There’s a hot new marketing trend gaining momentum in the business-to-business market known as Account-Based Marketing. The success of the ABM model at saving B2B customer acquisitions is worth considering.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
An account-based marketing strategy starts by identifying the buyers that best align to your company, as well as exhibit the biggest ROI opportunities. Then applying account-specific techniques and personalized messaging to acquire these accounts.
According to research done by Aberdeen, “Seventy-five percent of customers say they prefer personalized offers.” Why? Because buyers are intuitively drawn to content that is relevant to their unique wants and needs. The more you can speak directly to a company’s specific pain points and business goals, the more likely you will be able to capture attention for your offer.
Instead of engaging in mass marketing using general messaging, the strategy tries to meet “potential customers on their terms to meet their ever-changing demands.” With this strategy, it is important to go beyond a generic buyer persona and research the specific needs of each target company and the decision makers within the organization.
Benefits of an Account-Based Marketing Strategy
When done right, account-based marketing can be a highly effective marketing tactic for B2B companies. In fact, social strategy firm Leadtail reports, “When ABM has been in use for at least a year, 60 percent of users reported a revenue increase of at least 10 percent, and 19 percent reported a revenue impact of 30 percent or greater.”
Let’s take a look at the benefits:
“Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests,” according to CMO.com.
ABM engages buyers through relevant conversation, which in turn raises a company’s chances of landing those sales. An account-based marketing strategy ensures content is reaching the right audience by targeting highly specific customers. Content and web CTAs are then created and curated for personalized engagement with accounts.
Eighty-three percent of marketers name increased engagement with accounts as the biggest benefit of account based marketing, according to a majority of the 236 responses collected for Demandbase's “Account-Based Marketing Adoption” report.
Saving on Your Marketing Dollars
According to a recent study done by the Alterra Group, ninety percent of marketers measuring ROI say ABM had a higher ROI than other marketing activities.
With hyper-targeted ads and content, companies can reach buyers most likely to purchase their product for a fraction of the cost because money is no longer being wasted on impressions that don’t turn into sales. By significantly cutting down on irrelevant messaging, your return on investment is likely to be much higher.
Tightly aligned sales and marketing teams
“Seventy percent of ABM users report their sales and marketing organizations are mostly or completely aligned, compared to 51 percent for non-ABM users,” according to Demandbase.
This precise approach to targeting drives alignment across the organization. Marketing and sales often have a different view of their target audience. When implementing an account-based marketing strategy, the teams work together to define target accounts. When the target audience is clearly defined and understood, you can eliminate unqualified buyers immediately and shorten the sales cycle. When both teams have a clear definition of what the company is looking for, time can be better spent on accounts most likely to buy.
Building an Account-Based Marketing Strategy
Define Target Contacts
Once you’ve determined which types of accounts would be most beneficial to target, the next step is to determine which decision makers in the organization make the most sense to reach out to. Research each to determine their likes, needs and preferred method of communication.
Determine What’s Valuable and Personal
Now that you’ve identified the accounts you want to target, and you’ve determined your best contacts within each organization, you must figure out what information would be valuable and personal to these markets. What issues do they have? What goals do they have? Next, you need to develop content that addresses the above and explains how your offering can help them achieve their specific pain points. This is the information that’s going to be most valuable and personal to your target markets.
Choose the Right Delivery Channels
How you deliver your valuable and personal messaging is just as important as the content itself. You’ll need to find out how your target client prefers to receive information and which types of content they are most likely to engage with. More specifically, what’s more or less likely to get and keep their attention? You will most likely launch a cross channel marketing campaign with multiple touchpoints (website, email, print, radio, etc.), but there may be one channel more effective than others.
Deliver Optimized and Consistent Messaging
After you’ve determined the type of information and content that will interest your target audience most, you need to deliver it in the most effective way(s). Be sure your message is consistent, and above all, visible to your target. You may need to create paid advertising campaigns, such as retargeting, social media advertising, and programmatic ads to optimize your content and draw additional attention to your messaging.