Account based marketing, or ABM as it’s often called… is it just a buzz phrase or here to stay? Well, if one applies the 80/20 rule to one’s focus (80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers), then the answer is it should be here to stay. ABM is one of the best ways to allocate marketing time since we learned to slice bread. So what is it?
Account based marketing is…
… Exactly that; marketing where resources and focus are concentrated on a clearly defined set of target accounts. It’s a highly personalised approach that is set to resonate with each individual account. And when it’s done well… it works.
There are several key components to successful ABM campaigns:
- Identification of key accounts
- Research into the profile of each account
- Tailored engagement of each account across multiple channels
- Tracking, analysis of data, and adjustment
- Results fed into the mix, and a new cycle begins
ABM isn’t just focused on revenue, however; it’s focused on profit too. Increasing the return on investment is every marketer’s quest, and those high-value accounts that enjoy an aligned sales and marketing experience are key.
Is ABM only for the big boys?
Before the age of clever digital connectivity and apps, perhaps. But now, with access to the right software and knowledge that makes the process both targeted and scalable, businesses of all sizes can reap the ABM rewards. Gone is the concept of the funnel. ABM marketing isn’t about creating a broad awareness of your products and services, generating interest, playing the numbers game, and then hoping a percentage will sign on the dotted line. ABM is about uniting sales and marketing activities to identify the right accounts. Then uniting the activities of both those departments further to establish what each profile looks like and how best to engage.
So what do you need to look at?
Identify target accounts
You may want to identify specific companies, or perhaps a particular seam within a vertical. Only you know what criteria you want to set, but the list might include:
- High yield potential
- Product/service fit
- Short purchase process
- Strategic importance
- Competitor challenge
- Geographic relevance
The key to success, however, is to then identify the job roles and personnel you wish to target. Getting the right individuals in your cross-hairs will make a difference; particularly with GDPR in the fray too. The right individuals are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer and be open to receiving communication on an ongoing basis from you.
Engage across channels
Once you have your accounts and contacts in place, the next stage is to start engaging with them via personalised, tailored, relevant content. Consistency is the name of the game. But so is monitoring your potential buyer’s interactive behaviour. If you understand the signals people give off, you can adjust the material you’re transmitting at a granular level and engage wherever you can. It might seem like a lot of effort but it will pay off. B2B buyers are just as time sensitive as you are. Once they have a supplier they trust who regularly engages with them with meaningful messages, you’re making it easy for them to return… again and again.
Is this really worth all the effort?
Going back to the 80/20 rule… if you pick the right accounts, absolutely. With apps abounding now to help you engage, monitor and track your audience, ABM was never more accessible to small and big businesses alike. And here are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy:
- High return on investment in comparison to other B2B marketing activities
- Focused activity ensuring resources are used efficiently
- An engaged target audience that you can maintain on an ongoing basis
- Plentiful data to analyse and then use to improve future campaigns
- Alignment of sales and marketing in thinking, approach and activity
If you’d like to understand more about how account based marketing could make a difference to your bottom line, please do contact us. We’d be delighted to offer you the benefit of our knowledge and experience, and work with you to hit those numbers you’ve dreamed of.