Account-based marketing (ABM) refers to the process of targeting a set number of prospects and turning them into customers via personalized marketing campaigns.
For the uninitiated, ABM sounds just like any other marketing strategy. But looking closely at its moving parts, you’ll see the stark differences it has compared to other marketing types.
This doesn’t mean that ABM is better than other strategies—like anything, it has its strengths and weaknesses. But there’s a lot to appreciate about ABM, especially if you’re in a B2B organization that wants to convert as many leads as possible into clients. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to do that?
However, if you’re still unsure whether ABM is something that will benefit your company, then this is the post for you. We’ll be listing the things that separate ABM from other marketing strategies to help you determine whether it’s time to press ‘go’ on ABM.
Find Ideal Target Accounts
In a traditional marketing strategy, an organization must find ways to generate as many leads as possible.
The main advantage of this approach is the sheer number of prospects it generates in a short period of time. The downside? Only a fraction of these leads convert into clients.
The average conversion rate varies wildly depending on industry and campaign. For business services, the average is 3.5% while for finance and insurance, it’s 6.2%.
Various factors, such as the sticker shock of high-ticket products and services, can impact conversion rates. For example, if leads balk at the price of your offering, your business may convert fewer leads than average.
Account-based marketing solves this problem.
Unlike traditional approaches, ABM gathers only the most qualified leads that already meet the organization’s prerequisites (like budget!). High-value targets are identified according to different variables such as demographics, psychographics, and purchase intent.
The process of creating a robust buyer persona for your target accounts can be tedious, but it truly is the gateway to a successful ABM campaign, guaranteeing a higher conversion rate than if you skip this step entirely (which would render ABM impossible).
It also makes the next differentiator all the more effective—personalized marketing.
More Personalized Marketing
Traditional marketing delivers one-size-fits-all campaigns to its prospects, in hopes that at least a handful of them resonate with your campaign and are compelled to get in touch.
ABM is set apart by its ability to deliver highly personalized campaigns to key prospects, taking a more cautious but precise approach.
With a well-defined target account in mind, organizations can create individual campaigns that tackle their respective pain points and provide solutions for each one.
This personalized approach improves overall customer experience.
It enables you to communicate with prospects using the channels they’re most comfortable with, be it email, social media, or chat. This in turn makes them more responsive to what you have to say, likely resulting in more conversions.
Just like the buyer persona that fuels them, personalized campaigns take time to develop and implement. But they produce better ROI and work especially well in industries where sales cycles are slow and leads few and far between.
Aligns Sales and Marketing Teams
Sales and marketing teams share the same goal—generating revenue for your business.
Individually, they’re both are effective at doing this, but more so if you have sales and marketing teams on the same page. 67% of businesses experienced increased efficiency when closing deals with both teams in sync with each other.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case due to their differences in thinking.
Marketing teams use various inbound and outbound tactics to formulate strategies that generate highly qualified leads. On the other hand, sales are tasked with reaching out to the leads to create sales opportunities.
With ABM, sales and marketing teams can pool their efforts in generating and closing leads more effectively.
The key to this is transparency, which is achieved by getting marketing and sales to agree on a list of target accounts. From here, both teams should develop their strategies to attract and convert leads that fit the criteria of your ideal account.
More importantly, their processes must align perfectly to streamline your lead generation and sales funnel into a unique pipeline. Ideally, all the leads your marketing team gather are sent for scoring, and sales-qualified leads are forwarded directly to your sales team for further engagement and conversions.
Efficient Use of Resources
Account-based marketing aims to get as much from available resources as possible.
Everything is done purposefully, from identifying which leads to target to the personalized campaigns sent to each.
While ABM brings you significantly fewer leads versus other marketing strategies, they’re more likely to become your customers, assuming you craft an appropriate campaign for each one.
This is in contrast to other marketing approaches that typically run lead generation strategies without a clearly identified buyer persona to target. Yes, they get more leads overall, but they may not be qualified to become paying customers.
Many marketing strategies take a volume-based approach to lead generation and nurturing. The goal being to launch as many campaigns as possible to compensate for converting less customers along the way.
But with ABM, no leads go to waste. Every move is made to target high-value accounts that have a higher likelihood of converting into paying customers.
When launching B2B advertising campaigns, it’s essential to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. From here, you can unearth insights about the campaign and make necessary changes to future ones in an effort to better results.
However, many campaigns improve individual metrics that don’t necessarily contribute to your goal of generating revenue.
For example, you may have attracted thousands of website visitors. But if the campaign’s goal is to turn visitors into customers and only a few of them converted, all your efforts are in vain.
ABM encourages you to look at account-based data to determine how your campaign fared over time. Looking at multiple metrics in this marketing approach helps you check if the campaign’s ROI meets your goals.
From here, you can optimize to help you achieve your overarching goal. And you can only do this by identifying which of the smaller milestones you should focus on.
In this case, ABM may not generate as many leads as other marketing approaches out there. But if it can close more than half of the leads it acquires, which is what ABM is all about, you can generate much higher ROI as a result.
A More Holistic Marketing Approach
As seen above, ABM guides prospects into your sales funnel to nurture them into ultimately becoming customers.
But what’s equally important is what happens after they become a customer.
Unfortunately, only 18% of companies value customer retention as part of their campaign while 44% side more with acquisition.
As a result, customer churn can reach as high as 30% for some organizations. So, for every 10 customers you get from your marketing efforts, expect three of them to leave soon.
ABM takes customer retention and churn into account to help organizations retain as many customers as possible to maximize their revenue.
To do this, you can cross-sell and upsell adjacent services to your clients, winning you a larger share of their wallet. Doing so also allows you to provide more value to these clients and build deeper relationships, increasing retention and customer lifetime value.
In addition, marketing and sales alignment (as encouraged by ABM) creates a feedback loop that enables your organization to make changes to your campaigns if the results are far from optimal. For example, the sales team can provide feedback regarding the prospects they’re receiving from the lead generation campaign. Using this information, the marketing team can adjust their upcoming campaigns to incorporate the feedback to target more high-value leads.
This self-fulfilling and regulated marketing approach enables organizations to police themselves and provide better opportunities for them to attract clients to keep for the long haul.
Implement ABM Into Your Organization the Right Way
If ABM is right for your business based on its merits above, then it’s time to begin preparing your strategy. There are many factors to consider, so it’s best to get help from someone who knows ABM inside out.
Demand Science has ABM down thanks to its variety of solutions to help identify your best prospects, engage with them, and ultimately convert them into successful clients.
Reach out to us and learn more about how to leverage our services for your ABM needs.