Personalized marketing is a must as consumers of all types crave a more tailored buying experience. Marketers needed a strategic approach to define and target key accounts, so Account-Based Marketing (ABM) emerged and quickly became highly regarded as one of the most successful B2B marketing strategies.
How does it work? Instead of throwing your message out to the universe and seeing who responds, ABM dictates that you should go after a defined list of accounts. It’s a collaborative approach between sales, marketing, services, and even key executives working together to help customers achieve their business goals.
80% of marketers think that ABM improved their customer lifetime values, as it addresses significant business challenges, increases pipeline efficiency, customer retention, and expansion. Focus your resources on those accounts you’ve vetted and determined that are more likely to become your clients. It’s one thing to know that your product or service would be a perfect match for someone, but if they will never actually become a customer of yours (for many reasons), why waste your time and effort?
Here are 3 steps on how to get a structured approach to account selection and build an ABM strategy.
Determine which accounts represent the highest potential business opportunity by identifying who can generate actual revenue for your company and make a list.
One of the most important criteria is whether the account fits the business’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Through predictive analytics and scoring, artificial intelligence (AI) can determine if an account fits in terms of how your product or service will work for their business and the likelihood that they’ll ever buy from you.
Questions you should be able to answer about your target audience:
- What’s happening in their industry?
- Who are their top competitors?
- What have they done in your space to date?
- Who will be key people within their company with whom you need to interact?
Success Tip: Ensure you’re working with clean, accurate data when identifying key accounts. If you don’t have a clean database already, check into services that will help you clean up your data and enrich it with accurate details.
Once you know your target audience even better than the back of your hand, it’s time to build behavior-based campaigns considering each account’s history, needs, and challenges. You must include personalized content and product suggestions unique to each account decision maker’s preferences. Ensure you follow up based on how the people you hit within the target account respond.
Align sales and marketing and make sure they’re on the same page. Beyond simply having a widely recognized name internally for your ABM program, everyone should:
- Speak the same language
- Have the same deep understanding of each account on your targeted list
- Understand the same action plan across the board
Your target accounts must have a seamless experience regardless of whom they speak to within your business.
Success Tip: Besides promotion, use your campaign to share news stories, ideas, or fun facts about your field. Tips that target your audience’s personal needs position your company as a thought leader and build credibility.
Once you get your ABM plans running, bring your sales and marketing teams back together and review what worked for you and what didn’t. Make sure everyone agrees on what success means for your account-based marketing program. Use conversion metrics to help pinpoint areas of your ABM campaigns that you can optimize. Topics to discuss post-campaign include:
- Major points (strong and weak) that occurred during the process
- How many accounts did you acquire? What are the shared characteristics of each?
- What were you great at?
- What were you not so great at?
- How will you do it better next time?
Success Tip: Remember when measuring the success of your ABM campaigns, ABM is about focusing on the right leads, not just more leads. Also include some short-term achievements, in addition to the longer-term ROI—it will establish credibility for the project.
Account-Based Marketing isn’t just about acquiring new target accounts but for retaining and growing target accounts through cross-sell, upsell, and advocacy programs offering an enhanced customer experience. It’s a shift from a reactive to a proactive marketing approach that puts you in control of the process and accelerates the buying cycle.
If you want to ramp up your account-based marketing efforts, make sure you arm yourself with the most helpful tool. Sugar Market is a marketing automation tool with built-in ABM capabilities enabling you to customize your marketing efforts into targeted campaigns based on account lead scoring.
Our teams are here to help and guide you through the entire process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.