Account-Based Marketing: An Important B2B Marketing Strategy
Account-based marketing is growing in popularity in the B2B space for good reason. It’s very effective as it relies on communication aimed at carefully and narrowly defined audiences rather than a scatter shot approach.
ABM encompasses long-term activities and has a strong focus on customizing content for the audience – not just for selected accounts, but also for selected people within a given company. As a result, it increases the pipeline speed and helps expand the checking accounts business.
What is Account Based Marketing?
AMB ensures complete synchronization of marketing and sales activities right from the start. The collaboration between these two departments begins at the stage of creating and prioritizing a list of target accounts or customers with whom the company wants to grow its business. The process is called Prequalification of leads.
In traditional digital marketing, qualification usually takes place after a lead has been generated. With the ABM approach, however, marketers select interesting leads before they even get their contact information. ABM is like hunting with a spear instead of a net:
Account-based marketing can be done as a one-time activity, e.g. B. an account-driven activation (think of a grand gesture as an act of marketing) or a long-term account-driven business strategy. The latter approach takes longer to develop, but produces more consistent results and affects the overall speed of the business. (This GENESYS case study is a good example.)
Core objectives of the ABM strategy:
- Demand Generation: Stimulating business demand, influencing potential accounts, and creating better qualified opportunities for the future
- Pipeline Speed: Shorten the customer journey through the funnel by driving the purchase decision with more compelling, targeted marketing messages
- Account Expansion: Increase the income from an account and limit churn
Account-based marketing challenges and analysis
When using an ABM strategy, companies should understand that the success factor is demand generation – the impact over time – rather than the one-time lead generation activity.
Lead generation often means getting consent to send marketing and sales communications, even if those who do give their consent are often unwilling to contact or would even consider a sales meeting due to their positions (remember the C. -Level management in the largest companies)).
This approach triggers radical changes in the way the results of campaigns implemented in the ABM framework are measured.
Rather than counting “leads,” marketers should measure the number of times individual people representing handpicked accounts have had contact with their company’s brand and communications materials.
The main challenge of ABM performance analysis is assessing the effectiveness of marketing communications and validating the individual tactics used. It is difficult to identify “last clicks,” a technique used in e-commerce or SaaS. Individual event registrations or e-book downloads may also not be as important in a success attribution model. B2Bs – especially the corporate segment – tend to have different dynamics and structures in the purchasing process:
ABM performance analysis should focus on the involvement of the account (and its employees) in the communications you conduct. Differentiate between so-called passive engagement (the account has seen our ad!) And active engagement (the account has clicked, downloaded and participated).
Active engagement over time can qualify the customer as an opportunity that sales can then validate – a key change as sales in ABM validate opportunities rather than inbound leads.
As the activity unfolds, the data collected over time should allow marketers to confirm whether their strategy is increasing revenue from a single account and whether it is reducing the time it takes to win it. This requires close engagement with the sales team and tracking of CRM metrics (date advance added to CRM, date of opportunity, previous and expected opportunity value, etc.).
Types of Account-Based Marketing Strategies
Depending on the degree of personalization of the communication activities that you want to carry out, three types of ABM strategies can be distinguished:
- One-to-one with full content personalization
- One-to-few with strong but more limited personalization
- One-to-many with produced content suitable for multiple accounts
The more personal the communication, the more effective it becomes.
In practice, ABM marketers take on the role of the salesperson and even the pre-sales advisor. The one-to-one process may seem expensive, as analyzing customer behavior requires content personalization and extensive research.
One-to-few and one-to-many are less extreme and also cheaper.
Bonus: Account-based marketing analysis on LinkedIn
When ABM comes down to defining lists of selected accounts and targeting those audiences, a marketer should be able to verify that the target account has been affected.
In Paid Campaigns on LinkedIn, you can see the top accounts your ad has appeared on.
When viewing campaign reports, select Demographics as the presentation criterion.
Then view the analysis by company. You can view the top 25 accounts for the past month.
If you want to see more than 25 accounts, you can do individual analytics for different ads and ad sets, or run independent campaigns per geographic location. This gives you access to multiple views of 25 accounts.
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While account-based marketing can seem complicated and time-consuming at first, it is a force to be reckoned with. ABM is a great way for B2B marketers to trade a network for a spear and get the best accounts instead of multiple low quality leads.
More resources on account-based marketing
Plan Your Account-Based Marketing Efforts: A MarketingProfs Training Course
Orchestrating and Communicating Your Account-Based Marketing Campaigns: A MarketingProfs Training Course
The biggest challenges in running account-based marketing programs