With Account Based Marketing (ABM) being adopted by an increasing number of B2B organisations, the basics of ABM have now become all the more important to decode.
Picture this – There is a huge garden with what seems like a limitless pool of flowers growing inside it. There are flowers of different species, shapes, colours, and fragrances. Some flowers are healthy, while some are wilting. You wish to curate a bouquet of flowers and make sure that it turns out stunning. You have two options open to you. You could either randomly gather flowers and arrange them together to create a rather haphazard bouquet, or you could pluck onlythose flowers which are healthy and appealing to you on various levels and best suit your needs. Account Based Marketing is this branch of B2B Marketing that follows the latter approach.
Before diving into the nuances of ABM, it is important to understand what the “A” of “ABM”, that is, what the term “account” means with respect to B2B businesses. In the B2B ecosystem, an “account’ refers to a target company, i.e. a company which another company wants to sell its product or service to.
Therefore, “Account Based Marketing” (ABM) is that strategy of B2B Marketing wherein particular accounts (target companies) are dedicatedly pursued via highly targeted and personalised Marketing campaigns. This is done by treating individual accounts as independent markets instead of resorting to generalised campaigns bearing widespread mass appeal. Essentially, the traditional carpet-bombing approach to Marketing is reversed. With ABM, you set the ball rolling by first shortlisting the most lucrative opportunities, which become your target accounts, and then proactively following them with the aim of getting them on board. This is the polar opposite of the conventional Marketing method, where the process ends with finding your suitable target.
Benefits of Account Based Marketing
The ABM model is implemented for the numerous benefits it offers, of which a few are as follows:
- Studies have established that ABM delivers the highest Return on Investment (ROI) to B2B businesses in comparison to other Marketing methods.
- As ABM has a highly targeted operation procedure, it enables the Marketer to focus on clearly identified and specific accounts that thereby prevent wastage of resources along the way.
- ABM translates to engaging with your target accounts through heavily personalised messaging and communication in order to resonate with them and impact them specifically.
- Effectiveness of the Marketing campaign and strategy can be better tracked, analysed, and measured through ABM because a more compact set of target accounts is to be focussed on and doing so fosters drawing of clearer conclusions.
- It encourages an efficient alignment and mingling of Sales and Marketing teams such that each has to work hand-in-hand with the other and often finds itself in the other’s shoes.
The basic rule for a successful ABM campaign is that first and foremost, the Sales and Marketing teams of the Marketer organisation must work jointly on it. Once that is ensured, the ABM process boils down to five broad steps.
5 Steps To A Successful Account Based Marketing Campaign
- Find your high-value target accounts that must be focussed on at all costs:
This is crucial, and you can begin by channelizing all your business intelligence data sets into shortlisting your high-value target accounts by considering factors like revenue potential, market position, likelihood of a particular account giving you continuous business for a prolonged period, profit potential, etc.
- Study your target accounts so as to find out the who’s who to enable you to design and launch your Marketing campaign:
The next step is to lay down the structure of your target account(s) and understand its/their decision making process, while noting its/their decision makers and decision influencers. Conduct research into the names, roles, and contact details of the persons performing these roles to enhance the entire campaign.
- Develop content and messaging which is personalised for your target account(s):
Here, the objective is to create such content and messaging which directly, palpably, and efficiently addresses the pain points of the target account(s). Ideate with your design and sales team to churn out engaging content and messaging of the kind which gives the stakeholders and decision makers as well as influencers in your target account(s) the complete picture, and which is altered to comfortably appeal to the aforementioned persons.
- Resort to optimal communication channels and marketing media to solidify the chances of reaching and affecting the abovementioned stakeholders, decision makers, and decision influencers in your target account(s):
Ponder over aspects such as the most fruitful channels for communicating with your target roles within an organisation, the communication restrictions that could be possibly imposed within these organisations, and only then initiate contact with your target accounts on all the channels that the latter leverage accordingly. You need to understand where do the game changers of your target account(s) spend time online and what their state of mind is, and thereafter proceed in line with the same.
- Finally, launch a coordinated campaign that is specific to the target account(s):
Thanks to significant technological advancements, it is now possible to do the above on a much greater scale than before. The same has also become easier, with some of the most popular social media websites like LinkedIn offering ABM-friendly targeting features. Once the campaign is launched, make sure your sales team is updated on the leads front on a daily basis.
It is to be noted that by concluding that ABM is superior to traditional Marketing, you will be committing a mistake. The best Marketing strategy differs from organisation to organisation. However, Account Based Marketing and traditional Marketing, though distinct, can and ought to be implemented in parallel. Finding middle ground is never easy, and Marketing is no exception, but in this case, doing precisely that is vital.