The Beginner’s Guide to Using ABM for Your Marketing
It is widely known that well-led marketing efforts are crucial to the success of your business. The first step? You will need a killer marketing strategy. Account-based marketing (ABM) has been growing in popularity and has found its way into the plans of many B2B companies. At its core, ABM combines the objective of short-term goals like lead generation, and long-term revenue growth.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
In a nutshell, ABM is a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales teams work together to personalize programs for certain key prospects and clients throughout the sales funnel. These different functions are looped in together to create account-specific messaging and tailored experiences for greater value. ABM shifts the focus from lead generation to building meaningful relationships for high-opportunity accounts.
As opposed to the traditional blanket approach of lead generation, ABM recognizes the need for lead nurturing. By taking on these accounts and satisfying them quickly, it can have a direct impact on turnover and customer loyalty, generating a higher revenue growth in a shorter time frame.
This collaboration between sales and marketing creates a highly efficient process of identifying, personalizing, communicating and engaging with select accounts. In turn, when buyers feel that their needs are actively being met, they will be more open to conversion.
ABM seems to be on a trajectory path in a highly competitive environment, where more pressure is being put on internal departments to drive profits. Last year, the 2020 State of ABM Report revealed that 94.2% of respondents have an active ABM program. Crazy, right?
If you’re one of the few who have not hopped on the ABM train, it’s not too late. In this article, we share five tips for using ABM in your marketing.
Use an account planning template
You might be thinking: each account is unique, so why use a template? Designing and developing a program for specific clients requires a certain action plan and details to execute. A template sets a standard for the steps and outlines the initiatives for planning the customer journey. By providing consistency to ABM, sales and marketing teams and other key players are always in sync on the objectives of the program. Reps will not have to plan from scratch and can retrieve information quickly, thus focusing their time on better relationships.
A simple account planning template can include things like: customer profile, products, needs, pain points, competitor analysis, relationship strategy, opportunities and risks, and action plan.
Gather a strong ABM team
It is always important to have a mix of marketing channels. Having the whole marketing team solely on managing accounts could lead to missed opportunities and oversight.
Choose a few members of your sales and marketing teams to run the ABM program, while others will utilize other channels (e.g. inbound/outbound etc.) to generate leads. Then, assign fixed roles and brief everyone on their functions so there is no overlap.
Identify quality accounts
Start with a thorough analysis of your customer base and target market to identify the ones that fit the bill. The image of an ideal customer can vary from business to business, but ultimately, your attention still lies on profit-generating and satisfiable accounts. To put things into perspective, companies without the required budget, or difficult clients will not deliver the best lifetime value.
Instead, take some time to identify high-caliber accounts that fit well into your company – not just for the highest ROI, but to build a good rapport with and turn into returning buyers. One tip is to follow the concept of a lookalike audience: look for similar characteristics in previous successes. This gives you a gauge in what industry, size and needs are valuable to your business.
Create highly targeted campaigns
The backbone of every ABM strategy lies in the ability to personalize solutions. Whether these accounts are part of your existing customer base or new prospects, you will have to attract them. Have marketing teams curate content to cater to the specific accounts. Personalizing the content to suit each potential buyer will increase conversion and brand awareness.
Tapping into contact research could help you understand what your prospects need and create unique experiences for them. Some ways to effectively reach your accounts are:
- Reach out directly through social media platforms (e.g. LinkedIn).
- Sending packages and gifts to begin interaction.
- Write articles tailored to specific audiences based on factors such as location, industry, size, demands etc.
- Use marketing automation tools to send regular messages to high-value accounts (e.g birthdays, company anniversary)
Measure the results
Metrics are a critical step in every marketing plan. Not only does it help you track KPIs, it highlights the gaps in your strategy that need to be fixed. Teams can measure an array of metrics. From ROI to account penetration, deal-to-close time, net revenue generated, and number of deals closed, all these are useful in telling the success of ABM. These data-driven insights can be used to make informed decisions.
ABM can seem overwhelming, especially for companies that do not have a program in place. By following this Beginner’s Guide to Using ABM in Marketing, you will be able to harness the power of account-based marketing to propel your business to greater heights. Impact Enterprises provide lead generation services that can help you identify ideal customers to target in your strategy. For more information, visit https://impactenterprises.org.