spear! And that spear is famously known as Account Based Marketing.
Account based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that focuses on sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and uses personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each of them.
ABM makes sure that your marketing message is based on the specific attributes and needs of the account you’re targeting. 97% respondents in a research have said that ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.
Who can benefit from Account Based Marketing?
Many companies, particularly those seeking to acquire specific high-value customers can take advantage of an ABM strategy rather than taking a broad-reaching approach to their sales and marketing effort.
This is because ABM requires more account-level personalization than traditional marketing so obviously the costs are higher. However, advances in marketing technology have enabled marketers to employ ABM for much less than previously possible and at much greater scale.
With 75% of customers saying they prefer personalized offers, what exactly can ABM do?
Effective ABM ensures clear business results. In fact, compared to other marketing initiatives, the 2014 ITSMA Account-Based Marketing Survey found that “ABM delivers the highest Return on Investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic.”
Wastage is taken care of
Because of its targeted nature, ABM allows marketers to focus their resources efficiently and run marketing programs that are precisely augmented for target accounts.
Personal and Optimised
Account-based marketing tactics necessitate customization of your messaging and communications to specific accounts so that your campaigns work well for these target audiences. Targeted customers are more likely to engage with content that is geared specifically to them, and is relevant to their business and stage in the buyer journey.
Sales Alignment becomes convenient
ABM is possibly one of the well-organized ways to align sales and marketing. This is mostly due to the fact that the marketer running an ABM program thinks much like a salesperson – thinking in terms of accounts and how to target them, bring them to the table, and generate revenue from them.
What can you do to achieve better ABM?
Forget personas for a while
ABM aims to really get to know the target companies, and then, even the exact individuals within these accounts that hold the purchasing power.it would do good for marketers to let go the creation of a wide group of personas, driven by a large amount of guesswork. Companies need to really get to know the individuals at the prospect companies that are relevant – their job titles, interests, and most recent touchpoint with the company.
Look at the smallest picture
While it obviously will take up a lot of time and effort, micro-targeting pays off big for marketers because it makes it possible to adapt the message for each group. Don’t shy away from making your large groups into smaller ones. Then, work to identify pain points for the different micro audiences within your ABM pool.
Example: If you’re targeting IT professionals, it will be a different communication for the marketing team and a very different one for the technical engineers. Marketers must focus on making sure the prospective customer feels like the message is tailored to them, and their time is valued. This custom-made responsiveness is the “secret ingredient” that makes ABM work.
Identify and determine optimal channels
Connect with your audience on all the channels they use or prefer be it web, mobile and email. Consider which channels will be more impactful for specific roles or industries you might be targeting and consider things such as opt-in rules or other restrictions in your region.
Personalization is what you need to lay emphasis on when it comes to ABM. Marketers should associate closely with their sales teams and agency partners to align on the exact target individual within each account. An all-encompassing ABM strategy doesn’t depend on just tools or technology, it’s all about the planning that goes into the execution.