Account-based marketing (ABM) is a business-to-business marketing strategy that focuses resources on a defined set of prospective customers within a market. The approach uses personalized campaigns designed to engage each account’s buying team, basing the marketing message on the specific attributes and needs of the account.
ABM also takes a 360-degree view of marketing, beyond just lead generation. Marketing to existing customer accounts to encourage upselling and cross-selling is one of the keys to garnering the most value from your largest customers.
ABM is an increasingly popular approach for B2B companies that target enterprise companies. For companies that are trying to sell into large accounts with long sales cycles and large deal sizes, account-based marketing offers many benefits over other marketing approaches. They include:
Personalized Marketing Approach
Instead of a broad-brush approach, marketers using ABM create personalized messaging for target accounts, taking what they know about their customer and tailoring the creative assets of their campaign to the customer’s specific attributes and needs.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Account based marketing coordinates marketing teams and sale organizations to work together, identifying target accounts, crafting customized campaigns for each target customer them, and working together to drive individual opportunities through the sales pipeline.
Shorter Sales Cycles
Major purchase decisions involve multiple stakeholders. This fact often lengthens the timeframe of the sales process, because it begins at a lower- level in the organization and moves towards the primary decision maker. In account-based marketing, the length of the cycle is shortened as all prospects are nurtured simultaneously.
The execution of account based marketing is specific and measurable, providing the highest return among B2B marketing strategies. 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than other marketing approaches.
Fewer Wasted Resources
The ABM budget, manpower and other resources are focused on a relatively small number of accounts that are most likely to close sales. This frees up resources to utilize on other marketing initiatives within the organization.
The medium and messaging utilized in account based marketing varies depending on the profile of the targeted decision-makers and the industry in which they operate. Commonly used channels Include:
Meetings – a conference web meeting or in-person meeting specifically tailored to a prospective customer’s buying team or even individual influencers is a highly effective tactic
Direct Mail – this legacy channel can play a key role in reaching specific people above the din of digital messaging to which these influencers are exposed.
Email – an effective channel if used with personalized messaging, as opposed to common, broad-based eblasts.
Webinars – focused on a specific topic of interest to a key set of prospective customers, webinars can be a key tactic to moving opportunities through the pipeline.
Web Personalization – build web pages on your site specifically geared to customer profiles to provide them the information they care about at the point that are at in the decision cycle.