In the past year and a half, the way B2B marketers approach customers has changed. Today, customers are looking for a more humanized approach from B2B marketers and organizations as a whole. The most strategic way to do this is by focusing on their account individually and communicating with them directly – and what better way to do this than by using account-based marketing strategies!
If you have not yet adopted account-based marketing into your organization’s marketing plan, you could be risking falling behind your competitors. In this blog article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about account-based marketing and the role it plays in your company.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing, commonly referred to as ABM, is a B2B marketing strategy that focuses on specific accounts or customers. Typically, with ABM, your marketing efforts will be towards your prospects that are most likely to turn into long-term, profitable relationships.
Rather than using a single, all-inclusive campaign to reach all of your customers at once, ABM uses highly personalized marketing campaigns to reach specific accounts with an individualized approach. Since account-based marketing is focused on being exclusive for each account, there is no “one size fits all approach” to this strategy.
There are many different variations of the ‘80/20 rule’ when it comes to B2B marketing. Account-based marketing flips that rule around and instead follows the principle that 20% of your top accounts produce 80% of your revenue. Focusing on the 20% of your top accounts will not only segment your marketing audience, but it will also minimize time spent on wasted campaigns, improve your relationship and experience with these key accounts, and help you to become more efficient in completing the sale of your products and services.
In order to get an understanding of your customers’ business goals and how to make your ABM campaign as customized as possible, you’ll have to nourish your relationship with that account. This can be a challenge when adopting account-based marketing, but we’ll touch on that later.
Three Types Of Account-Based Marketing:
One-to-one (also known as Strategic ABM): In this type of ABM, a senior-level marketer in the organization is in charge of creating customized marketing plans for each individual account. This enables teams to build stronger relationships with their top prospects and customers through targeted marketing.
One-to-few (also known as ABM Lite): With this type of ABM strategy, teams create and execute lightly customized programs for groups of accounts with similar needs. This method requires collaboration between sales and marketing teams throughout the process.
One-to-many (also known as Programmatic ABM): This method uses technology to tailor marketing campaigns to specific groups of accounts at scale. It requires coordination with the company’s sales design and focuses on a certain market.
Why Is ABM Relevant To B2B Organizations?
Every organization knows that having excellent communication practices with your customers is a key component of success in your business. To stand out from the competition, more and more companies are prioritizing the importance of communicating in a personalized and targeted manner to make their customers feel like they are communicating to them and them only. These are the fundamentals of account-based marketing
Organizations that have made an effort to implement account-based marketing into their strategy have seen significant growth and success. In fact, an ABM Leadership Alliance survey found that B2B marketers who have adopted an ABM strategy have seen an average annual contract value increase of 171% since implementation – wow!
With account-based marketing, your customers are at the center of every interaction, campaign, and decision. Using this strategy will rely on your team creating highly personalized and intentional experiences across every touchpoint.
Current B2B marketing trends detail that 69% of business buyers expect organizations to anticipate their needs. ABM gives organizations the opportunity to get to know buyers individually so they know how to market products and services to them in a way that will fulfill their needs. By knowing how to speak to these decision-makers in a way that assures them that you are aware of their individual needs and goals, you are creating a competitive advantage for your company.
What Are The Challenges of Adopting Account-Based Marketing?
While adopting account-based marketing into your company’s marketing plan is beneficial, the process of implementing the strategy could come with some challenges. However, these challenges can be conquered!
As previously mentioned, one challenge that could arise during the process of implementing ABM is getting to know your customer and nourishing that relationship with them.
Think of account-based marketing as buying a gift for a friend or family member. You know what gift to buy them because you know who they are, what they want or need, and things that they might be interested in.
This is similar to how your relationship should be with the top accounts that you are focused on – you should know about their company, what their goals are, what they might want or need to reach these goals, but also have an idea of other products and services that they could possibly be interested in. Because if you plan on creating personalized campaigns for your customers, you should know a little bit about them, right?
So, How Can You Get To Know Your Customers?
Start with the decision-maker of your targeted accounts. Schedule a meeting with them to better understand their company, the goals for the company, what services or products they are looking for, and any other questions that are necessary for creating a campaign that is personalized to them. This will help you get a better background knowledge of the company while also giving you insight into the language of the decision-maker and what might interest them. You’ll want to nourish this relationship by scheduling regular meetings to get feedback and re-adjust your campaigns as needed.
Another challenge could be how to identify and target your top accounts.
Now, there are a few different routes you can take to decide which accounts would be best to target – the ones that drive the most revenue, the ones that are the most engaged with your brand, the ones that would add the most credibility to your brand, etc. These are just a few options.
It is best to consult with your sales and marketing team and your CRM data to decide which would be the best route to take.
How Can You Start With ABM Planning?
Ready to implement account-based marketing into your marketing plan? Great! But first, you need to make a plan.
A major part of this plan is the coordination of your marketing, sales, and services teams on things such as:
- Accounts to be targeted
- Metrics to be measured
- How the customer relationships should be built
- What success looks like in your campaigns
More aspects of this plan for executing your ABM strategy include finding which accounts to target, defining what technology will be needed for these campaigns, a content plan for campaigns, and what goals you have for your ABM strategy.
Ultimately, account-based marketing can enhance your customer experience, provide structure when leading your prospects through the customer journey, and build deeper relationships with your customers. And while it’s never too late to adopt ABM into your company, the best time to do it is NOW!
Looking for help with planning your account-based marketing strategy? We’ve got you covered! Contact the TGE team for a FREE consultation to assist you with starting the process of planning your new and improved marketing strategy!