5 Must-ask Questions about ABM Strategy Implementation

Apurva Pathak | December 18, 2021 | 238 views

ABM

ABM in Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is diametrically opposite of traditional marketing. Instead of targeting all kinds of customers with generic content, it targets only the most lucrative accounts using personalized content. This concentrated targeting results in more conversions, longer business associations, expansion, and account retention.

In an interview with Media 7, Clive Armitage, CEO of Agent3, said,

“If you are not utilizing the power of data, technology and content then you are failing to be a modern marketer.”


ABM leverages firmographic data (basic info), technographic data (data about the kind of technology the lead uses), intent data (lead behavior), and engagement data (data gained through form filling, and event attendance) to target accounts and segment them based on priority. 

A 2020 benchmark study by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) found that 76% of companies reported a higher ROI with ABM than other marketing types.

How Does ABM Contribute to Revenue Growth?

ABM drives higher ROI and measurable sales using marketing campaigns created by both sales and marketing teams.

A successful ABM strategy has components like these:
  1. Targeting the right accounts and managing them
  2. Cross-channel engagement
  3. Measuring and dynamically optimizing the ABM programs using specialized dashboards to map targets, programs, and revenue metrics created by an account-based marketing software

ABM helps scale business revenue in the following ways:

Shows a Clear ROI

Businesses prefer precise results from their marketing strategies. ABM prioritizes ROI. It gives the highest ROI compared to any other B2B marketing strategy because it targets the highest-value accounts that meet defined criteria through custom campaigns addressing their needs and pain points.

Helps with Resource Allocation

ABM focuses only on high-value accounts. Consequently, companies can allocate their resources better and save time and money.

Engages the Audience

Personalized content means targeted accounts see only the content they can relate to so there is increased engagement and interaction.

Can Be Tracked Every Step of the Way

ABM metrics can be tracked every step of the way, so there is a clear idea of what is working and what isn’t. Important metrics include ROI, engagement, awareness, target account reach, and influence.

Aligns Sales and Marketing Teams

ABM aligns sales and marketing teams by helping them find common ground for their goals and objectives.

5 Must-ask Questions about ABM Strategy Implementation

Account-based marketing questions about ABM technology and strategy arise when businesses transition from traditional lead generation techniques to ABM. The following five must-ask questions about account-based marketing can be the keys to transitioning to ABM:

How to Create an ABM Strategy That Works?

To create an ABM strategy that works, follow these steps:
  • Define your target accounts.
  • Identify the key decision-makers of your target accounts.
  • Personalize your content to cater to your target accounts.
  • Choose appropriate channels to approach your target accounts.
  • Formulate campaigns to engage the target accounts.
  • Measure the success of your campaign using correct metrics.


What Things Should You Consider Before Allocating a Budget for ABM?

It is pretty challenging to find the correct answer to this question. The cost of tools, channels, and individual items keeps varying. Money spent on-field events, content creation to cater to target accounts, ads, trade shows, research, and intent data collection factors into budgeting.

To make budgeting easier, consider bifurcating the expenses into categories like technology (CRM, marketing automation systems, and data management platforms), human resources (data analysts, social media associates, and content strategists), events (one-on-one meets, trade shows, and webinars), media campaigns and direct mail. 

How to Decide on the Size of the Target Accounts?

The size of your target accounts depends on your business goals (acquisition, retention, expansion), team size, and initiatives on an organizational level. Tiering accounts into three categories using data, technology, and thorough research has worked out for several businesses.
  1. Tier 1: These are the accounts that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) bill perfectly and have high strategic value.
  2. Tier 2: These accounts have an excellent ICP but lower lifetime value.
  3. Tier 3: These accounts meet only some criteria of ICP. Pursue these accounts but don’t go overboard to get their business.


What Metrics Should Be Used to Map ABM Success?

The biggest advantage of an ABM strategy is that its success can be measured. To measure this success, you need to focus on important KPIs like:
  • Engagement: This includes email metrics, social metrics, consumption rates, and offline activity metrics.
  • Awareness: This KPI measures how aware your target accounts are of your brand, how credible they think it is and how they respond to it.
  • Influence: Measure how your ABM campaign contributes to the lead conversion rate, and increase the frequency and volume of your lead interactions.
  • Target Account Reach: With the help of ABM tools, this KPI measures the percentage of the target account’s engaged decision-makers.
  • ROI: Mapping ROI is essential for assessing the success of an ABM strategy. ABM gives better ROI as compared to other marketing strategies.

Other metrics to consider are value, customer retention, and sales metrics.

Who Should Be on the ABM Team?

To begin with, your ABM team should have leadership that knows ABM and its implementation. Key decision-makers from the marketing, sales, and operations departments should be on this leadership team. It should work on setting goals, overseeing the implementation of the ABM strategy, and mapping its success.

How DocuSign Used ABM to Increase Their Customer Engagement and Sales Pipeline by 22%

“We have more awareness and educational content that’s reaching our non-engaged accounts. And we will dedicate a lower level of spend to that program so that we are prioritizing our spend on our more engaged accounts.”

- Perri Gardner, Director of ABM, DocuSign.

By using ABM to target high-value accounts and categorizing their spending based on the value of those accounts, DocuSign increased their customer engagement and sales pipeline by 22%.

Conclusion

Transitioning from a traditional marketing strategy to account-based marketing is vital to drive ROI, engagement, brand awareness, and influence. Correctly implementing an ABM strategy contributes to revenue growth through quicker lead conversions, proper allocation of resources, and a targeted approach.

FAQ


What is the first step in implementing an ABM strategy?

The first step of implementing the ABM strategy is to define the accounts you want to target.

Is ABM better than a traditional lead-based marketing strategy?

Yes. As of 2021, 70% of marketers are using ABM and are seeing a remarkable increase in their ROI.


What does an ABM strategy depend on?

An ABM strategy depends on high-quality intent data. Content personalization, account segmentation, and lead nurturing cannot be achieved without it.

Spotlight

Reprise Italy

With end-to-end capabilities that include search, social media, content creation, product and web development, eRetail and strategy, we cut to the core of what truly drives customers by providing a holistic digital-first approach. Armed with intelligent insights and an audience-first approach, our expert team of specialists deliver integrated initiatives that help the world’s biggest brands connect to the people who drive their business forward - efficiently and effectively. Part of the Mediabrands division of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), Reprise is headquartered in New York with over 40 offices around the world. To learn more about how we can empower your business, visit reprisedigital.com now.

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Relative to the mass-market approach of the B2C world, B2B promotion requires a much more targeted approach. The customers are fewer and more discerning but commensurably more valuable and enduring so whether you’re trying to win over a new client or simply keep an existing client on your side, you need to be very careful with what you’re putting out. This is the reasoning behind account-based marketing, otherwise known as ABM. Instead of distributing generic marketing materials, it picks out specific prospects (or sets of prospects grouped by various shared elements) and creates personalized campaigns to suit them. It can be extremely cost-effective, but it needs to be done smartly (which isn’t easy). To help you run a flourishing account-based marketing campaign, we’re going to look at five steps you should take along the way.

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The first lesson in this article is to stop thinking differently about ABM and B2B. Sangram Vajre is spot on when he exclaims that “ABM is B2B.” There is no real difference. Whether named or unnamed, every single campaign you launch as a B2B marketer caters to personas in different accounts. Another reality about account-based marketing is that due to the nature of omnichannel marketing and the fact that every prospect does its own research, you’re going to have to process different sets of traffic no matter how much control you think you have over your funnels. With these two things in mind, let’s look at what’s common in a successful ABM strategy, and also how to segment your audience in a way that tells the story of all the steps in your user acquisition models.

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Account-Based Marketing has been one of the most preferred B2B strategies for marketers. More than 90% of marketers believe that ABM is essential for the alignment of sales and marketing teams. ABM is all about fostering a better relationship with your target accounts. And especially in this digital transformation era, it’s evident that people aren’t buying products but experiences. As per a recent PwC survey, “73% of consumers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions”. This shift in consumer behavior is what B2B companies/marketers should take note of. Also, ITSMA reports that of the companies that adopted ABM in the past two years, 55% are seeing a significantly higher ROI than with traditional marketing.

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With end-to-end capabilities that include search, social media, content creation, product and web development, eRetail and strategy, we cut to the core of what truly drives customers by providing a holistic digital-first approach. Armed with intelligent insights and an audience-first approach, our expert team of specialists deliver integrated initiatives that help the world’s biggest brands connect to the people who drive their business forward - efficiently and effectively. Part of the Mediabrands division of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), Reprise is headquartered in New York with over 40 offices around the world. To learn more about how we can empower your business, visit reprisedigital.com now.

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