Account Based Marketing relies heavily on data security. What are the other components, and how does it engage clients? Find out in this article.
Remember this iconic scene from Madmen?
The famous Don Draper speech when they got a chance to land Jaguar – “There are six Sundays between now and the Jaguar pitch.
We’re going to spend them all here… We will celebrate Christmas here, we will ring in the new year together.
And in the end, we will represent Jaguar and it will be worth it.”
Don’s company is looking to deploy a huge chunk of its resources on one desirable account, to research, collect data and understand the brand in & out.. And finally, create a personalized campaign that wins them this huge account.
This, folks, is precisely the philosophy behind Account-based marketing.
By Definition –
Account-based marketing is a hyper-focused b2b marketing approach where the focus is to go after select best-fit accounts.
Account-based marketing is a strategy different from your traditional lead gen or inbound marketing which begins with the exact end in mind.
Unlike traditional b2b marketing practices, a list of prospects is created first and hyper-targeted personalized campaigns are launched treating each account as a market.
This allows b2b marketers to cut through the competition like a hot knife increasing conversion chances and overall ROI.
Resurgence of ABM
Account-based marketing is not a new strategy. It’s been on marketers’ agendas for about two decades now – but was out of the limelight due to limited scalability.
However, with the technological abundance scaling an ABM strategy is highly possible.
And the data suggests, that it’s a great way to secure more revenue bettering ROI, and overall efficiency by cutting costs.
It’s basically putting your eggs in fewer baskets. But each basket is made of gold.
Undoubtedly, Online b2b marketers have reported improved Return on investment, improved lead qualification, and unbelievable conversion rates.
Let’s jump onto the structuring of this distinctive yet highly-effective marketing strategy.
Components of Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing consists of three foundational components, each more important than the last:
- and measurement.
- Targeting high-value relevant accounts: When you base your marketing efforts on an account-based strategy you are in complete control of the type of accounts you want to pursue. This means before you even begin to market, you’ll be separating the wheat from the chaff not targeting businesses that aren’t worth your time. The target is to create a list of accounts with the highest possible ROI. In ABM, A definitive framework goes a long way in segmenting your target audience the right way. Few parameters to get you started:
- Company classification
- Annual Rev
- Current & Projected spend
- Product fit
- Open & Closed Opportunities
- Comprehensive personalized engagement: A complete campaign revolving around the particular account is launched personalizing every piece of messaging, content & communication.
- Campaign measurement & optimization: An Ideal ABM strategy has room for ROI measurement and subsequent optimization. Gauging accounts, programs, and targets in sync with revenue-based account analytics is a great place to start strategy success measurement and build a foundation for optimization.
On the face of it, Account-based marketing sounds like a fun counterintuitive strategy that might lead to some ROI. But the success of a strategy is inconclusive if there’s no data to back it right?
Here are some data points unveiling why b2b businesses are shifting towards ABM:
The Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
- Sales & Marketing Alignment: Account-based marketing is probably the only strategy that allows the synchronization of sales-marketing efforts in a smooth manner where both teams & the organization turn out happy. ABM if implemented optimally, results in highly qualified leads that the sales teams are confident about and the marketing teams are awarded the recognition of a significant dent in the sales pipeline. For the organization, the ROI is through the roof at the same time keeping in check the cost and resource efficiency. It’s a win, win & win.
- Unbelievable engagement and retention rates: A successful marketing implementation is known by its retention rates. Because every marketer worth their salt knows it costs way less to retain than to acquire.
The key here in ABM is personalization. The precisely targeted messaging aims to build a relationship with the customer that lasts way longer than just the sale period. 94% of marketers in a survey revealed that with personalized campaigns, they were able to witness unbelievably higher customer engagement and retention in the long term.
- Better Optimization: ABM is purely a data-driven marketing strategy that allows hyper-optimization at all levels. From messaging testing to lead management & nurturing everything can be optimized tying it to the highest possible ROI in accordance with collected consumer data.
- Increased Average Contract Value: the best part about ABM is the limited number of leads. Counterintuitively, when you are only focusing on a targetted set of accounts, you unlock the ability to raise the bar as high as possible. When you focus all your resources on the best-fit accounts the ticket size tends to increase in the range of (2.1-2.3x) ultimately bumping your average contract value.
- High Overall ROI: In the end, there’s one metric that matters the most to everyone. May it be the marketer, the sales head, or the CEO. It’s Return on Investment. And latest data reports that ABM reveals by far the highest ROI compared to other strategies. 87% of marketers in a benchmark study voted it the best marketing strategy of all time.
The ABM Process
It’s time we dive deep into the actual process that takes place in an ideal account-based marketing setup.
- Defining accounts that are of high value to your company: This is the very foundation of a successful ABM execution. A framework needs to be weaved setting exact parameters that will segregate best-fit accounts. Creating an Ideal Customer Profile is a great place to begin for an ideal framework.
- Discovering accounts aligning with your framework: The element that makes ABM so successful than other strategies is the precision with which targeting is done. Once the parameters are set, it’s time to unveil the magic of data.
Implementing first-party data – a combination of website analytics, CRM data & smart analysis of existing customers, and intent data which gives you a pattern of buyer behavior revealing prospects with an intent to make a purchase.
- Mapping internal players & creating a targeting strategy: The wheat is separated from the chaff. Your framework spewed a list of target account options and your data filtered it further. Now it’s time to dig inside – understand how your target account is structured and who the decision-makers & influencers are.
- Creating a laser-focused targeting strategy: The ‘who’ is sorted, now it’s time to figure out the how. This is where you create and execute a targeted strategy reaching out to your potential customers with hyper-personalized messaging.
- Assort Distribution channels: Data is your best friend when it comes to ABM. It guided your framework design and it is what will move you forward. Ascertain distribution channels your prospects are the most comfortable with including web, mobile & email. Data points will help you make an informed decision.
- Create Personalised messaging: Again, using customer data to create hyper-personalized content, outreach messaging & campaigns.
Here there is a catch though. For this to work your sales and marketing departments need to be in lockstep.
In a typical b2b setup, your sales development representatives are handed off the MQLs to convert into SQL. Which SDR’s further hand-off to sales executives to close.
But in ABM, sales & marketing teams have to collaborate in real-time for the strategy to succeed.
This is because unlike the traditional b2b marketing strategy your sales team will probably have fewer leads as you move along the pipeline. The secret sauce obviously here is the high quality of those leads.
For that sales and marketing teams need to collaborate –
- Aligning their parameters to qualify a lead,
- Build buyer personas both teams can agree on,
- Create personalized content addressing deep pain points of the customers revealed in previous sales conversations
Modern Tech allows you to execute and manage all your campaigns from a centralized application where both SDRs and marketers can collaborate to execute, monitor, and optimize the campaigns.
- Measure & Optimize: Once the campaigns are executed and are on the run, collecting data & simultaneously learning from it becomes a huge part of an ABM strategy. This is what gives you an edge over the traditional b2b approach as the success of all your personalization and targeting will be decided by the analyses of the results and timely optimization based on the very data. This is exactly what makes ABM so powerful.
That’s it, folks,
This is what Account-based marketing is all about. It’s a different approach that basically says less is more. It yields better allocation of resources & higher ROI but is highly dependent on the optimal execution & alignment of all moving parts.
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