As a B2B Company, do you relate to the below challenges?
- Find customer acquisition and customer retention challenging?
- Concerned about how to find the right message across to the right personas?
- Have you been sending mass marketing messages to prospects and customers, even when you know that the more personalised and targeted the campaign are, the better they perform?
- Are you investing in sales and marketing resources into selling a product to a customer who will leave within a short space of time?
- Looking to find a better way to align sales and marketing goals?
If any of these challenges sound familiar to you, then account-based marketing (ABM) could be the way to go. Account-based marketing (ABM), resources to engage and nurture a specific set of target accounts and the key decision makers within those accounts.
Simply put, it involves:
- Identifying your most important accounts
- Getting as much insight about them as possible
- Using this information to formulate your strategy to address their challenges
- Creating customised campaigns to address their pain points
Why adopt account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing is the way of B2B marketing is done now and a ‘new’ way if you have not yet adopted it! B2B businesses must align across Sales and Marketing to deliver a great customer experience and close more deals. ABM is the necessary step towards achieving demand generation and to getting best ROI on your marketing and sales efforts.
Account-based marketing is now rapidly being adapted as the way B2B marketing and client acquisition is done.
- Most of the marketers (85%) who use it find it to have higher returns than any other marketing approach they use … with about half of them reporting “significantly higher” ROI. (ITSMA)
- 84% of marketers said ABM offers significant benefits to keeping and expanding existing client relationships (SiriusDecisions).
- According to the 2018 ABM Benchmark Study conducted by ITSMA and Demandbase, a quarter of marketing budgets are now dedicated to ABM programs.
The key benefits of account-based marketing
Let’s address the question that the top management considers while investing in a new marketing strategy. What can your business gain from implementing ABM strategy?
1. Sales and marketing alignment:
Alignment between sales and marketing is both a requirement and one of the outcomes of an effective ABM strategy.
With ABM, the sales and marketing teams agree to target very specific accounts, do thorough research into the pain points of those accounts, and create personalised campaigns to support the full sales cycle for those accounts. Since the goal is to close the target account, both teams stay focused and work towards the same business goal.
Companies with aligned marketing and sales departments on average generate 208% more revenue for their marketing efforts, according to MarketingProfs.
When the sales and marketing activities are aligned, nurturing specific prospects of the target account with personalised messages tends to speed up the sales process, attains better close rates while closing bigger deal faster.
2. Increased Revenue:
The main goal of the marketing in B2B world in view of Grow Digitally is to increase revenue.
According to a survey done under Sangram Vajre’s FlipMyFunnel movement, companies using ABM generate 200% more revenue for their marketing efforts.
Average deal size can increase over a period of time. You need to re-consider who your ideal target customer (CIP) is. Focusing on your Ideal Customers allows marketing and sales teams to be more focused and effective. Customers also value personalised messaging. When you address their pain points, they see that you understand their needs, that helps conversion.
3. Higher return on Investment:
It’s important to have a positive ROI when we invest in a new marketing initiative. ABM is very targeted, personalised and accurate. It provides the highest ROI among B2B marketing strategies while providing less waste and risk.
As sales and marketing are aligned, they are focused on the same target account, they use more resources to engage the target buyer, and less on the activities that do not move the buyer from one stage to the other. For example, you create more personalised and smaller campaigns towards the targeted account and its influencers, instead of spending the entire budget on a standard branding campaign across numerous markets.
You end up reducing the expenses, since you are targeting smaller number of accounts and target individuals. This way, you use your budget to put your company in from of the right people at the right account at the right time!
Is ABM right for your company?
ABM is extremely effective for B2B companies that sell to key accounts and that are of a certain size for a certain life-time-value of products/services. However, as long as the focus is on high-value accounts, ABM can work for B2B organisation of any size.
ABM strategy may not fit every business. If you are selling low-ticket products or services to a sizable market then ABM is not your go-to strategy.
You should consider ABM if:
- Selling a high value/complex solution products or services
- You have longer sales cycle
- You have a target list that you want to acquire or do more business with
- Selling high value products to a niche market
- Need to influence decision-makers and stakeholders in buying groups and buying committees
Aspects to consider for implementing ABM
1. Total addressable market:
How many potential target accounts do you have? As an example, – if your target account size is say be a ‘few hundred’ accounts, then ABM is probably the appropriate strategy for you. If your target markets consists of 100s of thousands of customers, then probably traditional lead generation is a better option.
2. Average deal size:
Consider your average deal size. We would suggest that if your average deal size OR the Life-Time-Value (LTV) of your product/services is around say over $30,000, then ABM would be a good strategy for you. However, if you are selling a product or service for say $30 per month – that can be downloaded from a website, then ABM may not necessarily be the right choice.
3. Involvement of Decision Makers:
Do you need to involve the decision makers and the influencers in order to get the deal? The decision makers may not have time to download and go through the white papers that you offer. It may not be easy to get their interest or attention in this way. So if you need to get the decision makers and influencers involved in order to make the deal, then ABM is more relevant.
4. Budget Allocated:
ABM can work with a limited budget. In ABM, you target exactly the people you need to reach. Whereas in lead generation, you could get irrelevant leads or dead-end leads, which could use up big portion your budget. With ABM, you target fewer people and use your budget to engage only the target accounts so it can be done at a lower cost as compared to lead generation.
Account-based marketing strategy
ABM can be broken down into three tiers or approaches that companies take. The key to each of them is their focus.
There is no one strategy that is better than the other. All the three strategies play a role in account-based marketing. You should choose the strategy that best fits your target customers list.
It is interesting to see how different companies have used ABM successfully to achieve their goals. Looking at the journey of other companies who successfully adopted ABM, might be helpful in deciding if ABM is right for your company.
Grow Digitally’s Take!
We can safely say that Account-based (ABM) marketing is the hottest marketing strategy in the B2B world or I would say that it is the ONLY way B2B marketing and client acquisition should be done! It involves personalised and targeted sales and marketing strategies that will make your business stands out to potential customers. It shows that you are willing to go above and beyond and this can lead to businesses getting higher value prospects earlier and substantial ROI increases from their campaigns.