Account-based marketing (ABM) is using highly targeted marketing efforts to establish new relationships or grow existing relationships with a defined list of high-value companies or groups of companies. It is a relatively new term to describe a strategy that’s existed for decades.
Instead of trying to appeal to an entire vertical or industry with one message, ABM allows you to craft personalized messages and deliver those messages directly to primary decision makers at the time and place it’s likely to make the most significant impact.
For many years, this level of targeting was reserved for massive organizations with sizeable in-house marketing teams and the resources to afford highly sophisticated tools. But, thanks to the “big data” revolution and recent advancements in marketing technology, ABM is now an attainable strategy for organizations of nearly any size
Whether you’ve been employing more personalized marketing for a while or you’re just exploring the world of ABM, there’s a lot to learn. Here is some background to help you get started.
Your ABM strategy should start with a target list of companies, also called a key accounts list. Instead of identifying characteristics of ideal clients as you might do for a standard inbound campaign, your organization’s sales and marketing teams should work together to create a list of specific companies and, if possible, identify important contacts within each account.
This list can be composed of high-value clients with whom you’d like to expand the relationship, preferred prospects you’re hoping to convert, or a combination of both. If you’re not sure which businesses you should add to your target account list, ask yourself these three questions:
Next, you’ll create customized campaigns designed to target each of the accounts on your list and nurture them through the buyer’s journey. This is where ABM technology comes in handy, and can help you build personalized landing pages, calls to action and other assets.
Keep in mind, as with most types of marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for ABM. The best Account-Based marketing tactics are the ones tailored to your target list.
From small and mid-size businesses to enterprise-level companies, organizations of all sizes are experiencing success with Account-Based marketing. In fact, an impressive 90 percent of marketers reported using ABM in 2017, according to a report by #FlipMyFunnel.
But how do you know ABM will help your business drive revenue? After all, every organization is different, and what works for others may not necessarily yield the same results for your company—especially if you’re not prepared to properly execute a new strategy.
There are three indicators you’re ready to invest resources in ABM:
If the above statements are true, you’re ready to begin building your first ABM campaign.
If you’re already having success with inbound marketing, you might be wondering: why should I bother with ABM? Isn’t it more work to start a new method from square one?
The good news is, inbound marketing and ABM are complementary strategies. Account-based marketing can help you shorten your sales cycle, increase revenue per deal and foster better relationships with customers—and the foundation you’ve laid with inbound marketing will ensure success in all of those areas.
From the audience and following you’ve built through social media efforts to the content you’ve created for your buyer personas, your existing inbound efforts will act as the catalyst to your ABM strategy.
What does this look like in action? Here are a couple of inbound-supported account-based marketing examples:
In other words, don’t halt inbound to launch an Account-Based marketing strategy. By tailoring your inbound efforts to fit within your ABM strategy, you can boost existing success while simultaneously developing new business.
If you haven’t yet delved into account-based marketing, don’t panic. Thanks to all the tools and data at your fingertips, building a target account list, developing a campaign and launching ABM efforts has never been easier.