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Account Based Marketing : The Perfect Targeted Approach for B2B Marketing
"Fish with a spear, not a net!" says John Miller (CEO of Engagio).
(Video summary below)
Account based marketing (ABM) flips the inbound growth marketing on its head!Demand generation and customer acquisition generally would follow the analogy of use a net, throw it wide and fishes will come in net, where as many marketers care about which fish they want to catch and they go after specific people at specific companies to acquire those customers.
For most companies, a sales funnel approach can be an effective approach : begin with a large pool of prospects and slowly narrowing them down. The sales funnel involves moving a large amount into the lead pool, qualifying them at the marketing and sales stages, eventually converting to a client.
Account-Based Marketing complements this strategy by saying that you should begin the process with end in the mind: rather than starting with a large pool of potential buyers, you begin with identifying your most ideal clients. While Account-Based Marketing may sound challenging at first since it takes resources, time and a strong alignment between marketing and sales teams, it has proven effective for B2B companies.
Account-Based Marketing actually harkens back to an old-school model: a more personalised marketing and sales approach that targets a few ideal or big-ticket accounts. You target the message based on the specific pain points or opportunities for those target businesses. ABM involves focusing on solving problems for ideal clients. This approach helps you to build your brand, grow quickly, and expand outward. ABM also focuses on providing tailored value, service and sales solutions to those target clients.
Market research is the bread-and-butter of Account-Based Marketing. You and your team will need to put serious energy behind figuring out which major clients, if they switched to using your product or service, could really help you grow. These clients should be perfect fits for your product who just don't know it yet, and don't be afraid to dream big. Remember that landing a major client can be part of how your start-up or small business is "put on the map," beginning to gain that strong reputation that will carry it forward.
Research at the next stage should involve learning what you can about the decision makers in your target companies who may be able to make the switch to your product or service. Get to know where your particular targeted clients spend time on the internet in order to focus your marketing energy on reaching them in particular. Yes, your campaigns may also reach other clients, which is wonderful, but this method generally focuses on giving the ideal client exactly what they want.
Implementing personalised campaigns that reach a particular shortlist of clients shortens the sales cycle in a variety of ways. This means that marketing and sales teams need to be 'locked-in' throughout the process.
Sales and marketing teams typically in collaboration will decide which accounts to target, the key messaging and positioning.
Marketing teams make sure that campaigns that get any kind of engagement are immediately notified to the sales team, where all of the research and progressive outcome of the campaigns they have received is seamlessly passed on.
Account-Based Marketing reaches more of your big-ticket clients because it is entirely focused on them, but whenever an account doesn't choose to purchase, the ABM process dictates that the strategy be re-evaluated. With every round of campaigns, evaluate at what point your potential customer stopped responding, what their buyer's journey was, and what might be tried next time in order to reach them more effectively.
The process is repeated focusing on only a few target clients at a time. As the Account-Based Marketing can help acquire the ideal customer base, you'll be able to invest back into the ABM. So it is useful to focus on key accounts in the beginning that has the most likelihood of conversion.
Using the iterative learning loop within ABM, your customer acquisition or retention process becomes more optimised and your sales cycles can be expected to become shorter.
Why Account-Based Marketing is Ideal for B2B Marketing
Ideal Account Targeting : Account Based marketing is effective for targeting ideal accounts. B2B companies often are in a position to become the key vendor for an important product or service at a large company.
B2b Service providers, consulting, software, IT, SAAS and technology companies can benefit from getting accelerated growth.
Tender Marketing and Positioning for Success : Account based marketing can be effectively leveraged to augment the sales and marketing efforts when pitching for tenders to reach out to the key decision makers and positioning your products and services. ABM can be used highlighting the unique selling proposition.
More Effective and Targeted Campaigns : Marketing campaigns are more effective because they don't try to do too much at once. Optimising a campaign to create a particular message and then getting it into a select few channels.
Account Based Marketing for alignment between sales and marketing teams :ABM forces teams to align because personalisation and positioning at the account level requires sales and marketing to be 'locked in' with each other on account-specific messaging. The outcome? Higher potential revenues in a shorter time frame.: Shorter sales cycle
Increasing customer retention : ABM can be used not just for customer acquisition but also for customer retention. Prioritising customer satisfaction increases brand loyalty and repeat business. ABM focuses on delighting the customer while focusing in on a few key contacts. These contacts get the star treatment, which can promote a commitment to sticking with your company as it grows.
ABM complements your Inbound and growth marketing strategies. ABM takes the Inbound methodology of working to understand your buyer's persona to a new level of specificity: you pick specific target accounts or companies rather than a generalised potential buyer.
By beginning your "sales funnel" with the end goal in mind, ABM and Inbound work together to increase your percentage of highly qualified leads while still making room for new and surprising additional leads along the way.
Account based marketing is a highly effective growth marketing approach. ABM does take lot more resources and investment due to personalisation required for each account. The companies that uses ABM say that typical ROI of Account Based Marketing is higher than most other growth marketing tactic or approach.
The bottom-line : Account based marketing should be leveraged to accelerate growth for B2B, Technology, IT, Software and SAAS marketing as part of overall marketing mix.
Get a low down on what it is, how it works and how to conceptualise, run and measure the success of an ABM campaign.