Is account-based marketing for you?
As the name implies, account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on marketing to accounts, rather than individual contacts. In a nutshell, it’s about focusing on your best buyers or prospects and treating them in a much more personal way, while also taking a bigger picture view of the company/account. So far so, simple. But what’s the benefits of ABM, and how can it be applied to b2b marketing?
Here’s what you need to know about ABM:
- Go beyond buyer journey: think customer experience
An ABM approach looks at the overall buyer’s journey, and how you can make sure your customers have a great experience, for life. While traditional marketing goals tend to focus on generating leads, which get handed over to sales or customer service, ABM demands that the marketing team’s goals are pipeline and revenue generation. This means being jointly accountable for the entire customer experience and interactions with your business, for example upsells/cross-sells, decreasing churn, landing and expanding accounts, and providing an always ‘on air’ approach to all channels that meet your customer needs.
Rather than simply handing leads over, in ABM b2b marketers need to help ensure that the top 20% of customers have an amazing experience.
- ABM fits with the b2b buying process
More often than not the b2b buying process is now a collaborative one, involving numerous stakeholders and departments in the buying decision. ABM allows you to align with this ‘buying by committee’ approach, enabling you to influence not just the key decision-maker, but the buying group as a whole.
If you only look at, or market to an individual, you’re only getting part of the picture; ABM helps you to fully understand how interested an account is in your solution, and therefore how likely they are to buy from you, which in turn enables you to see where best to focus your resources.
- Your sales and marketing will be more aligned with ABM
The holy grail of business; using ABM, marketing can be more aligned with what your sales team are doing. That is to say, they work on the same common goal of how to target and secure identified accounts. Plus, with a broader, less siloed approach (ideally with a central account co-ordinator and regular cross-team updates) your efforts aren’t being duplicated.
- Make it a strategic goal of your organisation
To make sure ABM doesn’t become just another marketing fad, ensure your management team or Board recognise it as a strategic objective. Be clear about who you’re targeting, agree specific goals with the sales department (for example identifying more contacts for an account, driving faster sales cycles times, growing revenue with existing accounts, promoting higher customer loyalty, etc.), decide how you’re going to achieve them (for example marketing to a specific group or type of account), assign team responsibilities, and look at how you’ll measure success.
Is ABM for you?
ABM takes a shift in mindset across your organisation, but the rewards can be worth it. It can have a significant impact on the speed and effectiveness with which you can land accounts and grow existing ones. By homing in on a defined set of accounts, looking at their customer experience as a whole, and using personalised marketing campaigns and tailored content to target multiple buyers, you can really focus your resources in the places that should bring the best returns.
Get in touch to share your experiences with ABM in b2b marketing.