Account based marketing is all the rage nowadays. The phrase was coined as far back as 2004 and many B2B vendors have long been following this practice though they didn’t term it as such. Its present day resurgence is because new technologies and sophisticated data management have made it possible for marketers to scale up ABM strategies and make them more workable and practical. The weakening returns from inbound marketing programs has also forced marketers to look at other ways to generate revenue.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is something marketers have been doing from centuries -- customizing the product to the customer. Today it is simply more sophisticated and is defined as the targeting of specific accounts with customized strategies. In other words, ABM is treating every individual account as a market by itself. ABM involves a disciplined approach to developing customized marketing campaigns for every account, prospect or customer. The basic principle is to completely map the business issues of the client, build a strong relationship with them, understand their fundamentals and thoroughly align sales and marketing to their needs and metrics.
The success of an ABM program depends on the marketer's ability to connect seamlessly with the ‘best-fit’ accounts across platforms, at physical events, on direct mails and through other targeted activities.
Tactics for ABM
The revival of ABM has meant that today, there are more effective tactics than before that the marketer can employ. Here's taking a look at some of them
- Be relevant and personalize
A basic tenet of account-based marketing is to make it as relevant as possible and try for a high level of personalization. In a typical ABM program, there will be several accounts that demand high conversion rates. By creating product/prospect-specific offers for these accounts, the marketer can personalize its content; even analytics can be used to create specific reports. For instance, if Tesco is an account, you can send them a ‘Tesco social media report’. This looks trustworthy, valuable and compelling for the buyer.
- Synergize your sales and marketing
ABM programs require a common ground for sales and marketing and experts say the benefits of having the two departments focus on the same list of accounts is immense. What usually happens is that the marketing team generates an activity that the Sales does not want and the Sales representatives often go after accounts that the Marketing team has no clue about. When everybody's focus is aligned to a single account, ultimately, efficiency will increase as will engagement.
- Make them feel special
The targeted nature of account-based marketing means high delivery expectations. To meet these is not easy. But one effective tactic is to personalize the landing page for the specific account. Marketers can easily create account-specific landing pages that display customized offers and content; but ensure that the customer does not find this too aggressive a strategy.
- Use social intelligence and tools
Marketers are no longer held back in ABM strategies because of a lack of tools. Today, many options exist and it will do them good to explore and choose the ones best suited for their needs. Monitoring social activity of the account helps marketers discover the key prospects customers care about. Social data, is in fact, invaluable to keep up with the evolving challenges of account-based marketing; it not just helps keep track of changes and customize accordingly but also facilitates the triggering of events at target accounts.
Everyone agrees that the future of B2B marketing lies in acing ABM and considering that account-based marketing now has no lack of technological support, it is time marketers understood its every nuance.