ABM stands for accounts based marketing. The traditional B2B strategy is to launch a broad marketing campaign designed to bring in sales by targeting many potential customers. ABM uses a highly targeted approach. It’s customized to each account. It is often used when pursuing high-value customers or accounts. ABM views each account as its own market and personalizes the approach to be appealing to the account.
Traditional marketing casts a wide net. It initially catches many fish, but the majority of them will have to be thrown back. If a few are keepers, the campaign is considered a success. ABM marketing strategy uses a rod and reel. It’s after a particular fish, and attractive bait is used to entice the fish. All the effort goes into the target, instead of scattering efforts in many directions to find a suitable target.
ABM marketing also takes into consideration that it’s rarely one person that makes the purchasing choices. There are often as many as ten decision-makers in a company. ABM targets individuals within the company, instead of simply targeting the company as a whole.
Choosing the Right Targets
This is the first step to ABM marketing. Without the right targets, all your other efforts will have little benefit. One of the best ways to do this is to identify accounts that are interested in what you have to offer but haven’t actively reached out to your company yet. Identifying those who are engaging with your current content, how frequently they engage with it, and how often can help you discover the accounts that are ready for your business. Once you’ve chosen the accounts you are interested in, you’ll need to identify the specific personas within the account that have the most influence and interest.
Leverage Account Insights
After you’ve chosen the accounts to target, the next step in account based marketing strategy is leveraging account insights. Account insights are used to make your communication efforts relevant and successful. Account insights include different aspects of the account.
First, you’ll want to monitor the account’s market. Note trends, news, and marketing techniques that are common in the niche. Next, focus on the company. Learn the company culture, strategies, weaknesses, and find opportunities. Then you’ll look at the individual decision-makers. Learn their priorities, style, work history, and any other information you can gather. You’ll also want to learn about relationships within the account. How do they relate to each other? Who has the most influence? Who is the most receptive?
Once you have account insights, you’ll need to leverage them. You’ll do this by using the insights to personalize communication with the account. Communication should be a mix of content targeted to all accounts, accounts within the industry, that account, and specific people within the account. This creates a personalized approach that is also scalable.
Many times, you can use content that is applicable to the industry or multiple accounts. Customize some content with a few tweaks to make it more relevant to the account your targeting. Lastly, create some content specifically for the account and specific personas within the account. Balancing out broad content with highly personalized content is key to a successful account based marketing strategy.
Unify Communication and Alignment
Traditionally, sales and marketing are different teams within the same company. Account based marketing tactics require these two teams to work together for a flawless transition. You’ll need a collaborative effort to create a successful account based marketing strategy. This means both marketing and sales departments should be involved in the process. When the focus shifts from marketing to sales, use the account insights to help guide the sales team.
You’ll also need to create a communication strategy for the account. It’s best to take a multichannel approach. Develop a roadmap for communication, and ensure that everyone on the team is aware of the present and future goals. Knowing where members of your targeted accounts spend their time is essential to getting the message to the right people at the right time.
How to Get Your Message to Targeted Accounts
You’ll want to use a multi-channel strategy to get the attention of key accounts. Account based marketing tactics often include live events. This allows you to present your proposal in a concrete way and generates interest. It also puts your sales team in direct face to face communication with accounts, which is often invaluable. Webinars can be used as well. Both types of events will need to be relevant to the accounts you are targeting. It’s often best to keep them industry-focused and offer useful information.
Email marketing is often performed by the sales team with abm marketing. Emails should be targeted and personalized to the account or persona. Direct mail can also be used. Direct mail is often overlooked, but it’s more difficult to ignore than digital communication. It can also make communication feel more concrete and professional.
Online advertising and web personalization are also often part of an account based marketing strategy. Personalizing web searches, social media advertising, and CRM retargeting can increase your ROI and ensure a successful ABM campaign.