There are many ways to manage your marketing and growth strategy but it often falls to one question: where and how much to focus your efforts. Some companies cast a wide net with a single strategy and remain unfaltering. However, others might prefer to tailor and personalize their approach. One of the most effective ways to target specific accounts is Account-Based Marketing.
Account-based marketing (ABM) pools a company’s resources to best cater to a specific segment within the market. It requires the use of more personalized marketing campaigns that pique the interest of specific accounts. It also reaches out to individual prospects or small segments by targeting their specific needs and wants.
ABM treats individual accounts as markets in their own right and flips the traditional marketing strategy models. While broad-based marketing takes a large market and then whittles it down to the best prospects that suit the company, Account-based Marketing singles out a prospect and adjusts operations to suit their needs. In doing so, it eschews the need for running after hundreds of pointless leads.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits and strategies associated with ABM.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
ABM is a zero-waste marketing strategy as it targets only those leads that fit precisely into the company’s needs.
As we previously mentioned, Account-based Marketing allows companies to focus on the leads that matter. While it emphasizes the use of extra resources on a single lead, the acquisition rate is far higher. Similarly, clients will be more satisfied with the company’s work and the company will understand the client better through this method.
Aside from the client focus, ABM also goes beyond marketing and allows for upselling and cross-selling. ABM helps identify account attributes and needs so you can cross-reference them with other members of the target group. This can allow for upselling and improving offers for clients. A company could deduce, based on a similar client’s needs, that a client may want additional marketing services.
Account-based marketing is very popular right now, with 97% of B2B marketers producing higher ROls than with other initiatives (according to Alterra Group). Studies have also found that companies investing in ABM have 38% higher win rates. Along with these stats, the quality of deals also improves when it is implemented properly.
ABM is particularly useful as a B2B marketing strategy framework due to its client focus. B2B can often be a far smaller field that requires adjusting to the complex needs of profit-driven clients. ABM also helps tailor personal messages and better customer relations in the field, making clients feel that your company is right for the job.
Setting a Market Focus
The first step for ABM is identifying the right customer. This can involve dipping into your coffers and finding what clients are working best. Alternatively, it may be useful to develop buyer personas and match them precisely to a potential client. Tools like Mixpanel can provide a neat way of categorizing and analyzing segmentation data.
Web analytics is another way to get the ball rolling with existing customer data. Crucial data points include company size, location, industry, specific needs, etc. Work with your sales managers to review existing data and potential prospects along with buying cycles for prior customers and the target industry as a whole.
Identify the accounts with the highest value and then you can get started with planning. Next, you should develop a value proposition suited to the needs of your prospective client.
Client Management Workflow for Acquisition
Once you have an idea of what you’re aiming for, build an understanding of the needs within that industry. If you’re aiming for a specific client, narrow down your criteria further by analyzing their culture and work style. Understand their pain points, communication, successes, and failures. Most of all, try to understand why they want your service or may want it in the future.
From this data, you can create customizable campaigns. This can involve all the digital tools at your disposal. Craf5 emails with unique propositions they would specifically find interesting, develop website areas and services geared towards their needs, and utilize blogs, PPC ads, CTAs, and other lead generation mechanisms that relate to the state of the client.
One simple way to do this is to have case studies or even sections of your service page that highlight the industry the client is in. Present these in personalized emails or ads and see if they reach your audience. B2B companies could run account-based marketing on LinkedIn as ads or blogs and reel in clients.
Beyond this, an ABM should offer something that decision-makers within the client firm can’t turn down. Barring that, you can entice them with rewards. Companies practising ABM have offered high-end electronics, video players, gift packages, and a lot more. Build personal material incentives if the business incentive isn’t getting attention.
Finally, judge the effectiveness of a campaign, retool it, and assess the impact. Try the strategy with a similar target group and repeat the process.
Conversational Account-Based Marketing
While it’s all well and good to get the prospective client on your website, a company may need to add a conversational growth strategy to their ABM efforts to get that final conversion push.
So, what is a conversational growth strategy concerning ABM? It’s the cherry on top that clinches the deal. Have your sales team ready for when the client visits so they can instantly start a conversation. This can help them provide that tailored experience while putting a human face behind the process.
Moreover, conversational ABM makes sure the resources you put into attracting the client don’t go to waste. A good sales strategy can make the client feel like they are getting the VIP treatment. It also helps further expand on the research and get a feel for the client and their needs up close. Nothing beats data gathering straight from the source.
What are the steps to implementing a conversational growth strategy?
Getting the client’s attention is the first step. The usual channels all apply (email, ads, etc.) but use them in a way that redirects you to a more conversational setting. Chances are that the company will visit the website, so have some means of tracking or contact ready.
After you have the client’s attention, you need to be sure you know when and where they are looking. You can do this in many ways on your website. Having a dedicated contact form can be handy, especially when it asks for company names and reasons for visiting the site. Having dedicated service pages for different industries can also expedite the process.
Another way is to set up and monitor your chatbots for when the company visits. This way, sales personnel can be on the job instantly and ready to personalize the experience. Have them jump in as soon as possible with the company or industry files necessary to make a conversion.
The salesperson should be well acquainted with industry standards that might apply to the prospect. From here, they should know how to adjust the price for the company’s needs and the level of services. They should also be ready to upsell to the company and arrange their specific service package.
From here on, there needs to be attention and care put on the high-value clients’ needs. Keep track of their communications and prioritize their communications, emails, and workload.
Account-Based Marketing Case Studies
There are multiple cases where ABM has come in handy for procuring clientele and streamlining sales processes.
Invoca UsesAccount-Based Marketing at DreamForce
Inbound-call intelligence platform Invoca was able to develop an omnichannel approach to procure key accounts. Using direct mail, with supporting email, display ads, and outbound calls with precise CTAs containing offers (they promised their key accounts Apple Watches), they attracted major sales at the DreamForce event.
The company prepared a Tactile Marketing Automation process for the event. Firstly, they developed a client list using predictive analytics, modelling tools, sales rep feedback, and much more. They offered a customized package to go along with the Apple Watch deal a month before DreamForce. The email campaign kept a close watch on their prospects and kept them in the loop.
The company rocked the event with over 70 meetings with them and an ROI of 33 times what they spent. They more than exceeded their wildest ambitions achieving a 71% fact-to-face engagement rate.
BillingTree’s ABM Campaign Produces 700% ROI
Payment processing firm BillingTree was looking to connect SMEs to showcase the benefits of their payment solutions, particularly in customer relations. Using direct mail with gift cards as an incentive to connect with their customers, they would schedule a sales presentation. However, booking meetings with high-value targets became impossible.
The core problem was that they were not meeting people high up enough to make the core decisions. To remedy this situation, UviaUs targeted BillingTree’s top 100 prospects with a high-value deliverable. They developed BillingTree branded locking cases with an Amazon gift card and a video player that played the pitch for any executive receiving the case.
60% of the prospects reached out to BillingTree, with 15% of them converting to opportunities. There was a staggering 700% return on marketing investment. This used up far less manpower than their standard way of doing things and put their name on the map.
SalesLoft Increases Reach by 600%
Automation software developer SalesLoft creates advertising programs that target the entire account for each of the companies that the SDR team is eyeing. Consequently, they increased their reach by over 600% in crucial accounts. By creating awareness among all of the decision-makers and influencers within a company, they start conversations that lead to sales.
Their account-based marketing programs run across mobile, social, display, and video, at the click of a button. This way the company is already acquainted with SalesLoft before the call is even made. It builds the brand before the full contact is established, at which point sales reps do the rest.
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