Account Based Marketing basics
Account based marketing (ABM) is making waves in marketing. Specifically, 60% of B2B businesses report that they intend to increase their ABM budget next year. Whether you have yet to adopt an ABM plan, have just dipped your toe into the ABM pool or are a seasoned professional, don’t get left behind. Think Beyond’s “Focus on series” gets to grips with the what, why and how behind effective ABM. Read on for a short guide into account based marketing basics.
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What is account based marketing?
Account based marketing is a business strategy that funnels marketing resources towards specific target accounts. As the sniper elite of marketing strategies, ABM focuses on quality not quantity. ABM pushes selected accounts towards closed won via highly personalised messaging and customised nurture programmes to key stakeholders and prospects.
Furthermore, by treating your accounts as a market of one, it demands tight alignment between sales and marketing. The two teams must work together to firstly identify which accounts matter most to your business and secondly, to ensure that account messaging is unified across every touch point.
Is it just for B2B?
No – whilst there is no denying that account based marketing is suited to the multiple buyer profiles and long sales cycles common to B2B, ABM is gaining traction within B2C. Particularly, in areas of high ticket purchases such as car sales, housing and electronics.
Customer journeys are becoming more complex across the board, and unlike traditional lead generation, account based marketing goes beyond acquisition. The targeted nature of ABM lends itself to upsell and cross-sell and can enrich an existing inbound marketing strategy.
Why you can’t ignore ABM: The benefits of an account based marketing strategy
1. A high ROI
By strategically targeting key decision makers in accounts that represent the highest value, account based marketing offers a high return on investment. According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), 87% of marketers measuring ROI believe that ABM outperforms other marketing investments.
2. Increased deal size
A key benefit of adopting an account based marketing approach lies in increased deal size. SiriusDecision’s “2017 State of ABM Study Findings” reports that 91% of ABM marketers indicated a larger deal size and 25% stated that their deal size was over 50% larger.
3. Increase revenue with cross sell and up-sell
Winning new business with ABM doesn’t stop at initial prospecting. Therefore, apply account based marketing to existing clients to drive retention and revenue opportunities via cross-sell and upsell.
4. Greater sales and marketing alignment
Working closely together on selected accounts forces sales and marketing into close alignment. The benefits cannot be underestimated. With the efficiency savings of focusing on higher value leads, companies that adopt ABM and synch sales and marketing become 67% better at closing deals.
5. Personalised messaging
ABM solves the right time, right prospect, right message dilemma. Through personalised outreach and customised nurture messages, prospects are served appropriate content resulting in faster sales cycles. The messaging is tightly targeted to their specific needs and pain points without a spam email or cold call in sight.
How to implement ABM
First of all, developing an effective account based marketing strategy hinges upon successful alignment of sales and marketing. They must work together to define firmographics or buyer personas, identify target accounts and stakeholders, create campaigns and push optimal channels.
Secondly, a CRM system helps share data between departments and track interactions whilst shared KPIs measure impact and ROI.
In summary, integrating account based marketing with your marketing plan demands careful attention. ITSMA identifies 3 distinct ABM approaches: strategic, lite and programmatic, that serve ever increasing audience sizes. Terminus identifies a fourth option for account based marketing, which they name the “ABM bolt-on”, to reach audiences of any size.
Getting help with your ABM strategy
Find out what type of account based marketing you need and get advice to align sales and marketing by calling us. Think Beyond is a marketing consultancy agency based in Wilmslow in Cheshire. CIM qualified marketers partner with senior teams to plan, deliver and manage bespoke marketing solutions to grow sales and ROI. Similarly, we work with and alongside existing staff to accelerate your marketing potential.
Contact the ABM experts at Think Beyond
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