Account-Based Marketing…Your New Best Friend

“Everyone is not your customer.”

– Seth Godin

Customized marketing campaigns are all the rage these days, and one of the best examples of personalization done right is account-based marketing. While this concept is hardly a new one, it requires a great deal of resources, effort and coordination between sales and marketing to really pull off properly. While ABM is typically used in the enterprise B2B market sector, the tactics also apply to many other B2B marketing scenarios.

Why You Should Care About Account-Based Marketing

You deal with a lot of decision-makers in the B2B environment. Even if you’re mostly dealing with a single stakeholder, there could be a dozen people behind the scenes influencing their choices. If you don’t think about the account as its own entity made up of a veritable committee, then you can’t market effectively to the organization.

You have unique insights into the individual players that comprise the account as well as the company as a whole, and it doesn’t make sense to choose a one-size-fits-all approach. Your close rate will be abysmal if you take that approach, as you’re only going to get the rare win that’s based more on luck than sales talent.

In ABM, you personalize everything from the time you send your messages to the content formats that you send to the decision makers. The long B2B sales cycle gives you the opportunity to get the necessary information to successfully pull off this strategy, especially if you use progressive profile techniques in inbound marketing.

Customer relationship management applications, email marketing tools and other applications make it easy to personalize your messaging to the account. You can reinforce other marketing campaigns and build upon your foundation as time goes on.

Scaling Your ABM Strategy IS Doable!

Once you have a firm handle on your ABM strategy, you should start exploring ways that you can scale parts of the system. You won’t be able to stay completely hands-off, but you can significantly reduce the time spent on manual processes.

Start by creating content that you can leverage across multiple accounts. You can template the parts that need to be changed, such as inserting the company name or the decision makers. The individual accounts get the necessary customization, while you have the ability to wrap it within a more general campaign.

A few ways that AI technology benefits ABM includes suggesting the next course of action for that account, sending personalized recommendations for solution configurations and content, based on previous interactions and the content they engaged with on the website and handling repetitive relationship building actions for the sales and marketing team.

ABM sounds challenging because of the level of personalization involved but it’s not as difficult as you might think. If you carefully plan out each strategy and apply some creative and critical thinking, you’ll build up a resource library over time. You can pull from this and streamline the customization process for every new account that you add.

How Do You Know You’re Getting Anywhere With ABM?

ABM sounds great, but how do you know that you’re going anywhere with it? You have a few metrics to keep in mind when you’re evaluating whether the ROI for the account is really worth it compared to other marketing efforts that you could use instead.

  • Engagement: You can measure this metric in many places in ABM, such as whether the stakeholders are opening your emails to the types of content that they’re reading on your website. It’s important to watch engagement because you can determine whether the account has any interest in what you have to offer.
  • Close Rate: How many accounts are successfully making it through the sales cycle? A too long or too short cycle with a poor close rate could indicate many issues with the process.
  • Coverage: Are you reaching the right people with a particular company? You need to watch this metric to see how effective the marketing and sales team is at getting in touch with the decision makers for an account.
  • Solution Awareness: Do all of the stakeholders know about the solution options you have to offer?
  • Account Retention: Once you get through the sales cycle, how long do your clients stay with your company? A low retention rate impacts ROI negatively in many areas.
  • Account Lifetime Value: How much revenue do you expect to make from this particular account? You can base this on many factors, such as clients with similar company size or that operate in the same market sector.
  • Account Referrals: How happy are your accounts once you close the sale? When they refer many other organizations to your company, they’re acting as an advocate for your products. An account takes this action when they’re especially pleased with the solution and service they get from your business.

Account-based marketing is a resource-intensive way to reach your target market, but it’s well worth it when you have the opportunity to use all of the information you have at your fingertips. When you end up winning a major account because you kept track of all the little details that matter via ABM techniques, you’re going to understand why it’s such an awesome tactic for your marketing efforts.

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