Account-based marketing (ABM) is a focused business marketing strategy that allocates resources to a specific set of best-fit target accounts. It executes personalized campaigns designed to engage each account separately, by offering tailor-fit solutions to their needs. A survey conducted by the ITSMA in 2014 found that “ABM delivers the highest return on investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic.” By eliminating unqualified leads from the get-go, ABM strategically reduces the sales cycle. This is achieved through a symbiotic relationship between the marketing and sales teams.
According to the Marketing Trends Survey in 2021, 75% of business-to-business companies will increase their ABM budget in FY2022. Here are 7 reasons why most enterprises are optimizing their marketing capacities to incorporate sharper targeting.
- Going Beyond Lead Generation
90% of companies say the top goal of their ABM efforts is new business generation. However, most ABM leaders are keen on building stronger relations with existing accounts, rather than searching for leads. A personalized marketing approach encourages customer retention. Targeted accounts are more likely to engage with the content since it is geared towards them, their needs, and tastes. One in five accounts targeted through ABM can be considered a qualified sales opportunity. B2B industries with broader scopes for growth and the capacity to seep into newer markets with a narrow, trusted consumer base are more likely to steepen their revenue curve.
- Sales Collaboration
Account-based marketing is a strategic discipline that requires marketing teams and sales organizations to work in tandem. Prospecting activities such as identifying target accounts, crafting customized campaigns for them, and working together to align assets through the pipeline, resulting in the upkeep of nearly 24% faster three-year revenue growth. Since major purchase decisions involve multiple stakeholders, the sales process starts at the lower echelons, moving slowly towards the primary decision-maker. The governance support of sales and field marketing ensures greater stakeholder alignment and shorter sales cycles.
- Ideal Customer Profile
A strong ABM strategy is founded on a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ideal customer profile defines a target account or company that is fit for a specific solution. Building the ideal profile requires an existing customer base whose intent and analytics data can be studied. Identifying buying trends, effective solutions and future prospects smoothen the process of research, creating lists, and collating databases. An ICP should be focused on relevant information, such as industry verticals, technology, employee volume, etc.
- Engaging Across Channels
Top ABM leaders engage their accounts on a regular basis with an average of six different interaction channels throughout the decision journey of the account. Paid social media ads are helpful in reaching out to desired target accounts. LinkedIn and Facebook allow tailored targeting, IP targeting and retargeting, to display personalized campaigns. An ABM approach to events and webinars can include personalized invitations to key prospects from target accounts. Using marketing automation to coordinate and personalize campaigns across each of the marketing channels is a crucial step in preserving resource allocation. This requires a standardized ABM program that binds channels together and encourages upselling and cross-selling of creative assets.
- Process Development and Technological Leverage
Nearly 52% of B2B enterprises using Account-Based Marketing successfully apply standardized campaign tools and templates, designed to facilitate the high scalability of a program. Making the maximum use of technology to enhance the potential of marketing has proved extremely lucrative, especially to B2B industries with large-close deal sizes. Use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Marketing Automation Systems(MAS), advertising analytics, and account insights help analyze the data to verify the strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns. Software such as HubSpot ABM helps identify the challenges of prospects in order to personalize specific marketing messages. Marketing Hub tools such as ads, web pages, and social media posts help plan a successful marketing strategy in standard CRM programs. “Researching Accounts” and “Identifying Target Accounts” are the top two tactics used within an ABM model.
In conclusion, with a stunning rate of 13.5% in the average budget growth, Account-Based Marketing has a rich future ahead in the business-to-business industry. A lot is dependent on your ICP, the correct strategy, and the application of the program. ABM is a continuous process that relies upon experimentation and personalization to the smallest detail.