As digital marketing masters, it's our job to work tirelessly on getting as many marketing qualified leads (MQLS) into the funnel as we can. Trends that help us increase our success rate come and go in the marketing world, but account-based marketing (ABM) is one trend that has stuck around.
It might be difficult for most of us to shift our focus from leads to accounts since most marketers are eating, drinking, and sleeping lead generation day in and day out. However, ABM is not a strategy to overlook. It works because it helps you to market smarter. Take a look at these ABM stats:
- ABM had higher ROI than other marketing activities, according to 97 percent of marketers in a survey (Alterra Group).
- Almost 85 percent of marketers who measure ROI describe ABM as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach; half of those marketers cite significantly higher returns (ITSMA).
- Nearly 85 percent of marketers said ABM provided significant benefits to retain and expand existing client relationships (Marketo).
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. These are not individual people, but companies that are being treated as their very own market. Think of it as strategic business marketing.
Account-based marketing is usually used in enterprise level sales organizations because ABM is particularly useful for organizations with multiple buyers or stakeholders. ABM has the benefit of aligning marketing activity with account strategies. By doing this, organizations get the best value out of marketing.
Let's take a look at some ABM strategies that marketers should master. Remember, it's about knowing your best-fit accounts to go after and then winning more deals.
Retargeting and pre-targeting are essentially the opposite of each other. With retargeting, your strategy involves serving ads to people that have visited your website. With pre-targeting, you are serving relevant ads to only those people you have determined to be your "dream accounts". The key benefit here is increased ROI.
By taking this strategy, you avoid wasting money with clicks on your ads from unqualified leads. This also helps set up your sales team for success because you are familiarizing these target accounts with the solution that your company offers before a salesperson begins outreach.
Account nurture campaigns aim to engage key stakeholders at target accounts that you already have in your database and convert them to the sales pipeline. B2B sales cycles can be long and complicated. Don't let that get you down, but instead use it as an opportunity to continue to provide these accounts with content and useful messaging about your business. Keeping your company top of mind will go a long way when these target accounts are ready to make a purchasing decision.
A key component to account-based marketing, once you have determined your target accounts, is mapping out key internal players. Determine who the decision makers and influencers are. Who is ultimately responsible for a purchase decision? What are their concerns when making these decisions?
Educate these influencers with targeted messaging that is relevant to them and addresses their specific business challenges. Leverage this personalized campaign across all channels, including web, mobile, and email.
Re-Engage Opportunities That Are Asleep
Your database will have accounts that are "asleep" and are not actively participating in the sales cycle. It's just the nature of the beast. Don't let these opportunities go to waste. You can target these snoozing accounts through ABM campaigns that pique their interest.
Target accounts that have not been active in the past 6 months. Even if that particular sleeping lead you are targeting isn't interested, there could be even better contacts within that account that you can put your message in front of. Running these type of campaigns on the account level can increase your chances of reaching the right decision maker in the company.
Expand Existing Clients
According to Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer. Account-based marketing and account expansion work together. With ABM, sales gains valuable knowledge about an organization, getting to know them inside and out.
Closing the account is just the beginning. After the sale is made, sales can use this inside knowledge and work to leverage relationships, create new opportunities, and find areas for expansion. Your investment in landing and expanding your customers will result in a steady stream of revenue.
Don't forget to try out these account-based marketing strategies in your digital marketing campaigns. To improve your results over time, remember to test, measure, and optimize. You might soon find yourself to be one of those marketers who describes account-based marketing as delivering a bigger return than any other marketing approach.
Need help understanding how our complex digital marketing landscape has evolved? Take a look at The Modern Marketing Playbook.