It is hardly a secret that customers today want to be engaged and feel as if a product or service is custom made to fit their needs. This idea is typically thought of when it comes to products we can see in an online or brick and mortar store, but it is no different when it comes to B2B companies and their marketing strategy. This is why a shift from traditional methods of marketing to an account based marketing approach should sound attractive.
Account based marketing, or ABM, is much more than a buzzword or an evolving trend in the marketing industry. It is a strategic method for growth and accuracy in B2B marketing that concentrates sales and marketing efforts on a specific set of accounts. The idea behind this concept is to target the key stakeholders and decision makers of key accounts rather than throwing a bait out in a wide pool and hoping it sticks.
ABM follows the 80/20 rule. Related to marketing, this rule states that 80% of the revenue will come from just 20% of the accounts. This means that the other 80% of the accounts should not receive equal time, money, resources, or attention as those critical 20%. ABM focuses on those 20% and works to gain a deep understanding of these target accounts, stays focused on the interests and needs of those account holders, and develops a relationship built on trust over time.
Is account based marketing becoming a go-to method for most company’s marketing efforts? It probably is. According to a 2017 report by SiriusDecisions, 93% of B2B marketing and sales professionals acknowledge that ABM is critical to their business growth and increased revenue. Between 2016 and 2017, the same report noted that 50% more companies are moving from traditional methods of marketing to an account based focus. I think it is safe to assume that your competition is already doing account based marketing or quickly heading in that direction, hence, it is important that you do so as well.
While every single ABM initiative might not yield exponential results, the expedited process will produce more qualified leads, push customers through the sales funnel faster, and increase the rate of closed deals. Since nearly every B2B company must have an account based marketing strategy, B2B companies may adopt three primary points of strategy:
1. Prioritize the alignment of marketing and sales.
To properly identify target accounts and build solid, long-lasting relationships, both sales and marketing departments must work together. If sales works in a silo, the output will be no more than an effort of cold calling. If marketing works in a silo, the result is nothing more than a traditional advertising campaign.
Beyond that, it is critical to note that ABM is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires dedication and commitment from the overall decision makers in your marketing and sales departments. To ensure this, be aware of your identity and then ensure ABM plays a role in that.
2. Drive your strategy and let your strategy drive you.
Every company needs a marketing strategy and it is no different with account based marketing.
Decisions made about ABM should be integrated into the overall goals and objectives of the company. With technology providers offering a wide range of products and services and marketers saturated with small daily pain points, it is critical not to become overwhelmed with how many technological possibilities there are. Instead, marketers must consider how ABM can and should be implemented and how it drives the overall company strategy and goals.
3. Use your brain.
If you have been doing traditional marketing in your company for the past decade, you may want to consider adding experts to your team who have experience in initiating, implementing, and executing ABM methods that get solid results.
With the sheer number of technology products and services available that can help you target specific accounts based on certain demographics, it can be difficult and overwhelming to decide which tools are worthy of your time, money, and resources. The key to delivering on your company’s strategic marketing goals might require the help of other people. Leverage those who are willing to get to know your business and make the most of your segmentation and targeting efforts.
A well planned and well executed ABM strategy will actively help your company avoid draining resources and time on meaningless accounts, prevent the loss of important clients, and actively win the best and biggest deals. ABM is the smart and efficient way to optimize your marketing and sales efforts to target key accounts and generate measurable ROI.