For those of you who don’t know what Account Based Marketing (ABM) is or how it can help your business, this blog’s for you. In its most basic form, ABM is the alignment between marketing and sales to make both more efficient. The idea is to spend more resources focused on high-value prospects so both marketing dollars and sales time are spent wisely.
Old B2B Marketing
In the old B2B model marketing generated as many leads as possible and sales sifted through them to find the prospects that had a high-level of interest and high value to the company. That meant many leads were wasted, and sales time was spent inefficiently. In ABM, sales works with marketing to identify which accounts should be pursued. Sales and marketing then determine who the decision-makers are at the prospective account, and deliver personalized marketing to them. The objective is to generate greater revenue in a shorter time period. ABM focuses efforts on the highest opportunity and highest value prospects.
What Is ABM
Account Based Marketing(ABM) is personalized to your audience. Advertising is designed to resonate with the specific people at each account. Messaging to the CEO will talk about how the relationship will help her company grow. Communications with a CFO will focus on the financial benefits of the relationship, while information sent to the Sales Director will demonstrate how your product or service will increase sales. ABM does not provide as large an audience to generate leads, but it does allow for more intimate conversations with people of value.
Another benefit of ABM is that it makes attribution easier. You know exactly who you are marketing to and when they convert. Because your prospects are pre-determined and messaging more customized less time is spent with prospects who don’t convert. A business that responds to your messaging is already pre-qualified, and all of the stakeholders in the company will know who you are. This also helps with existing clients, making cross-selling and up-selling easier.
And ABM should shorten your sales cycle. ABM generates more qualified leads because the business is more likely to have folks who want to hear from you. Since your messaging is tailored to their needs, responses are more likely to be serious. Selling is now focused on leads more likely to become customers, shortening the time to close the deal.
Many people see ABM as an enterprise level marketing tool, aimed at attracting business from prospects with at least 5 decision-makers. While ABM was developed with larger companies in mind the concepts apply to smaller B2B companies. Every business should always identify what makes a good customer (a client avatar) and develop target lists based on that identity. Then establish who the decision-makers are at your prospective client. Think about your sales funnel or path to conversion and create content and messaging that will help lead each target through the funnel.
Now, how will you get that messaging in front of your target? Email is one path, social media is another. Retargeting banners should be considered. With smaller businesses there may only be 1 – 3 decision makers. Each marketing piece should be personalized to the target. Business owners will get one kind of messaging, marketing directors another etc. If your company is hosting an event invite your prospects. Even consider out-of-the-box ideas that help tell a story about your company. One company sent piñatas filled with candy and testimonials for the company from a top customer advocate. They saw a 36% response rate.
ABM tactics will take some thought to construct but they are easy to measure and replicate. Once you have some tactics that work you can accelerate the process. Account Based Marketing can produce for a B2B business of any size.