Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has been around for years and for some it’s been a successful marketing approach delivering ROI. At its core, it involves the development of highly targeted communications, focused on deepening your business relationships with a defined set of ‘key accounts’ – either existing clients or prospects.
Why use account-based marketing?
Your marketing efforts are generally cast across your entire target audience to catch as many leads as possible, however in a crowded and noisy global marketplace, the key to success is to ‘show me you know me’ by using data and insights to personalise as much of your message and content as possible. As reported in our latest B2B Marketing Research (BMR) Report, 40% of respondents implemented ABM in 2019, and 46% of those say that ABM is delivering ROI.
I first experienced the benefits of using ABM back in the early ‘noughties’ when I was working as a communications manager in a large global IT company. I had been assigned to our largest client, a mining company, and I was responsible for running our ABM program.
Our team worked globally to support and meet the needs of our client’s IT systems. As part of a global team, I worked closely with the global Account Executives (sales team) and the delivery teams – their insights and input from the ‘coal-face’ literally, gave me valuable proof points and highly relevant content ideas that I then incorporated into regular outgoing communications, such as newsletters.
The content I developed included:
- Our collaborative successes
- Introducing new services and initiatives
- Exposing the broader organisation’s capabilities
- Introducing new team members
- Reporting on community programs – e.g. provision of computers to local schools and communities
We were producing and sharing this content in a very manual way, however if we had access to new tools like marketing automation platform (MAP), intent data (Bombora), social media channels etc, the impact of our ABM strategy could have been much greater and more efficient.
With the integration of your marketing automation platform (MAP) with your CRM, you can enable your sales team to have ‘control’ over information sharing, pausing communications at sensitive negotiation stages and boosting them at others. With engagement monitoring and tracking across these channels, you can also learn more about what’s working and what’s not.
Key areas to focus on include:
Segmenting audiences into groups that have similar motivations and drivers
Adjusting your content strategy based upon actual data and insights to create efficiencies
Scoring can provide you with an indication of decision-making power and intent – those consuming more content and demonstrating high engagement could have been contacted directly at the right time with relevant offers and propositions.
Marketers can design a beautiful, well-architected ABM program but its success is highly dependent on the collaboration with the Sales organisation – the integration of the MAP and CRM to enable business rules like triggers, scoring milestones and alerts. All stakeholders need to be involved in the process to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
As 2020 progresses, we’re hoping to see more B2B marketers invest in ABM as a strategic approach to their marketing. With customers’ desire for a personalised experience and tailored content ever-rising, it would be pertinent for any B2B marketers not already using ABM to start.
If you’d like to speak to us about Account-Based Marketing, you can call me on 03 9290 9777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more B2B marketing and Best-in-Class insights, download your complimentary copy of the latest B2B Marketing Research Report.