xB2B brands often face myriad challenges in marketing. Longer and more complicated sales cycles are common in B2B, as brands must often convince multiple decision makers within the organization and deal with budget restrictions. B2B brands state that finding qualified leads remains their most significant marketing challenge.
Account-based marketing has grown in response to these challenges, with 60 percent of B2B marketers reportedly planning on using it in the upcoming year. Here is what you need to know about the benefits that ABM offers.
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing involves targeting relevant accounts, more likely to be interested in the particular product/service. Standard marketing initiatives typically use strategies that involve reaching out to numerous people at one time. With account-based marketing, on the other hand, the goal is to identify a select group of high-value targets. You then develop a marketing plan specific to these individuals. It is a highly personalized means to engaging with prospects, thus boosting success rates and offering numerous benefits to brands and customers.
What benefits does account-based marketing offer?
Account-Based Marketing Benefit #1: Personalization
Account-based marketing focuses on individual accounts, making the entire campaign personalized. Leads are more likely to feel as though the brand cares about them individually. This makes it easier to build the necessary relationships that then lead to conversions. 86 percent of people support this conclusion, reporting that personalization impacts their purchases.
Brands that have already begun to employ account-based marketing have also noticed its benefits. Ninety seven percent of brands surveyed report that ABM saw somewhat or significantly higher ROI for the organization compared to other marketing practices.
How do I take advantage of this personalization?
- You begin to identify the key accounts that will be targeted by this ABM campaign. This process should combine market research along with internal insight into your customers. Gauge the potential prospects based on their size, industry, and their level of engagement with your brand. You can then make the best decision about the accounts to pursue based on your success in the past.
- Once you have determined which accounts would be ideal for your efforts, you then need to gather information about the decision makers you want to engage. Know who the influencers will be at the organization as well as who you will need to convince to gain the sale. Know their positions at the organization and what they want to see from outside vendors.
- Based on your research into these accounts, as well as your information about the buyer personas, you can then clearly articulate your value proposition according their needs and pain points as part of your strategy.
- Next, you will then want to create content that aligns with the accounts and their current stage in the buyer’s journey. Consider a variety of factors including the types of content they will mostly likely engage with– videos, blog posts, case studies, or white papers– and where they will likely digest the information. Email, for example, can be a convenient channel to reach your targeted accounts in a systematic way.
Account-Based Marketing Benefit #2: Improved marketing-sales alignment
The benefits of ABM also extend internally. Marketing teams using ABM tend to find it easier to align their goals and strategies with sales. In this situation, both the marketing and sales team similarly must focus on finding and targeting high-value accounts. This allows for clearer communication about what constitutes a sales-qualified lead; generally, the transition between marketing and sales teams runs smoother.
How do I take advantage of improved marketing-sales alignment?
- Bring the marketing and sales teams together to identify the key target accounts. Although the marketing team will have the greatest insight about the buyer personas and the types of content that will bring them in, sales will have information about how well different accounts/company sizes/industries close and their typical ROI. Together, the two teams can determine the optimal accounts to target.
- Ask sales for additional key details about the personas of target accounts. Generally, sales teams will gain new information about target personas through the personal conversations they have with them towards the conversion process. Information about what typically hinders their decision making or what encourages them to make the purchase can be used in the development of account-specific content.
- Work together to push content out to target accounts. Marketing will be working from one side, using social media and SEO to help the content reach these accounts, but sales will be continuing the process by pushing the content as the account moves through the buyer’s journey closer to conversion. By working together throughout the process, the entire acquisition team can create a smoother experience for the prospect.
Account-Based Marketing Benefit #3: Precise measurements
As you begin to implement ABM, you should also note that tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) becomes more straightforward. Rather than trying to track KPIs for large amounts of data, it will be easier to track movement from customers through the buyer’s journey because you will be looking at fewer accounts. This makes it easier to measure, identify weaknesses, and strengthen your marketing strategy.
What KPIs should I use?
- Marketing qualified accounts. Instead of looking at marketing-qualified leads, you should instead measure the number of accounts that not only fit into buyer personas, but also meet your standards to qualify for your account-based marketing campaign. This often involves examining engagement rates or gaining multiple contacts within the same account. Your marketing-qualified account measurements will give you a more complete understanding of the individual.
- Depth within the account. You want to track how well you engage with the account as well as how many contacts you have at the organization.
- Conversion rate and how quickly people move through the sales funnel. Measure how many people end up converting compared to your total number of targeted accounts as well as how quickly they progress through the funnel. Define when an account has moved from one stage to the next and gather statistics about this stage.
Account-based marketing offers considerable benefits for brands, allowing them to take personalization to an entirely new level. For B2B brands, the personalization ABM offers and its ability to improve the ROI of marketing efforts has resulted in a growing interest in this form of marketing. Those interested in taking advantage of this marketing should consider these benefits and how to implement them in their own campaigns. At inSegment, we have the ABM experience to get you started, so help us help you!