There is something new happen in the world of marketing- for there is always something innovative going on here.It not surprising that you may have also recently heard people talk about or paying a lot of attention to a new marketing acronym ABM.
ABM stands for Account Based Marketing. Although over the past year since 2016, there has been more than 21% increase in the number of business establishments that have a full account based marketing in place, still it is a fairly new concept for many people in the marketing world.
According to a research, it has been found that while the numbers of companies who have adopted this marketing tactic have almost doubled their growth as to what it was last year, but still lagging alignment between marketing and sales have restricted use of this marketing strategy in many ways.
This is because the success of ABM is somewhat rooted in the very alignment of marketing and sales.
Therefore, you see if you just know where to begin, you can find Account Based Marketing highly usable, and that is exactly why we are here to help you to understand ABM and learn how you can use it optimally in your market place.
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account Based Marketing is a form of strategic business marketing, wherein a company takes a specific customer account or an individual prospect and treat it like its very own market or rather to say as a market of one.
So ABM in that context sounds more like marketing that is based on a given account, be it existing or prospective.
Enterprise level sales establishments, those who are more into B2B marketing, typically perform Account Based Marketing.
Are you wondering now, why it is so? Well, ABM is specifically useful for companies with multiple buyers and stakeholder, as Account Based Marketing’s primary goal is to address the requirements of companies by connecting with all the stakeholders within the company, where you can have even more than half a dozen stakeholders in a given sale.
Although this can seem a bit tricky in the beginning from an execution level, but in reality ABM filters down to just 6 essential steps, which we can flesh out and tie back to inbound marketing- that apparently looks like two different concepts, but can absolutely complement each other in building superior relationships and interactions with the target accounts.
- Find your Target
Identifying your target audience is the core strength of successful marketing. However, since we are dealing with companies while discussing ABM and not people, so do not get yourself confused with developing personas.
In Account Based Marketing, you need both the collaborative efforts between marketing and sales for identifying your target account. It is so because for ABM you need data from a wider ‘firmographic’ perspective whereby things like industry, location, company size and annual revenue are taken into account. Additionally, strategic factors like the likelihood of repeat purchase, market influence, and expected profit margin are also considered while working with ABM.
While conducting market research is a very valuable tool for determining this list, but still then at the end, some of these data can be qualitative. Which means some of this information also depends a lot of on your ability to contribute using your intuitions and experiences.
- Research your Accounts
Now once you have successfully determined your prospects, the next goal is to treat your selected companies like large organization-level personas.
Remember, taking about organization-level personas, we are not referring to individual people here but just implying that considering companies as personas helps in acquiring detailed information about the establishments, whom you have identified as your ideal business customers.
Being aware and familiar with elements like the company structure and the most critical players in an establishment can certainly help you to understand and dictate as to how you should convey your product and services to those targets. Especially if you have successfully researched and have found out who are the decision-makers and influencers in the company.
Sometimes, you can find all these information that might already exist in-house. For an example, where someone on your team had already researched this target, but due to lack of understanding did not complete the ABM process right away.
However, if you do not have the information on hand, consider performing a manual research, whereby you can use LinkedIn and other professional networking sites to uncover the data assisted by a fairly- simple advanced search.
- Create Your Content
Now that you have found the names of all the major player within each account, start creating new contents for them. Write contents that should not only speak about the pain points of those employees but more to those specific organization’s businesses.
Remember as ABM strategy focuses less on an individual persona, so these contents should be focused differently on the deals that you are wishing to make with each specific organizations and should not sound like a broken record.
So can you see now where you might be able to find how Account Based Marketing strategies and Inbound Marketing strategies are able to work together when compelling contents plays a vital role in reaching your account based targets?
- Choose the Appropriate Channels
If you do not use a right channel to promote your contents, even the best content will not be very effective in finding the right audience. It important that you should always choose the right channels as a medium for delivering your contents, based on what is most effective for the given establishment or role.
Here it might be helpful to know where these specific people who are selected in the target organizations ‘live” online. According to an internet based research, it has been found that you can do an excellent job of profiling the users in five major media platform LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter respectively.
So look for the channels that your target audiences are mostly using, and how they are consuming the contents you are custom-creating for each of them on a one to one basis.
- Run the Campaign
Now that you have selected your targets, researched on their respective compositions, created customized contents and have selected the channels you will use for your promotion- it is time to execute.
However, running your campaign over here requires some care. Since you are coordinating your messages across various channels, remain cautious that you do not send different signals to the same person within a target group.
So select and influence the right channels properly- to make sure that your messages are not recurring or contradictory in their ideas and statements.
Using a CRM for sending automated messages at different intervals often helps in running this campaign, whereby you do not run a chance of forgetting to send an email to a specific target at the right time.
Measure Your Results
As Account-Based Marketing is a relatively new methodology, you may find it initially difficult to measure the results and have trouble proving the ROI of your marketing efforts.
So try asking the right questions when you are measuring the results of your ABM campaigns.
According to certain experts in ABM, the questions that you may ask might include:
- Are the lists of known individuals growing within the target account?
- Have there been any changes in the ways these accounts are engaging with our brands and the contents?
- How much revenue have we been able to generate from these target accounts?
Therefore, you see Account Based Marketing is not so different from Inbound marketing as it gels quite well with some of the inbound marketing principals that we hold so near and dear.
Now that you have read our blog, do not get overwhelmed, find your targets, and with the help of Inbound marketing, let your targets find you through Account Based Marketing.
Let us know if this article has helped you to understand ABM and generate revenue in the comment box below.