There has been a big noise about Account Based Marketing or ABM in recent years. It is considered a focused approach to B2B marketing, where sales and marketing functions work hand in hand to target the best-fit prospects. The approach works well, and the majority of the prospects turn into customers.
This approach has changed the conventional format of B2B sales and market funnel. Now, B2B marketing follows a broad approach to generate leads. Its goal is to capture as many leads as possible.
But, in the conventional approach, the funnel gets smaller at the bottom. Therefore, the majority of the leads don’t become customers.
When you use the Account Based Marketing strategy or ABM, it flips the B2B sales and marketing funnel. It is called the ‘Terminus Approach’. It challenges the lead-based approach of the past.
Here, you do not begin with marketing channels for generating leads. Instead, you begin with finding out and targeting the best-fit accounts that carry the biggest revenue potential. Technology is used by marketers to serve personalized messaging to the decision-makers.
The ABM strategy supplements the marketing outreach by one-to-one, personalized sales outreach to the same target customers.
Account-Based Marketing- The history
It became popular in the early nineties when both, the B2B and B2C companies realized the need for personalized marketing. When an individualized buying experience was preferred by the majority of the consumers, marketers turned to Account Based Marketing as the best practice.
Another important reason behind its popularity was the emphasis on demand generation and Return on Investment. As a result, an increasing number of vendors offered more robust ABM solutions.
This approach involves a multichannel approach. It needs an alignment between the following elements:
Many ABM tools are available nowadays, and one can pick one based on the need and application. An important attribute of ABM, which makes it successful is that it allows an entrepreneur to reach not only the contacts but other key decision-making stakeholders as well.
Thus, multichannel campaigns can be run to show ads to the target audience across channels. You know which messages resonate the most.
How to target the right prospects using Account Based Marketing (ABM)
To make the best use of ABM and target the best-fit customers, one has to read and follow these points.
#1 Identify the goals first
The first thing is to pick target accounts, to begin with campaign goals. Once the business objective is set and mutually agreed upon by sales and marketing functions, it is easy to choose the right accounts to focus on.
#2 Find out accounts that will add credibility to the brand
You need accounts that will add credibility to your brand. Pick such accounts whose logos and testimonials add social proof as well as legitimacy to your brand. Technically, it is called ‘logo acquisition’.
Two important questions should be asked by sales and marketing leaders.
What are the brands that have the most respect and recognition among the buyers?
Which segment is growing faster but losing deals because buyers are unable to recognize customers?
Once you get answers, find out 10-15 companies that match the criteria. Create a campaign that keeps them engaged. They are your target accounts.
#3 Always classify accounts that have an ideal customer profile or ICP
It will always help you to target the right prospects when you will build an ‘Ideal Customer Profile’. It is a set of characteristics that define the type of the company. A few examples of these characteristics are industry, technographic, size, location, and so on).
#4 You should build a data-driven strategy
When you use the right data, it gives the right boost to the business. Firmographics and technographic are two key data types.
Firmographics are the characteristics of the company, e.g., type of industry, location, number of employees, estimated growth, estimated revenue, etc.
Technographics are the technologies that you would like to invest in.
#5 Build an insight on contacts
You should shortlist contacts that you must reach out to within the set of target accounts. Do not be in a hurry while doing that. Do thorough research on the stakeholders.
Once it is done, you should see their level on the organizational ladder. What is level of influence do they have? Some important attributes you need are job title, account affiliation, engagement history, tenure, experience, skills, proficiency, and so on.
By building a proper insight on contacts, you will be able to target the right prospects.
Account Based Marketing is a tool that is useful in targeting the right customer if you plan it well and execute it meticulously. This blog has given an insight into various aspects of ABM. Thus, you can build a large customer base and take the business to new heights.