Account based Marketing (ABM) uses the one-to-one marketing style to target high-value accounts instead of channeling leads into the marketing funnel. It’s no longer a new thing. The 2020 State of ABM Report by Terminus shows that 87% of B2B companies are already shifting strategy. Of the companies who shifted to ABM, 91% saw their deal sizes increase. One in every four deals increased in size by over 50%. These numbers may seem too good to be true, but they work for a very specific reason: highly personalized targeting and conversion, with high retention rates.
ABM is the ideal solution to B2B marketing because it aligns the marketing and sales teams towards one goal. Marketing is no longer about generating leads that sales is unable to convert. Rather, the ABM committee, made up of both marketing and sales personnel, collaborates to identify what makes a high-value account, and how to target and convert that account. The other benefit is that ABM can take a creative approach to marketing. Digital marketing, alongside email or call-based marketing, can reach employees in different accounts and open the doors for connection.
Why Is Account-Based Marketing the Solution to B2B Marketing?
Communications Are Personalized
Account-based marketing personalizes all communications to the different high-value target accounts. Each account feels how well your business researched their needs and positioned itself to present solutions to their problems.
Here are some creative ways to personalize your communications:
● Personalized web pages or microsites. Websites are a basic landing space where target accounts will go for information. You can take advantage of this by creating a personalized web page or microsite just for that account, and sending it to them in advance.
● Targeted digital marketing ads. Digital marketing is no longer just for a consumer base, but for accounts as well. Sponsored ads match what target accounts are on the lookout for, and you can present solutions by targeting their specific social media accounts.
● Bring in your creative team. One way to show an account how committed you are to them is to be excellent and creative in your proposed solutions. Create videos and design infographics for them. Send them specific articles that cater to their needs.
Marketing Resources are Utilized Systematically
With ABM, you can take a more systematic approach to marketing, rather than casting out a wide net to gather as many leads as possible. Your marketing team can spend more time on creating profiles for high-value accounts, and channel more resources into strategizing how to personalize the marketing strategy. As your marketing and sales will also be collaborating on each account, the resources will be better integrated and can be tracked more efficiently.
Return on Investment Is Measured
With ABM, your Return on Investment (ROI) is measured by the worth of each account deal, rather than a generalized ROI at the end of the marketing funnel. Here are some ways to maximize your ROI measurements:
● Let go of the marketing funnel. With the marketing funnel, multiple leads slowly lessen as they fall to the bottom of the funnel, and non-conversions drop off along the way. With each account being measured from first contact to conversion, you can clearly see what is invested and what ROI you receive.
● Be precise with account values. Invest resources per account, and review what is invested with each account. At conversion, make sure the full ROI is tracked and recorded. In this way, you can see what you can save on the strategy side to maximize ROI.
With ABM, the marketing and sales strategies are focused by account. As each account is tracked from one stage to the next, from strategy to conversion, you can see clearly where each account is and its potential in ROI. As each account approach is personalized, developing good relationships with each account becomes key. This is a better tracking approach, for example, than just checking who drops out along the way. You can clearly see how one account contributes more than another.
Developing Effective Sales and Marketing
With ABM, the effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategies are easy to see, and it is clearer to see what works and what does not. With your sales and marketing integrated for each account, you see what works at every stage.
Here are several ways you can develop more effective sales and marketing:
● Start with effective, personalized, targeted strategies;
● At every stage of the account’s journey to conversion, understand what moves them along the journey and what makes them hesitate;
● Bring every realization back to the strategy table.
It’s Time to Make A Shift!
If you have been hearing about ABM for some time, it might be time to make a shift in strategy. You can begin with one account, and see how it performs compared to the marketing funnel and multiple lead generation. How do you feel your marketing and sales teams would respond to an ABM strategy? What do you think would need to change the most for your business to shift to ABM?
About the Author:
Mana is the founder and president of the Chicago digital marketing agency Lightspan Digital. She is also the host of Mana Minutes, a video series answering pressing digital marketing questions in under two minutes. The outspoken digital marketing consultant loves busting digital marketing myths. A sought-after speaker, she’s been sharing knowledge as Kellogg Executive Education faculty and at high-profile conferences around the country. In 2014, Mana was awarded the “Chicago Woman Making History” Outstanding Entrepreneur Award by the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office. You can reach Mana on multiple social networks as @manamica.