You may have heard of the term ‘Account Based Marketing’ and dismissed it as sales and marketing jargon, but there is a reason why it is becoming so popular: Return on Investment. In these unprecedented times, anything that we can do to be more effective in business cannot be disregarded. So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to share with you the core ideas, principals and tactics that make ABM so effective.
How is ABM different from traditional B2B Marketing?
ABM is a B2B marketing strategy, rather than a specific tactic. Whereas traditional B2B marketing involves identifying a sector, or type of company, and marketing to them – ABM laser focusses on a small set of key individuals at selected organisations.
For example, you might be a SaaS provider and decide that you are going to target the IT departments of the top 100 financial services companies in the UK.
By tailoring your marketing efforts to this smaller set of accounts your marketing team can produce highly personalised content for these individuals.
Does it work?
In a word – YES! A recent ITSMA poll of its members found that ABM delivers 97% higher ROI compared to more traditional strategies.
This is a serious improvement that underscores the value of ABM.
So, what’s the process?
You must work closely with your sales team to identify their ideal accounts. At this point Marketing would go away and put together a wider list of similar organisations and use research tools to discover who the key decision makers are on each account.
From here it is a question of building the right content such as white papers, webinars, case studies and thought pieces, to specifically attract and engage these audiences.
Not vastly different to inbound marketing then?
We use the same tools, but laser target them on the individual accounts that Sales have identified.
We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule. Think of ABM as using 80% of your efforts to attract the 20% of customers that would deliver 80% of your growth.
The ABM and Inbound combination
This is a very effective combination in B2B marketing; a ‘cream & sugar’ mix that few can resist.
The idea is to attract your target accounts through the creation of valuable content, SEO, and delightful user journeys and experiences.
This lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy because it uses targeted and efficient resource allocation to give your content a ‘2-for-1 value’.
For example, you could create a personalised white paper for a target account, but you also share this on your website and social channels.
Using IP Address identification, you can then see which companies have visited and engaged with your white paper and follow up with personalised content that you send direct to your key accounts at that organisation.
The broader benefits of ABM
Of all the many benefits of ABM, it’s the efficiency that really appeals to many organisations.
By keeping your marketing and sales teams aligned you not only maximise your business’s relevance among high-value accounts, but you also deliver a consistent customer experience that streamlines your sales cycle and builds on your existing account relationships.
This is about getting beyond the mindset of just pouring more and more leads into the funnel. It’s about optimising your limited time and resources to get maximum results for your sales team.
And by doing this you improve the overall customer experience, create better content, and ensure brand consistency.
Investing in great content
What should become clear from this blog, is that for ABM to be effective you must have excellent, high-value content that has been perfectly produced.
Targeting your business at these big prospects will only work if they immediately like what they see.
For this reason, you must make sure that your content, whether it’s a webinar, a case study, white paper or micro-site, looks and feels amazing whilst offering genuine high value.
Like in all marketing, the old adage ‘content is king’ remains the same.
If you’ve got any questions or need some friendly advice in these difficult times, don’t be afraid to drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page here and we’ll be happy to try and help.