Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, allow for marketers to increase their focus, prioritizing quality over quantity and thus improving ROI and the conversion of leads into higher valued customers.
Traditional B2B sales and marketing have been around for a long time – changing and developing with the growth of the digital landscape. It allows marketers to use a broad approach to lead generation, to capture a higher quantity of leads without necessarily focusing on their quality. As a result, the sales and marketing funnel tends to get more and more narrow the further in – true to its ‘funnel’ shape, as it were. However, as a result of this approach, the majority of B2B leads collected never convert to customers. Enter ABM.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing is a focused approach to B2B marketing that brings marketing and sales teams together. This teamwork – often nicknamed ‘smarketing’ – allows for sales and marketing teams to align their strategies and work together to target best-fit prospects and convert them into customers. The age of information and the Internet has raised the stakes, driving competition between digital marketers, who are always fighting for the attention of their potential customers.
This competition tends to drive return of investments (ROI) up, and companies want to focus on the highest ROI need and thus place their attention on high-value accounts while considering account penetration, marketing penetration, and logos. Reaching business goals means that marketing teams need to use strategies that combine sales and marketing tactics so they can focus on high-value accounts that deliver the highest level of ROI.
Why should you adopt Account-Based Marketing?
Capturing the attention of potential customers is a lot trickier today than it was even a few years ago. With the rise of digitalization, everyone is vying for attention left, right, and centre. Engagement is a valuable digital currency, and in an era where everyone and everything is connected, it’s what marketers are vying for. Using ABM, sales and marketing teams can direct their energies towards potential and existing accounts that deliver the best ROI.
ABM is not a new idea, but it has seen a new boost because of the latest developments of technologies and the evolution of the digital landscape. ABM is a proven strategy that helps boost marketing ROI, drive attributed revenue, generate more conversions and qualified leads, and align sales and marketing. Generally, B2B marketers target their leads using broad tactics, casting a net, to appeal to as many different prospects as possible. This tactic may generate more leads in the long run but doesn’t deliver the best ROI.
The implementation of a strong ABM strategy can help improve ROI, drive attribution revenue, improve conversions and generate qualified leads. In the past, it was more difficult to scale ABM initiatives because of the level of personalization it required. However, with the development in technology, it’s now fairly straightforward and more affordable than ever before, making it easy for marketers to adopt an ABM strategy in their team to drive higher ROI and customer value outcomes.
7 Steps to Implementing Account-Based Marketing
1. Gather your Sales & Marketing Teams
ABM aligns your marketing and sales teams, so it’s only right that you start it off by bringing both departments together. Too often we see pillarization between sales and marketing, and one of the key strengths of ABM is that it gets rid of that pillarization and aligns the two. Both departments can strengthen each other by sharing information.
2. Define & Set your Goals and Strategy
Once you’ve got your teams together, you must work together to establish joint goals and tactics. Sales and marketing need to work together for ABM to deliver on its promises, and the best way to get them aligned is for them to discuss and agree upon KPIs and target goals. While tactics need to be adapted to each department’s strengths, of course, they do need to be aligned to reach their joint goals.
3. Select your ABM Technology
Thanks to the development of technology, ABM has seen such a resurgence in recent years. Without the growth the ABM software development, we’d have no chance to scale our strategies. As a result, getting a good handle on the available ABM technology and learning how to best use it is an important step to scaling your ABM strategies.
4. Choose the Right Targets
ABM strategy relies on research, and there’s no getting around it. Once your team has established its goals, setting targets and prioritizing them is next. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to develop and optimize your buyer personas. Remember, it’s a good idea to have your sales team involved in this optimization since they speak to customers and prospects one-on-one probably more often than your marketing team does.
5. Select your Channels & Craft your Messages
Know your target audience? Great. Next up is making sure that you reach them the right way at the right time, in the place where they’re most easily reached. This means choosing your channels and crafting your messaging. Again, the sales team can be of use during this process, so be sure to include them.
6. Execute your Campaigns
Once you’re happy with your messaging, it’s time to get your campaigns out in the world.
7. Evaluate & Optimize
Of course, once your campaigns are live it’s important to stay on top of them. Campaigns, like any other piece of marketing, should never be ‘set and forget’. Evaluating their progress and impact and making live tweaks to optimize them is part and parcel of any strong marketing initiative, especially one backed by ABM strategies.
Account-based marketing is a powerful tool that not only aligns marketing and sales more effectively, but also boosts lead generation efficiency. At its core, account-based marketing is all about converting more leads by improving the quality of the leads gathered from the start of a marketing campaign. ABM has seen a resurgence, and it’s not difficult to see why, in this age of digital transformation it is a more efficient way of capturing high value leads and convert a higher number of them into higher valued customers.