ABM: What is it And How Can it Benefit Your Target Audience?

What Is Account-based Marketing & Its Benefits - Consultus Digital

Traditional marketing strategies are great for creating leads. Reaching a wider audience is essential for getting your business in the minds of potential customers. But how many of these leads actually convert to revenue? In B2B marketing in particular, the conversion rate can be disappointingly low. Sometimes less than 1%.

Fortunately, recently, marketers have found another way. Instead of a machine gun, it uses a sniper rifle. Let us introduce you to account-based marketing, or ABM. We’ll dive into a detailed explanation of ABM, explain its benefits, and outline some essential ABM marketing strategies. If you leave this article thinking you could use some help creating an ABM strategy for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Consultus Digital.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing is a B2B marketing strategy that focuses on casting a narrow net rather than a wide one. ABM concentrates resources on relatively few accounts and creates personalized campaigns to engage with each account. In some cases, this involves one-to-one strategies, in others it involves ad creatives or events tailored to several thousand. Regardless, the key to the success of ABM is personalized marketing.

ABM vs. Traditional Marketing

ABM truly flips the traditional marketing funnel upside down. Instead of generic, far-reaching marketing campaigns designed to catch the attention and interest of as many potential customers as possible, ABM does the opposite. Efforts are focused on a few, maybe even one, accounts, the needs of that account are assessed in detail, and campaigns are designed specifically to target audience engagement.

The Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

In 2021, 70% of marketers reported using ABM and 87% say ABM outperforms other marketing methods. There is clearly something to it. We’re not saying that you should abandon traditional marketing strategies, but there are clear benefits to ABM that traditional marketing doesn’t or can’t deliver. Let’s highlight a few of the main ones.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

ABM aligns two departments that can often be disjointed. Rather than the marketing team blindly tossing leads at the sales team, ABM strategies identify clear goals and content for each account, so sales know precisely how to follow up on the marketing efforts.

Shorter Sales Cycles

ABM’s targeted approach can significantly condense the sales cycle. By focusing on accounts that have been meticulously selected and vetted, sales teams engage with leads that are already deemed a good fit for the company’s offerings. This relevance accelerates the buyer’s journey, as prospects are more quickly convinced of the value proposition, moving from awareness to decision-making stages with fewer hurdles.

Clearer ROI

The precision of ABM allows for more straightforward attribution and measurement of return on investment (ROI). Traditional marketing metrics often get muddied by the broad scope of campaigns, making it challenging to discern which efforts truly drive sales. ABM’s focused nature changes this dynamic, enabling marketers to track the impact of specific campaigns on targeted accounts with greater clarity.

Better Retention and Upsell Rates

By continuing to deliver personalized experiences and value post-sale, companies can strengthen their ties with key accounts. This ongoing engagement fosters loyalty and opens the door to upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Customers who feel understood and valued are more likely to consider additional offerings and deepen their partnership with your business.

Better Reporting and Analytics

With a clear focus on selected accounts, marketers can dive deep into the data, examining engagement metrics, campaign performance, and behavioural patterns at an individual account level. This insight is invaluable for refining strategies, personalizing future interactions, and ultimately driving more meaningful results.

ABM Strategies for B2B Marketing

ABM strategies can take many forms. Your marketing team will have to determine the best approach to engage each target account. That is the beauty of ABM, strategies will differ for each account, and the marketing team has the freedom to get creative in how they target each account. ABM strategies may include tactics such as:

  • Sales rep outreach
  • Customized marketing emails
  • Digital advertising
  • Hosting events

1:1 ABM

True ABM identifies high-value accounts and focuses efforts specific to each client. The key to successful 1:1 ABM is a deep understanding of the target account’s business challenges, goals, and culture, which enables the creation of highly personalized content, messaging, and solutions.

In one high-profile example, cloud computing company Snowflake managed to generate $2.2 million in revenue from a single account thanks to a successful ABM campaign featuring tactics like personalized emails, targeted ads, and personalized landing pages.

1:Few ABM

1:Few ABM strikes a balance between the highly personalized 1:1 strategy and broader marketing initiatives. This approach targets a small group of accounts with similar needs, challenges, and attributes, allowing for somewhat personalized marketing campaigns that are more scalable than 1:1 efforts. The success of 1:Few ABM lies in identifying commonalities among a select group of accounts and crafting campaigns that feel personalized, even if they are not as individually tailored as in 1:1 ABM.

In a successful ABM ad creative by payment processing company BillingTree, the company identified 100 high-value accounts and mailed locked boxes containing a gift card to each client to leave a lasting impression. The campaign resulted in 60% of accounts reaching out, and 15% converting to customers.

1:Many ABM

The 1:Many ABM strategy, while broader, still incorporates elements of personalization to engage a larger segment of accounts. This approach leverages technology and data analytics to identify common threads and tailor marketing messages that resonate with a wider audience, yet still feel relevant and targeted.

How To Implement ABM Marketing

Whether you are planning to implement a 1:1 or 1:many ABM, some steps are central to any successful ABM campaign. Here is a general step-by-step guideline for implementing ABM:

  1. Identify high-value target accounts
  2. Research these accounts–identify customer needs, pain points, and weaknesses in current solutions to these points.
  3. Segment the target account list–how will you approach this list of accounts? Do some have similar needs, would some benefit from 1:1 efforts?
  4. Develop personalized marketing campaigns
  5. Track the success of the campaign–Some key metrics include, sales cycle length, target account coverage, account expansion, customer acquisition cost, and customer lifetime value.
  6. Continue optimizing–Use these metrics to inform how you can follow up with accounts and improve future campaigns.

Conclusion

ABM is a valuable addition to your B2B marketing strategy that can be used alongside traditional marketing to target audience engagement and improve conversion rates. The team at Consultus Digital can help you develop successful marketing strategies for your business, and integrate ABM alongside strategies like social media marketing, email marketing, and traditional ad campaigns. Contact Consultus Digital today to get a proposal.

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