Everybody’s doing it. Have you heard? All the buzz is about Account-Based Marketing. It’s the latest, greatest marketing tool.
80% of marketers say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments (ITSMA)
What is account-based marketing? ABM is a highly personalized, segmented marketing approach that you can use to target specific, harder-to-attract accounts. These are typically accounts where your sales team suspects there is a great opportunity, but the prospects may need a more personalized marketing approach to introduce your company and get your salesperson in the door.
A successful ABM campaign demands that you know your target persona, or your ICP (ideal customer profile), and what makes them tick. Clear messaging that focuses on their pain points and speaks to your value prop is the foundation.
Let’s look at five key elements you need for a winning ABM strategy.
Key #1: Personalization
Personalization starts by selecting an appropriate list to target. ABM campaigns fail when you try to “boil the ocean”. This is the time to be intentional. For a personalized message to work, your prospects need to have something in common. Maybe they are mid-sized healthcare companies looking to digitally transform. Or perhaps you are targeting CEOs who are trying to make a culture shift at their company. Another great source for ABM targets are your past webinar attendees. “Warm” leads, who already know who your company is and what you can offer them, typically convert more in ABM campaigns.
ABM improves customer lifetime value (80%) and win rates (85%), and it delivers higher ROI (76%) (TOPO)
Key #2: Collaboration
To succeed with account-based targeting, your sales and marketing teams need to be aligned. Which accounts have your sales teams identified as hot prospects, but need help to garner attention? What solutions are your marketing team pushing this year? What does the buyer’s journey look like, and which phase are you targeting with your campaign? Ensure your sales and marketing teams are communicating and collaborating on the steps in your customer’s journey, and what follow up and reporting is expected.
With proper measurement in place, 73% of respondents report that deal size was higher in ABM accounts. (SiriusDecisions)
Key #3: Offer and Content
Just like typical digital marketing campaigns, you still need a compelling offer and engaging content to run a high-converting ABM campaign. Because your target audience will have similar pain points and fall in the same leg of the buyers’ journey, you have a unique opportunity to build a specific and valuable offer that will get them to the next leg. Customize your content to help prospects move through the pipeline.
The number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today, and these stakeholders come from a lengthening roster of roles, functions, and geographies. (HBR)
Key #4: Platform
LinkedIn has been working as a B2B tool for many of our clients. And, over the last year, the social platform has made it even easier to target specific prospects. When selecting the best platform for your campaign, consider the size of the contact list you’ll need. LinkedIn’s minimum is 300 for a matched audience campaign, and their retargeting options can help with pipeline acceleration. But this isn’t a LinkedIn commercial. ABM can, and should, be executed cross-platform – digital, email, direct mail – especially as you move down the sales funnel.
For every five accounts targeted, account-based organizations create a new sales opportunity (TOPO)
Key #5: Persistence
Don’t give up too soon! If you have a six-month sales cycle, a month of ABM may get you off to a good start, but you likely won’t see conversions right off the bat. Consider creating a retargeting campaign that nurtures prospects who visited your landing page but weren’t ready to make a decision. Creating valuable content that helps them make that decision can often speed up your time-to-conversion.
ABM campaigns combine the marketing strategies that have stood the test of time with modern personalization technologies to help you market to those who are most likely to buy. They take more time and resources to get started, but once running, account-based campaigns can create an engine for prospect conversion that complements your broader lead gen strategy.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call. This is what our team does. Messaging. Target audience. Content. Strategy. If you’d like to make 2023 the year of ABM, reach out to me at Lisa@emminc.com.