Account-based marketing (ABM) takes a different approach to standard B2B marketing strategies. Instead of targeting a wide range of audiences, account-based marketing focuses sales and marketing resources on a defined list of high-value target accounts.
It utilises data analysis and research to work out precisely the kinds of accounts – and the suitable people within those accounts – to target by way of highly personalised communications. The overall aim is to ensure your sales and marketing efforts are more productive, so that your marketing team can target better prospects and sales teams can convert more easily.
More fishing rod, less fishing net.
Essentially, ABM is about getting rid of the fishing net in favour of the fishing rod. Because whilst the fishing net might get you a bigger haul, it’s not much use if you’re only after a specific type of fish.
In many respects, ABM is modern term for the traditional best practices of market segmentation, personalisation and easier lead nurturing as a result of filtering out those that won’t go anywhere.
The 5 key benefits of account-based marketing
1. It plays to your strengths
If you’ve done it right, chances are you’ve developed your brand and service provision in a way that makes them attractive to certain audiences. So it makes sense, then, to gearing your sales and marketing efforts to attracting and servicing those audiences.
If you’re a videographer, for example, who excels in the high-end luxury market, you don’t want to spend time, energy and money on marketing strategies that might attract mass-market FMCG clients that would look totally out of place in your showreel.
Adopting an ABM approach forces you to do a rigorous self-audit of your own brand values and ambitions because it makes you ask the question: Who do I want to target? Fully appreciating this question gives you a greater understanding of your own strengths and aspirations and, as a result, gives you a clear picture of the type of businesses you need to target. This incredibly useful exercise can shape the sales and marketing operations of your entire business.
2. It reduces waste
ABM’s targeted approach allows marketers to focus their resources efficiently and engage in strategies that are optimised for your targeted accounts. ABM is about being more nimble and more responsive in how you attract and delight your clients – and reducing wasted resources in the process.
Using the fishing analogy again, someone who needs to feed a small community will only find their efforts – and most of their catch – go to waste if they haul in a metric ton of trout.
3. It takes things personally
By its very nature, account-based marketing provides your clients with the personal touch. After all, you’re creating messaging for specific accounts rather than large, faceless groups of people. This means you can send highly personalised and relevant communications to your clients – ones that provide genuine value and make you stand out from the crowd.
4. It improves your sales alignment
By making them think in terms of how to target accounts and foster meaningful, sales-driven conversations with them, ABM helps your marketers behave more like sales people. And by nurturing your accounts’ key decision-makers, instead of dealing with a host of semi-related stakeholders, you can more quickly transition from interested lead to satisfied customer.
And because your aim is to engage with a pre-determined ‘type’ of account, you eliminate a swathe of unqualified prospects from the get-go. Which means your sales and marketing teams can focus their energies on leads more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
5. It gets results
Marketing service community, ITSMA, confidently claim that account-based marketing delivers the highest ROI of any B2B marketing strategy. Don’t believe them? Well, because ABM deals with smaller sets of results instead of a huge set of metrics, you can easily trace its effect on your marketing investment yourself.
Who should use ABM?
Historically, account-based marketing was a time-consuming and arduous process and was only suitable to those businesses with the significant resources required to put behind it.
Whilst it’s still true that most businesses using ABM are enterprise-level, today, any business that has an efficient CRM and marketing automation in place can practice ABM.
More specifically, though, ABM is suited to companies that work with a handful of large, key accounts or that are targeting sizeable clients within certain industries. In these cases, ABM helps you focus your efforts on a smaller number of accounts that will yield significant rewards should you land them.
You should also consider using ABM if your current sales and marketing model isn’t working. If you’re not getting in front of the right kind of prospective clients or your sales teams are bemoaning the lack of qualified leads, then account-based marketing might be the boost you need.
Want to know more?
If you want to explore further how account-based marketing can help your business, get in touch with us today. Our highly experienced strategists will help you understand how best to adopt this personalised approach to your business accounts and align your sales and marketing efforts at the same time.