Are you looking to drive growth, reach more prospects, and create better opportunities for your business? Then an effective account-based marketing strategy may be what you need. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover the basics you need to know about ABM: what account-based marketing is, the benefits it offers, and how to tell if your business is a good fit for ABM. So, if you’re ready to learn all about ABM, let’s get started.
What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to B2B marketing that focuses on targeting and engaging specific accounts, or high-value prospects, rather than casting a wide net to attract a larger audience of leads. The ABM approach is based on the idea of treating individual accounts as a “market of one” and creating a personalized marketing plan that addresses the unique needs and challenges of each account.
The main goal of account-based marketing is to create a more personalized marketing experience for key accounts, resulting in stronger relationships, increased engagement, and better business outcomes. By aligning sales and marketing teams and using data and insights to create tailored messaging and content, ABM can help organizations improve customer retention, drive revenue growth, and increase customer lifetime value.
Could ABM be a good fit for your business?
Account-based marketing (ABM) can benefit businesses in many industries, but it is particularly effective in B2B industries where the sales cycle is longer and the customer lifetime value is high. Three industries that benefit significantly from ABM include:
Technology: The technology industry often has complex and expensive products and services that require a significant amount of education and engagement with prospects. Account-Based Marketing can help technology companies build stronger relationships with key decision-makers in target accounts, leading to increased sales and revenue growth.
Manufacturing and Construction: The manufacturing and construction industries often involve long sales cycles and high-value accounts. ABM can help manufacturing and construction companies build stronger relationships with key accounts and increase customer lifetime value through upselling and cross-selling.
Professional services: Professional services companies, such as engineering and architecture firms, often rely heavily on referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. Account-Based Marketing can help these firms target specific accounts and build stronger relationships with key decision-makers, leading to increased referrals and new business opportunities.
Overall, any industry that involves complex products or services, selling to a committee rather than an individual, and high-value accounts can benefit from the personalized and targeted approach of account-based marketing (ABM).
The Benefits of Account-Based Marketing for Your Business
When executed correctly, ABM will help you reach the right people at the right time, with the right message. This is especially beneficial to small businesses.
When you have a limited marketing budget and a small sales team, you need to know you use every dollar as effectively as possible to reach prospects and create selling opportunities.
ABM allows businesses with small marketing budgets to focus their efforts on the most important leads and prospects, ultimately driving better results and growth. It’s an effective way to ensure that your outreach efforts focus on the highest-value accounts instead of meeting siloed, departmental objectives.
Because at the end of the day, who cares about metrics like website traffic and offer downloads if they aren’t converting to high-value customers?
Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing
When you’re ready to get started with ABM, the first thing you have to do is identify the accounts you want to target.
This means determining your Ideal Customer Profile: defining the type of account that is most likely to buy from your business.
When defining your ICP, make sure you not only describe your ICP’s firmographic and technographic (if relevant) data but also articulate their goals, needs and challenges. The better – and more deeply – you understand ICP, the more likely you can position your products and services as solutions to their problems. Researching existing customers can help provide insights into what other prospects may be looking for and the types of accounts that generate the most value for your business.
Once you’ve identified the right accounts, it’s time to build relationships with them. Think of ABM as a journey—each step requires consideration and planning. Depending on your existing relationships, this might mean starting by directly contacting key decision-makers to discuss opportunities they may have. Or, it might mean running a campaign targeting key personas to create awareness of your company and create value for them, leading to buying conversations.
The Importance of Marketing and Sales Alignment
It’s important to keep in mind that Account-Based Marketing requires agreement and alignment of all internal stakeholders in order to ensure the best results. Beyond establishing a list of target accounts, your marketing and sales teams must:
- Have a clear and effective process for the Marketing to Sales Handoff
- Keep accurate data and maintain a Single Source of Truth
- Align on goals and metrics
- Commit to supporting each other
Account-Based Marketing shouldn’t be overwhelming
If you’ve done your research, you’ve probably come across plenty of ABM blogs and experts that list dozens of tools, platforms and analytics for running ABM campaigns. And while, yes, there are limitless options for scaling an ABM strategy, getting started doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it shouldn’t be overwhelming.
If you’re a B2B company with a long sales cycle and high-value accounts, chances are you’d benefit from Account-based Marketing.
With the right strategy in place, you’ll be able to reach your highest level of success.