Why Account Based Marketing Is All the Rage (and How to Do It Right)

Account-Based MarketingB2B Demand Generation

By Austin Fennacy

Account-Based Marketing Just Makes Sense

 

Let’s face facts.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen massive gains in the ways we measure and track marketing campaigns. And nowhere is this more true than for B2B – where we’ve got more tools, processes and expectations from the higher-ups to deliver a measurable ROI on the day-to-day marketing strategy we’re pursuing. We’re a long way from the age when marketers could simply cast a wide net and hope to reel in as many customer accounts as possible.

Today, there is an increased demand for marketing strategies that are efficient, tactical and measurable. And Account-Based Marketing, ABM, is proving itself as the smart play for the smartest B2B marketers.

While ABM (or key account marketing as it’s also known) isn’t new in the business world, recent technological advancements have made it much more attractive. We’re better able to track the marketing efforts and touch points that high value accounts engage with. Having this level of insight, paired with an improved ability to fine tune our inbound marketing efforts – well, it’s no surprise that ABM is considered a valuable strategy for most B2B companies.

Why are so many sales and marketing teams sold on ABM? Because they’re able to close on bigger deals, focus on only the most valuable accounts, and get the most use out of limited resources (like time and budget).

 

How to Get Started with an ABM Strategy

As you ramp up to kicking off ABM campaigns of your own, keep these tips in mind:

  • Create a targeted account list

Your first step in a great ABM campaign is identifying target accounts – the prospects that would be most valuable for you to win. You don’t want to just consider the revenue potential for these individual accounts, though obviously that’s an important consideration, but if they’re a good fit for your product or service too. Assess how your offering will benefit their business more than what your competitors may be offering.

  • Scoring your ABM target accounts

Not all accounts are equal. Some will be a higher value win than others – and you’ll want to spend additional time and resources to win over those prospects. Before moving forward with your lead generation efforts, ensure that you’ve got a well-curated and scored list. (Learn more about ABM list building and scoring with AI here.)

  • Understanding your target audiences

Account-based marketing requires an in-depth knowledge of your target accounts. For your highest priority accounts, you’ll want to create personalized messaging that addresses their specific pain points so it’s important to do your research. You’ve likely already got a head start on this with your existing buyer personas, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Study the specific circumstances for each target account – including industry trends, competitors, business history, and employees (especially the ones you’ll likely be in contact with). The more information you have on a target account, the more successful you’ll be at creating a personalized marketing effort.

  • Develop personalized messaging

Now that you’ve got your scored list of prospects, and have a solid understanding of their business needs, build a behavior-based campaign. You want to build marketing campaigns that accurately address the common pain points of your prospects, and expertly guide them into your marketing funnel.

Create campaigns that include content and messaging for each stage of the funnel, illustrating your unique insight into their industry, and knowledge of their business model and competitive landscape.

  • Align sales and marketing teams

For ABM to really work, your sales and marketing teams need to have the same nuanced understand of each account on your target list. You’ll want them to be on the same wavelength, so brief each team on the action plan for each specific account, and encourage them to stay in communication.

Aligning your teams will streamline the prospect’s experience and prevent any communication hiccups, so matter who they talk to, they’ll get the info they need that proves to them that you’re the right business to work with.

  • Measure & review your ABM campaign results

Measuring your campaign results is a key component to building a consistently effective ABM strategy. No matter how large, or small, your campaign, make sure to always measure and review your results. (Here is a list of the most common ABM campaign mistakes to help you dial in on what might not be working.)

Understanding the effectiveness of each stage of your campaign will help you to adjust your content, messaging and delivery timetables. You might find you need to make adjustments to lists and segments once you’ve analyzed your results. These discoveries will be invaluable as you run successive campaigns.

 

ABM & Staying Customer-Focused

Account-based marketing makes the difference between gaining high-value, good-fit clients or wasting time and resources targeting everyone. It also provides a reliable structure for your overall marketing campaign so you can focus on the tactics that work the best for your business – and gets the attention of your prospects.

Why does ABM work so well and what really makes an ABM campaign successful? Fancy marketing verbiage aside, it’s really about focusing on the right customers so you can learn what they need. The more you know about them, the better you’ll be able to provide the service or product that will help grow their business.

Have you tried an ABM strategy? If so, let us know how it’s working for you and what things you’ve done to make it successful.