Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is an emerging trend in marketing, that flips the ideas of a traditional marketing model on its head. According to recent statistics, over 90% of marketers believing ABM is essential to business to business marketing and 97% of marketers say that ABM had a higher return on investment (ROI) than other marketing activities. With over 60% of companies planning to implement an ABM programme within the next year, now is the time to take note and to become familiar with Account-Based Marketing.
WHAT IS ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING?
Account-Based Marketing is a highly focused marketing strategy in which each prospective customer is treated as its own market, rather than aiming at the industry as a whole. Instead of targeting large numbers of prospects as with traditional blanket marketing, ABM is much more focused. A small number of highly valuable and relevant prospects are researched and identified, and marketing and sales teams work together to focus on these target accounts with personalised content, events and entire campaigns, designed to resonate with each potential customer.
ABM is all about focusing on the accounts most likely to drive revenue and bring real change for your business.
Accounts may be selected based on a variety of parameters, e.g.:
- Industry or Sector – Either entering a new industry or solidifying a position within a specific sector is possible by targeting customers in a specific area.
- Revenue Size – Targeting high-revenue and high-value customers specifically, for example.
- Specific Technology – Target customers using certain technology or equipment, to challenge a competitor or to expand into a new business sector.
- Existing Customers – Focus on existing customers, either to solidify a relationship and retain a customer or to upsell to a known customer base and create brand advocates.
- Quick Wins – Target accounts with a short purchase decision process due to their size or structure for rapid returns.
Traditional vs Account-Based Marketing
Standard marketing campaigns often try to cast a very wide net, to appeal to as many customers as possible within a target market. While this can be excellent for branding, results can be sporadic, prospects can be unclear and may see wrong or irrelevant content, and results can be hard to quantify.
In today’s digital age, it can be hard to cut through the noise, and offer a consistently engaging and relevant experience to potential customers, especially with a wide-scoped campaign. As a result, marketers are turning to a customer experience-first, account-based strategy to improve their results. This is done by shifting from a lead-centric mentality to an account-centric mentality, by identifying a smaller number of high-value accounts and offering personalised campaigns to engage, acquire and retain these customers. The goal is to turn these high-value accounts into brand advocates, who will spread the message of your campaign through word of mouth, referrals or reviews, further driving engagement and increasing revenue.
Matt Heinz, President and CEO, Heinz Marketing
Who uses Account-Based Marketing?
ABM strategies were once reserved for large organisations, with large teams and budgets required to manually implement personalised strategies. This is no longer the case. The technology used for ABM has become mainstream and accessible, enabling ABM campaigns to be conducted at a lower cost and on a much larger scale than previously possible.
Many companies can, therefore, benefit from adopting an account-based approach. If you are seeking to acquire specific, high-value customers, ABM is an approach worth considering.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Boost sales with a clear ROI – A focused account-based strategy has been proven to be successful and offers a great return on investment. Almost 85% of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments. (ITSMA)
Personal – Customers are much more likely to interact with personalised and targeted messages, and all material delivered during an ABM campaign will be relevant and focused. Individual customer stakeholders who perceived supplier content to be tailored to their specific needs were 40% more willing to buy from that supplier than stakeholders who didn’t. (CEB in Harvard Business Review)
Efficient – As ABM is so targeted, marketers can waste less time on appealing to less relevant potential customers and can concentrate their time on creating applicable content for targeted accounts. Similarly, leads for the sales team are guaranteed to be relevant prospects.
Alignment – ABM can increase alignment within an organisation, as both the sales and marketing teams work together towards the same goal. Both teams have set roles and are required to collaborate, but now have an aligned account-based mentality. Marketing knows exactly who to market to, and sales are delivered the relevant leads they hope for.
Easy to track goals and measure success – As a smaller number of accounts are targeted, it’s much easier to analyse the effectiveness of different campaign aspects and focus future efforts. It is possible to see the true impact of each activity across different channels and to understand exactly where an impact was made.
Account-Based Marketing Process
- Establish Goals – Select a product/service/technology/market to target and establish goals for the campaign. Determine the metrics by which to judge campaign success.
- Identify and Research Targets – Map key accounts, identifying target companies and key influencers and decision-makers within each company. Collaboration between sales and marketing teams to set targeting parameters and identify pain points for each company.
- Define Collateral – With the targets of the campaign as the focus, marketing collateral is planned and created. Consider which channels will be most effective for targeting certain roles or industries. Collateral is personalised, so deals or offers can be targeted for each organisation with ease. It is essential that your company message is clear, and the buyer’s experience is consistent at every contact. Each interaction with buyers should build on the previous one, regardless of the channel in which it is delivered.
- Deliver Collateral – Schedules are created, and personalised material is released over weeks/months of the campaign. Timing is crucial to maximising impact so the schedule must be carefully calculated. This is a coordinated and multi-channel approach, aiming to remove the ‘luck’ element of traditional wide-scoped campaigns.
- Follow Up – Leads generated during the campaign are followed up by the sales team, and progress is recorded at every stage.
- Measure and Optimise – Use analytics and reporting to keep track of campaign progress. Return on investment can be calculated as leads are tracked throughout the process. It is possible to identify which channels lead to successful conversions, and this knowledge can be used to optimise future marketing campaigns and improve results over time.
Examples of marketing collateral
Marketing collateral can take many forms and needs to be altered on a campaign basis, depending on the demographics of the targets. The most important aspect of the marketing material is that it is personalised and that all items carry the same message. The aim is to take potential clients on a journey as they discover different marketing materials, informing and advising them, with a consistent message. If successful, by the time the sales team has the first contact, the customer is aware of your offerings and will be open to further negotiation.
Examples of collateral include:
- Website landing page specific to the campaign
- Social media campaigns
- Sponsored social media posts
- Online banner advertisements
- Advertisements in print publications
- Press Releases
- Case Study / Whitepaper
- Educational content focused on informing the reader
- Targeted Email promotion
- Open house event specifically for targeted accounts
- Personalised email
- Personalised letter (post)
- Product video
- Follow up phonecall
Why use PlastikMedia?
PlastikMedia has completed numerous successful ABM campaigns, used in growing our customer base, as well as running campaigns for its sister company PlastikCity, and third-party clients such as Sanko-Gosei and KraussMaffei.
PlastikCity and PlastikMedia were finalists in the 2019 Plastics Industry Awards ‘Best Business Initiative’ category, nominated for our work with our third-party clients on their ABM campaigns.
We use our combination of industry knowledge and marketing expertise to understand the needs of our customers and produce targeted marketing material with minimal input required. Our personalised service means we can be adaptable to the requirements of our customers, liaise with their sales teams and produce a campaign on a scale to achieve their goals.
Don’t just take our word for it! Read our testimonials to hear the thoughts of our customers, and if you would like to find out more about ABM campaigns, or are interested in starting a campaign of your own, contact us.
Adopting an account-based marketing approach to augment your current marketing techniques can increase revenue, and drive key metrics such as leads, engagements and sales opportunities. Don’t get left behind, consider an ABM campaign, before your competitors do!
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