A good B2B marketing strategy means being dialled into what makes a best-fit client for your company. And the most effective way to translate business goals into marketing goals is to have your sales and marketing teams working in complete alignment.
An Account-based marketing (ABM) strategy will identify target accounts and make connections with key decision-makers faster than conventional marketing methods and by customising your campaign you will build high-value professional relationships growing an account-based funnel that is highly effective.
According to Marketo account-based marketing is a “focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.” And the many advantages to adopting an ABM approach include:
More effective use of resources and time as marketers can focus on the needs of more valuable clients.
ABM delivers the highest ROI with Unbound B2B reporting that the right ABM strategy can uplift marketing revenue By 208%.
ABM accelerates sales because a revenue-orientated sales team will use all the resources and data acquired from the marketing team’s efforts to close the deal, faster.
Personalised campaigns that build rapport with prospects will yield better results and a better experience overall.
Getting to know prospects personally will certainly help you stand out and tailored campaigns that are client-centric and resolve prospects' pain points will help move them through the sales funnel quicker.
Traditionally account-based marketing was viewed as a type of targeted outbound marketing strategy. This involved selecting a large group of companies, accessing database information, making cold calls, sending emails and attending events to doorstep key stakeholders in a pest-like fashion (and it’s never good to come across as too eager, or pushy).
Today however ABM encompasses the best elements of outbound and inbound marketing to great effect creating a more sophisticated strategy that generates better leads, faster.
So what are the key principles behind a successful ABM strategy?
Make a hit list!
Start with making a list of companies focusing your efforts on one particular industry sector. Do industry-specific research. Then research each company you wish to target while gathering data to build an account.
Whittle it down. Compare the companies and prioritise the ones you feel your business can bring value to – and a greater return on revenue.
The key to successful account-based marketing relies on marketers being highly-informed and knowledgeable. Knowing everything about a prospective company’s people, its culture and its competition can help you tailor a focused marketing plan demonstrating that you fully understand the needs of that customer and can therefore generate the highest value marketing for them.
It’s why campaigning politicians never forget a name because they get it: being personal wins votes, and it might help you win an account.
We all have a fear of calling someone by the wrong name but if you mentally inhale those key names over and over, again and again, eventually you will exhale them correctly.
Ace the buyer’s journey
From a content marketing perspective, a complete understanding of each stage of the buyer's journey from awareness, to consideration and decision should form the core of your ABM strategy. This will require marketing and sales to work closely together to unlock critical information about how a prospect buys and the needs and challenges they face at every stage of the buying process.
1. Awareness: The buyer is aware they have a problem and discovers you
2. Consideration: The buyer shares the problem and considers your actionable roadmap out of it.
3. Decision: The buyer evaluates and decides to choose you.
All your inbound efforts should manifest in you being able to confidently build engagement by sending direct emails and in some cases, social media DMs. And remember to implement those key names and job titles because being on a first-name basis with high-value contacts will help communicate your message more effectively.
You also want to capture the interest of naturally acquired contacts through high-quality content with blog posts, or social media posts and there are myriad social channels to use to your advantage to build interest and engagement.
Align your sales and marketing teams so that both can work in collaboration to collect critical data and discover prospects' pain points. This collaborative effort will create a customised targeted approach that will fast-track your campaign success and accelerate your customer acquisition strategy.
As a wise old digital owl once said, content is king. And creating content that is relevant and shareable will improve SEO, build brand credibility and produce high-quality leads.