Account-based marketing (also known as ABM), is a growth strategy with a very specific focus on certain 'accounts'. In an ABM strategy, the marketing and sales departments work together to create a personalized 'buyer's journey', for a number of specific companies or accounts that they select together.
Account-based marketing is all about locating high-value accounts. So high, in fact, that it is profitable to treat these companies as a market of their own. The goal is to engage these accounts with your business through interactions, in order to convince them and ultimately close a deal.
This requires a highly personalized approach for each selected account. This distinguishes ABM marketing from other forms of marketing: a unique, personalized approach per account.
An ABM strategy can help you identify prospects and current customers who are valuable enough to treat as an individual account. In order to achieve a personalized customer journey, it is important that there is close cooperation between the marketing and sales departments.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some crucial benefits of account-based marketing.
Efficiency and optimisation
With an ABM strategy, you can ensure that your marketing and sales activities are efficient and fully optimized. This is because with an ABM strategy, you only focus on high-value prospects who are likely to convert, so you can save time and resources.
Marketing and sales on the same page
One of the key benefits of account-based marketing is the collaboration between the marketing and sales teams needed to succeed with an ABM strategy. Together, these departments are responsible for identifying the target accounts, creating and managing personalized campaigns per account, and moving the individual accounts in the pipeline or customer journey.
This alignment and coordination of these different departments is a good way to focus all efforts on the same goal. It is extremely important to agree on a clear division of roles. In the ideal ABM campaign, the responsibility for the budget to be spent per account is clear to everyone involved.
An optimal customer experience
Because we look so specifically at a single account, it is possible to achieve a hyper-personal experience. Thanks to the collaboration between marketing and sales described above, every interaction can be tailored to the chosen account. This ensures a seamless customer experience, where everything is tailored to the needs of the prospects within the chosen account.
With an ABM strategy, you ensure that every interaction is tailored and personalized to the prospect. This way, you can ensure that every part of the strategy is personalized and relevant.
With an ABM strategy, you can easily find out whether your campaign is profitable. After all, you're only working on one deal. By making smart use of ROI (return on investment data) data, you can find out which accounts are yielding the most and therefore generating the most returns.
Does Account Based Marketing work for you?
Although ABM is generally used as a B2B marketing strategy, it can be wise for a B2C company to look at the possibilities that an ABM strategy offers. For B2C companies, it's a great way to learn more about your customers and their lifetime customer value.
Account Based Marketing works for companies that are looking for:
- Clearly measurable returns,
- High-value customers or accounts,
- Optimal customer experiences through (hyper)personalization,
- A close collaboration between marketing and sales.
How do you implement a successful ABM strategy?
The success of any ABM campaign depends on the quality of the accounts chosen. The better the target list, the greater the success of the campaign(s).
After determining the target accounts, it's up to the marketing and sales department to create personalized campaigns and ensure that they reach the right prospects through the right channels, at the right time.
Step by step, that process looks like this:
Step 1: Identify the Right Accounts
These accounts have the most potential to contribute to the profitability of your business. When looking for the right accounts, it's smart to look not only at the first deal, but also at factors such as: market influence, likelihood of repeat purchases, and the potential for higher profit margins.
In the selection process, also look at the financial situation of the accounts. This can generate insights into scalability, for example. Also, check out the league of these accounts, you might find competitor that suits you better.
Step 2: Research the companies
Now that you've found a number of potential accounts, it's important to gather as much information as possible about these companies. By doing research, try to find answers to questions such as:
- What does this customer want?
- What pain points do they encounter?
- Where are these companies in the customer journey?
It's always a good idea to ask more questions: the more you know, the better you'll be able to determine what it will take to reach this account with the right messages.
An important part of this research phase is determining how the decisions are made within the chosen companies, but especially who makes and influences these decisions. Try to find out who is making financial decisions and who the stakeholders are. Finding out who these people are will make it much easier for you to figure out how to catch their attention.
Step 3: Create Customized Marketing Campaign(s)
After researching, you'll have gathered enough information to start creating interesting marketing content for these accounts.
Remember that it's important to work with concrete pain points that your prospects are facing.
It is just as important to ensure that this content is distributed through the right channels. Find out which channels your prospects are present on and use these channels to reach them.
The content you use for an ABM campaign can vary wildly. It may even be wise to think about a separate piece of content for each prospect, aimed specifically at one person. Commonly used examples are:
- Physical events
- Email Campaigns
- Advertising campaigns
- Personalized Website Campaigns
Each account should feel like a separate market. To make sure this is the case, it's a good idea to make each interaction consistent with your other marketing efforts, but at the same time personalize each interaction.
Step 4: Launch the campaign
Once you know what content you want to show to the chosen prospects through which channels, it's time to launch the campaign.
It is wise to plan everything well before the start of the campaign. During the campaigns, it is smart to have someone in charge of managing the campaigns. That's how you can create the most impact.
Step 5: To measure is to know
Of course, it would be great if everything was perfect the first time, but in practice this is unfortunately never the case. Therefore, keep testing through the entire process and adjust your strategy based on the results. This way, you maintain optimal efficiency and ultimately generate the most return.
It's a good idea to use the following metrics when measuring the success of your campaigns:
- Closed deals
- Penetration per account
- Engagement by account
- Time per Closed Deal
- Closing Rate
ABM campaigns with Apteco
Apteco has a wide selection of tools that can help you create, manage and report on any ABM strategy.
With these Apteco tools, you can follow the ideal working method at every stage of an ABM strategy. From identifying the right accounts and prospects, to delivering the right messages, at the right times, through the right channels. From collecting relevant information about your prospects to analyzing and reporting on the collected data.
Whether you're looking for personalized communication with your target audience, the best performing customers or a comprehensive audience analysis, at Apteco we make the most of your current data and use it to generate ROI. In addition, our interactive dashboards are the way to generate deeper and richer insights from your campaigns and translate them into actions.
With the help of our easy-to-use marketing software, you can focus all marketing activities on generating returns. With Apteco, every interaction is personalized and relevant.
Are you looking for a marketing software that will take your marketing activities to the next level? Book a demo now or try Apteco for yourself via our free trial.