What is Account Based Marketing?

ABM is a strategy that directs marketing resources to engage a clearly defined set of target accounts. The marketing team will be focused on creating content, organizing events, and arranging entire campaigns dedicated to the people associated with target accounts. Unlike other strategies that focus on industry and/or titles as a whole, ABM provides tactical marketing approach based on the specific attributes and needs of the account you’re targeting

Importance of ABM in B2B Marketing

ABM is most effective for B2B companies of any size who focus on high-value accounts. For years, Marketers were casting wide nets and using repetitive techniques pertaining to inbound marketing and heavy advertising. With competition getting higher these tactics are no longer effective especially when targeting businesses. ABM is a major cost saver for organizations with a set of sales accounts and higher targets to achieve.

Sales alignment is always a tedious task for B2B Marketers, most organizations face issues in aligning sales with marketing. As ABM perfectly aligns with the account-based approach sales teams have embraced for years, Marketing becomes their trusted ally on a strategic mission. With the dedicated involvement of marketing, sales teams can now get better leads that match their criteria. With ABM, marketing works in tandem with sales on a defined list that both teams agree to make the most promising targets.

Grow faster with Account-Based Marketing

The growth rate is a key metric for every organization, ABM helps you in different sectors of your sales and marketing journey. The focus of ABM is not lead-based or industry-based but on getting better growth for your business as a whole.

  • • Get maximum ROI on your marketing efforts.

  • • Increase pipeline quality, revenue, and retention.

  • • Strengthen customer relationships and increase revenue from top existing accounts.

  • • Close more deals faster with personalization.

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    87% Of Marketers states ABM have better ROI
    54% of companies say high with rate
    60% Of companies saw revenue increase within 12 months
    91% of companies were able to increase average deal size

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    ABM best practices to follow

    1. Focus on right target accounts
    ABM is about marketing to a whole organization rather than an individual. We (marketers) are used to defining individual personas; this is a critical distinction. Account-Based Marketing efforts should be kick-started by determining the common type of organizations that bring in major share of revenue at their organization. For instance, define the industry, company size, location, annual revenue, upsell opportunity, profit margin, etc. for the accounts that are yielding your business the highest long-term profits. Those are the types of accounts you want to go after. This process will likely consist of both quantitative and qualitative research. Having the right data to back it up will ensure you’re heading to the right goal. Major contributors to this data can be the employees who work on the front-line with prospects and customers; they know your customers more than anyone else. Finding and focusing on high probable accounts major factor which impacts your ABM strategy, persona and other factors comes next. Once the right target accounts are focused you can keep building the block on a stronger platform.
    2. Target all key stakeholders in a single account
    As mentioned above, for a long time B-to-B targeting happened at an individual level – the idea was to target the right decision maker. However, the B-to-B process is no longer limited to one decision maker. Rather, most accounts have multiple key decision makers and Influencers. Each player has his own set of compulsions and ideas about which solution or service best meets the account goals. In such a scenario, businesses cannot limit themselves to single decision maker. Your ABM strategy should address this critical aspect of selling to a group by allowing businesses to tailor their messaging to first clearly define specific pain-points, and then inform and educate how their product or service can address the queries of individual stakeholders and their problem areas effectively!
    3. Deliver personalized experience in every touch points
    Conversations are the most important factor in marketing; the days of linear marketing are long gone. Businesses simply cannot afford to use generic marketing and sales strategies or messaging to deliver stellar brand experiences. You should understand the stakeholders’ specific pain points and appeal to how you can solve them with your messaging and imagery. Keep in mind that the beauty of ABM is that it’s personalized to targeted organizations; this is why your content needs to speak specifically to them. Each and every message or content needs to be personalized to address customers who are in different stages of the buying cycle. Marketers need to work together with their sales and design team to ensure the content is visually engaging, but also communicating the right messages to their key stakeholders.
    4. Decide on the Best Channels for Your Campaigns
    Your ABM strategy and contents will be useless if you’re not promoting your campaigns and creative in the right channels. You need to understand where these stakeholders spend their time online, and what their state of mind is when they’re on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For B-to-B marketers Facebook and LinkedIn can be powerful channels to target the right stakeholders because you can actually run campaigns to appeal to specific organizations, as well as titles within those organizations.
    5. Get sales and marketing in the same room
    According to research from Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn, 81% of marketers in highly aligned companies were more likely to closely collaborate with their sales team on the way they use content when compared to just 25% of marketers in low aligned companies. The most interesting fact that came out of this report is that ABM was considered to be a definite sign of alignment. 57% of highly aligned companies had implemented this strategy into their marketing efforts. Account-based marketing has a direct relation to using high-quality content, since it has to direct it to specific accounts. One of the biggest advantages of ABM is that it flips the sales funnel on its head – businesses start out by focusing first on specific high-value accounts and then expanding those accounts to help create multiple opportunities for returns. Since there are a limited number of accounts that are actively in-market, it doesn’t make sense to divide them up into sales and marketing. Instead, both teams work together to reach and convert their target accounts across each stage of Account Based Marketing Journey.

    Creating Account Based Marketing Strategy

    Step 1
    Choose the Target accounts

    Make the initial list of target accounts you are considering, be sure that your accounts are classified. The classification should be on the basis of revenue potential as well as other strategic factors like the chance to purchase repeatedly from you, or potential for higher than average profit margins.

    Step 2
    Identify key contacts

    Once the target accounts are selected the next step is to identify the key contacts within the selected accounts. Find out the structure of target accounts, major decision-makers and people who can influence them.

    Step 3
    Define your content

    Now you have identified the accounts you are targeting and how decisions are made in your target accounts. Use this data to identify the voice of the contents and type of contents needed in the account lifecycle.

    Step 4
    Create contents

    Once the contents are defined start creating content, the most important word to remember while creating the content is “consistency”. You need to make sure that the contents are consistently created and no conflicting messages are created.

    Step 5
    Choose the right channels

    Interact with customers in the optimum channels where they are available. Choose the channels based on the personas and figure out the best set of channels that can be used for each persona.

    Step 6
    Execute the campaign

    Spend some time making sure you are sending the right content to the right people within an organization and again, that the messaging is consistent.

    Step 7
    Measure your results

    As all other strategy measuring is a major factor in ABM campaigns as well. Make sure that you have adequate tracing and measuring systems in place to track results based on the campaign goals.

    Step 8
    Continue nurturing

    ABM is a long-term commitment and you need to continue customer nurturing. Nurturing doesn’t need to be nearly as intensive as campaigns but should be targeted and carefully considered. This phase must be about relationship building and continued brand awareness.

    Account Based Marketing
    Planning Guide

    Plan 2020 marketing with modern Account Based Marketing Tactics

    Questions to Ask yourself Before You Start ABM

    Question 1:
    Do you have the data to start ABM?

    Account-based marketing can’t be performed without up-to-date, accurate and usable data. Do you have the right data? Every B2B organization has access to massive data pools from marketing and sales activities; ensure that this data is complete and clean.

    SiriusDecisions found 60% of marketers consider the overall health of their data unreliable. If you are also facing the same, take some time to collect the right data or to cleanse the current one.

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    Question 2:
    Do you have the patience to do ABM?

    Like any other results-oriented, solid and scalable revenue generation program, ABM is not likely to produce results in the first week. You should be patient and supportive while you work on the strategy. Strategy before tactics pays off big dividends when it comes to ABM. Invest the time and money to plan out your ABM strategy first. Then systematically create content, align technology, organize tasks and get data. If you have a high-level strategy or game plan in place, the rest is much easier. You also have to consider your own sales cycle. Even though you will see early wins with connecting rates and engagement rates converting sales opportunities will be depending upon your sales cycle.

    Question 3:
    Do you have the content-generating power?

    The success of Account-based marketing is highly dependent on the contents which you create, you will need to send out regular emails, write or create other assets and articles based on your customer needs. The efforts needed in content creation and personalization is higher when compared to other marketing strategies. That doesn’t mean that you need a big in-house team to create tons of content, you need to figure out the market size you are targeting and measure how much effort is needed in content generation.

    Question 4:
    Do you have the technology stack to implement ABM?

    Do you need software to run an account-based marketing program? The answer is No, but still, we sell account-based marketing solutions. Because to do ABM at the scale you need tools and platforms which Discover, target and engage leads on a large scale with extremely personalized interactions. You can do it manually if you have a huge team alongside you.

    Account-Based Marketing Terms

    Account- Based Advertising

    Account-based advertising or ABA is a method of advertising that uses digital ad campaigns to target highly-specific accounts with the most potential for revenue.

    Account Based Engagement

    ABE focuses on the set of targets with account-specific programs to deepen relationships and increase wallet share with existing customers before diving into acquisition.

    ABM 3.0

    Account-based Marketing 3.0 is a more evolved version of ABM in which conversations are orchestrated between Buying Group members and selling group members using the demand unit driven methodology. This approach is also known as Demand Unit Based Marketing, which provides a much improvised and cleaner tactic to your ABM efforts.

    Account Lifecycle

    The account lifecycle is the ABM version of the buyer’s journey. And while the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision) is very lead-focused (with a focus on the individual), account lifecycles take into consideration the entire buying committee. It includes three overarching phases: Acquisition, Acceleration, and Expansion.

    Marketing Qualified Account

    MQA (marketing-qualified account) is an Account-Based Marketing equivalent of a marketing-qualified lead (MQL). An MQA is a target account that has reached a significant level of engagement to signal possible sales-readiness.

    Account Intelligence

    Account intelligence is the overall knowledge you have of a target account, meaning you understand who they are and what they really want and need. It goes deeper than top-level insights and often requires the assistance of third-party data providers.

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