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January 5, 2022

Why Account-Based Marketing Should Be a Key Part of Your B2B Marketing Strategy

By Sendoso
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KEY POINTS
  • With the right marketing strategy, you can cater to your best accounts and ideal customers.
  • When your marketing is highly targeted, it improves the odds of creating relevant messages that entice action.
  • A personalized approach enriches the experience to your leads and accounts.

Growing revenue for a company is an ongoing battle. You have to consistently find new leads and keep current customers happy.

This requires an ever-evolving strategy to engage prospects and appease accounts. In a simpler time, this was as simple as sending a thank-you card or following up after a sales call.

But with the flood of competition on the internet, you have to do more to stand out. You have to be where they are consistently, so your brand remains top of mind. And most importantly, you must personalize the content they interact with.

Sounds like a lot, but there’s a solution to this:

Account-based marketing (ABM). With the right strategy, you can cater to your best accounts and ideal customers (and grow your revenue in the process).

If you’re not convinced, then continue reading to learn the top benefits of using ABM.

Why Would You Want to Practice ABM?

The top priority of every company is to stay in business. There are two ways to do this:

Consistently search for new customers. Or work to retain the ones you already have. 

While it’s good to drive new leads to your company, it’s not sustainable to focus on this approach solely. This is why B2B marketers find account-based marketing appealing. 

Especially with other B2B companies seeing excellent results. For example, one report shows 37% of marketers see a clearer path to ROI using ABM. But not everyone’s seeing favorable results due to challenges with:

  • Lack of internal resources (36%)
  • Poor alignment between marketing and sales (35%)
  • Developing target account personas (31%)
  • Predicting which account will purchase (31%)

If you can master the art of account-based marketing, you can potentially see great results. One company saw a 94% increase in engagement by using an intent-driven ABM campaign. 

Not using ABM strategies puts your business at a disadvantage, especially if your competitors already implement them. By adopting account-based marketing, you can level the playing field or even gain a competitive advantage

Here’s a closer look at the many other benefits of using a account-based marketing strategy.

How Does ABM Benefit B2B Marketing?

One of the biggest problems businesses face is getting their sales team aligned with the rest of the organization. Unfortunately, this leads to a number of issues that deter success. If you don’t eliminate departmental silos, then it’ll hurt any marketing initiatives you embark on.

When everyone’s aligned, it creates harmony across departments and with customers.

For instance, if marketing teams create resources to answer common customer questions, then sales teams should have access. It’ll make the sales process easier and faster for everyone. 

With a solid plan for targeting accounts, you can align marketing and sales teams so the two work together to reach company goals.

Reach Accounts When They're Most Likely To Buy

Timing is everything in the sales process. If you can target accounts at the right time, then you increase the odds of closing a deal. But this is only possible if you know when an account is on the market to buy. With this intel, you can make an informed decision to upsell or cross-sell to them. 

An ABM strategy enlists the help of tools that identify when accounts are actively shopping or searching for one of your products or services. With this at your disposal, marketing efforts become 10x easier, and sales will have little resistance from accounts. 

For example, you can send personalized content to accounts about your product or service (and even offer a discount). This will drive them through the sales funnel for an effortless close.

Avoid Wasting Time & Resources Chasing Unqualified Leads

Sending generic emails to accounts, hoping they’ll purchase an upgrade or product, isn’t realistic. It eats up resources and wastes your team’s time developing creatives targeting the wrong accounts. 

Account-based marketing fine-tunes your strategy, allowing you to find exactly who to reach out to and when. This way, your marketing and sales people remain focused on key accounts worth pursuing. Plus, this saves money to use in other areas of your campaign (or business).

Improve Response Rates

Getting a response from your target audience shows your messaging works. With advertising, you’re knocking on the door of leads (disruptive). But with ABM, you’re handing the keys to your audience, and they choose to walk in (non-disruptive).

You can set up automated email sequences to trigger specific actions depending on whether someone opens or clicks links within the email. You can also segment contacts based on criteria like industry, size, location, etc. These segments allow you to customize messaging and follow up accordingly. 

When your marketing is highly targeted, it improves the odds of creating relevant messages that entice action. 

Use Data to Make Better Decisions

Data shows marketers what works best for each individual contact. For example, some people respond better to phone calls than others do. Some prefer social media outreach, while others need more personal attention. By using data, you can tailor your communications to fit each person’s preferences. 

This means less time wasted learning which channels to target in your campaigns. And more time on finding ways to connect with those high-value accounts. 

There’s a lot you can learn from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-party data. Some CRMs and customer data platforms gather this into a central hub. This is vital, so everyone has access to information needed to improve sales, support, and marketing activities. 

Improve Customer Experiences

People today want better experiences with brands. This goes for both B2B and B2C crowds. With an ABM campaign, you’re focused on delivering personalized encounters. You’re attracting them with an offer you know they want. And providing information they need to overcome any objections and answer questions they commonly have. 

When you improve customer experiences, they’re more likely to stick around. Plus, refer you to others they know.

Increase Revenue

More revenue is the ultimate goal of every growing business. And it’s what businesses are using to achieve these results. A report from Demandbase shows businesses see at least 2x returns with ABM

However, you must be willing to invest in it. The same report shows these companies increased their ABM spend from 47% of the overall marketing budget in 2019 to 52% in 2020. 

With proper investment, you can build a strategy that targets key accounts with personalized content and offers.

Higher Return On Investment

What makes account-based marketing a great investment is that it’s highly targeted. There’s no guesswork involved, so you know exactly who you’re targeting and why. This makes your content and offering sharper, so it resonates with your leads and accounts. 

This, in turn, increases the odds of them taking action and converting as a sale or upgrade. Because of the nature of ABM, you tend to get a higher return on investment compared to traditional advertising. 

So rather than targeting the masses, you’re reaching out to a smaller number of accounts and prospects who have interest in your offer. 

The cost of ABM campaigns is also more affordable. No expensive ad placements are necessary. All you need is the right software, copywriters, and content marketers to make this work. 

However, if you decide to use paid ads, consider highly-targeted campaigns. And use remarketing to retarget leads who recently visited a product or pricing page. 

Shorter Sales Cycle

With ABM, you don’t waste money chasing after uninterested contacts. Instead, you focus on getting closer to the decision-makers within your prospecting lists. These individuals are ideal matches for your offer and have a higher chance of making a purchase.

So you’ll find yourself spending less time cold calling and more time closing deals. For many companies, the sales process is a major time delay. With ABM to oil the pipeline, your sales teams will have an easier workflow with little resistance from prospects.  

A faster sales cycle means quicker revenue for your company.

How Does Account-Based Marketing Work?

Account-based marketing works if you have a solid strategy. This requires careful research, organization, and collaboration across departments. Here’s a look at how to build an effective ABM campaign.

Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The key to success for account-based marketing is targeting the right accounts. Your ideal customers are those that have the most value. These companies and individuals may even purchase upgrades and related products or services.

When you view the funnel of an inbound marketing campaign and ABM strategy, you’ll see key differences. For instance, an inbound marketing funnel looks like this:

  • Build awareness and attract leads to a website form
  • Create interest and nurture leads through automated emails
  • Promote consideration of a product/solution
  • Drive leads to a purchasing decision (the conversion)

An account-based marketing campaign starts at the bottom of the inbound marketing funnel. After inbound marketers close deals, they keep track of who these customers are. They use this list to identify target companies to hone their marketing initiatives in the future. 

In ABM, the focus is on finding these companies first. Here’s how the funnel looks:

  • Identify target companies/accounts
  • Find more of those target accounts to attract
  • Engage those specific groups
  • Nurture relationships, sales, and turn them into brand advocates


Audience

The audience targeted in inbound marketing is different from ABM. For instance, for inbound, the audience is larger, so it’s common to attract the wrong prospects along the way. 

An ABM campaign is limited and based on an ideal customer profile (ICP). These consist of key decision-makers within an organization that are in the market for your product or service. So the likelihood of a purchase increases substantially.

Identify Target Accounts

Now, it’s time to build your list of accounts to target in your email campaign. ABM analytics tools will prove helpful here. For example, you can use a customer data platform to connect with your CRM to identify your best accounts. 

It also uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to score leads and accounts based on their readiness to purchase. Use these insights to build a highly-targeted outreach campaign using email, blog content, and social media.

Create Personalized Email Campaigns

Now that you know your best accounts to target and when, it’s time to build segmented email campaigns. This way, you can deliver personalized content that attracts and incites action. For example, one segment consists of companies in a particular industry and job roles. They’re currently on the market for a service you offer. 

Maybe they already purchased a different package from you, so you decide to nurture them into an upgrade or cross-sell. To do this, your messaging must address their unique pain points and conclude with an enticing call to action. 

Developing a lead magnet personalized to your target customer is ideal if you’re looking to grow your email list. For instance, if you sell a marketing tool that plays well with a sales platform your audience uses, then write a guide with tips on integrating the two. Then offer it as a free download (in exchange for their email address).

Develop an Omni-Channel Experience

Don’t just stop with an email campaign. Meet your customers wherever they are on the web. Identify the platforms they frequent and websites they visit to determine the best methods to reach them. 

For instance, if there’s an industry blog they visit, consider writing guest posts to provide value to your audience (and theirs). It’s also ideal to only choose the social media platforms your target accounts use to prevent wasting time and effort on channels that don’t convert. 

There’s no point being on Instagram or TikTok if your audience spends most of their days on LinkedIn and Facebook. 

By being everywhere your target customers are, you can develop an omnichannel experience. This is when you design content for each possible touchpoint a prospect has with your brand. 

And continue the conversation by identifying them throughout their journey. For example, after someone signs up for your newsletter, send them a welcome message thanking them for joining. If they click a link in a social media post to an article, have a unique popup with a relevant offer (such as a download to a guide or template). 

Then after downloading your guide, email additional helpful content to help them along their path. The goal is to create a seamless user experience across all digital touchpoints. 

This type of multi-channel engagement helps prospects feel valued and appreciated. You’ll better understand where they spend their time online and which messages resonate with them. 

Measure Your Results

After sending your emails and other content, it’s time to track results. Monitor metrics that indicate interest, such as email opens, click-through rates, and conversions. If they didn’t convert, then you need to adjust your message accordingly. The goal is to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

Remember, ABM is an ongoing effort that requires continuous reiteration to improve your digital marketing efforts. There are ABM platforms you can use to keep watch of how your campaigns perform. Some tools include HubSpot, Terminus, and Triblio.

Build a B2B ABM Campaign that Converts

It’s not enough to create content for your blog. Nor is paying for generic ads sufficient. You need a way to personalize the experiences leads and accounts have with your brand so it resonates. If the message is off, then your results will be lackluster.

With ABM, you can target the right customers at the right time with an offer they’re actually interested in. This increases the odds of them taking action and making a purchase. Use the above ABM tips to enhance your strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about using ABM campaigns to convert, then see how marketing teams are getting over 200% return on their campaign investment.

See how companies generate over 200% ROI on new revenue with the leading sending platform.