You try to be a diligent marketer and read all the right blogs and articles about effective marketing strategies. The more you read, though, the more you see that techniques like social media marketing and publishing ads aren't the right fit. When you're trying to land a major corporation as a client, a few Tweets won't do the trick.
For a more efficient and powerful way to recruit high-value clients, account-based marketing (ABM) is a game-changer. In fact, 97% of B2B marketers who've tried ABM say it gives them a higher ROI than other marketing strategies.
ABM is a great way to complement your current inbound marketing campaigns. Think of inbound as casting a wide net – you are attracting strangers to your website, who you hope turn into good-fit clients. ABM is a much more targeted approach using outbound marketing techniques. You identify target accounts that fit your ideal customer profile and develop campaigns to go after them directly. Inbound marketing is often described as lead-centric while ABM is classified as account-centric. Still, before you dive off into ABM you want to be sure this is the right move. Check out these benefits you stand to gain if you take that leap.
- Fewer Wasted Resources
Let's say you do a direct mail campaign, sending mailers to 5,000 businesses. You land 100 quality leads, enough to get a good ROI for the campaign.
That's great, but you can't help but wonder. Could you have gotten the same 100 high-quality leads by only sending out a few hundred mailers? It feels like a lot of wasted time and money because your mailers weren't targeted enough.
With account-based marketing, you don't have to wonder. You're concentrating your efforts on prospects that have the best chance to turn into high-value accounts.
- More Customized Messaging
With traditional marketing, there's only so much research you can perform on the prospects receiving your marketing messages. You might be able to target particular industries or demographics. Still, you know little about the specific businesses and people that those messages will reach.
With the ABM approach, you're targeting individual businesses and professionals. You can research their pain points and build a strategy for engagement.
Not only does this mean you're more likely to get results, but it means your prospects will have a better impression of you company. The customization makes them feel like you understand them because you do. It shows them that they're a priority, and that's a great place to begin.
- Building Long-Lasting Relationships
With inbound marketing, your outreach begins with content publishing, social posts and paid advertising. Ideally your prospects receive your message. Hopefully it resonates with them. Eventually, they decide to reach out to you.
With ABM, you start forming a professional rapport from day one. Your prospects sees that your marketing messages are directed to them specifically, and address challenges that they are facing. The personal connection builds as you lay the groundwork for a long-lasting partnership.
- Segmenting Your Outreach
As I said before, with inbound marketing you are casting a wide net. You're at the mercy of whatever prospects that net pulls in. They may not be the best fit, but it takes time and effort to figure that out.
Account-based marketing lets you choose the specific prospects you want to target. You can identify businesses within the specific industry you want to sell to, or a geographic region where you have people and equipment. Or maybe a particular environment where one of your new products is designed to operate.
- Fewer Breakdowns Between Sales and Marketing
For being two sides of the same coin, sales and marketing departments often have communication issues. Marketers might promise something that the sales team cannot deliver. Or, marketers might advertise a friendly company culture but some sales staff don't carry that through, giving customers inconsistent experiences.
A solid ABM strategy is built entirely around collaboration between sales and marketing. Through a service level agreement (SLA), marketing and sales agree on a set of goals, and define what each department provides (and held accountable) to make the campaign successful.
This allows for a more consistent experience when leads progress throughout the funnel and transition from prospects to customers.
- More Data for Future ABM Decisions
Data is the lifeblood of any marketing strategy. You need to know what works and what doesn't so you can optimize your future tactics.
A well designed ABM campaign provides great insight into tactics that work and those that don’t. You can determine exactly what messages and communications each prospect has seen. You can hone in on which outreach tactics were the most successful. You can see how engagement translates into active sales opportunities, and what types of engagement produces closed-won deals faster.
With ABM, you also build a better relationship with your prospects. If they decide not to move forward as customers, they're more likely to tell you why.
- Making Larger Sales from the Start
In many businesses, your customers start by making low-priced purchases. As you build the relationship, they trust you more and allow you to give them more. That trust turns into expanded sales and more valuable purchases.
ABM is all about building that trust from the start. There is less of a reason for the customer to wait before making a big-ticket purchase because they already have a connection with you.
Still, that doesn't mean you should push the hard sell right away. The wrong kind of pressure can damage that relationship you've invested so much into building.
Taking Advantage of All the ABM Benefits
Account-based marketing is built to be customizable. It's about molding your strategy to your business model and to each prospect you target. With the right techniques, ABM can produce better fit clients faster, and help create long term relationships that help your business grow.
To learn more about account-based marketing and how to build a campaign for your organization, reach out to our team at Highway 9 Consulting today.