ABM Tactics to Optimize Your Marketing Strategy

Optimize Your Marketing Strategy

Introduction: Account-based Marketing and ABM Tactics

B2B account-based marketing is a strategic approach that focuses on targeted campaigns for high-value accounts. An account-based marketing strategy involves identifying target accounts, reaching out to them using hyper-personalized content, and engaging them in the right way and at the right time, irrespective of their position in the sales funnel. Closing the deal through an alignment between sales and marketing is the ultimate goal of an effective account-based marketing campaign. By using certain ABM tactics, you can enhance your campaign. Let us first understand what account-based marketing is, what challenges it can help you scale, and how it can help you get a higher ROI compared to any other marketing strategy that exists today.

Why Should You Implement Account-based Marketing?

According to ITSMA, 87 percent of marketers say that ABM marketing outperforms other marketing investments. B2B account-based marketing gets better results year-over-year after its implementation. With changing times, B2B customer expectations have changed. A more humane marketing strategy, customized content, the right channels, and a smooth customer experience are some of them. Not only does ABM targeting offer solutions to customers’ specific challenges, but it also converts leads with buyer intent into customers. Here are some of the challenges that an effective account-based marketing strategy will help you overcome:

Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Teams

The account-based marketing process involves streamlining the goals, objectives, and metrics of your sales and marketing teams. This eliminates the possibility of poor communication. Instead, there is a group effort to go after the right people to get a better return on investment.

These teams centrally view the targeted accounts through your CRM. This breaks the silos and boosts the impact of your ABM tactics. It allows unobstructed data sharing between marketing and sales. The account-based marketing process solely functions using centralized data and empowers both teams to make the most of the intent data and predict when and how to engage with the stakeholders of the target accounts.

Effective Content Personalization

As a central metric, customer experience is of paramount importance to creating lasting associations with target accounts. Most customers know what they want and need, are aware of the market conditions, and seek solutions that work best for them. They want these solutions to be offered to them on a platter through predictive customer experience. ABM scores a homerun in this aspect. It connects customers with content personalization characterized by distinct messaging speaking about challenges and solutions. Content is important to the success of an account-based marketing campaign right from the start.

Achieving Complete Data Utilization

B2B account-based marketing is a data-driven marketing technology that drives success for your business. Data is used to predict the needs of target accounts, understand their pain points, and preferred channels of communication. Clean intent data helps in increasing brand awareness among target accounts, streamlines the buying cycle, and assists marketing in creating content and messaging that best represents your brand and sharing it with sales teams so that they can use it to convert leads. Feedback data can also help marketing to access the success of the account-based marketing campaign and improve it to get better results in the future.

Maintaining Long-term Relationships with Customers

No matter the kind of B2B marketing strategy (ABM Lite, Strategic ABM, or Programmatic ABM) you choose to apply, its personalized approach boosts confidence and trust in buyers because they experience a stellar customer experience. Through customized content and focused service offerings, lasting long-term relationships with target accounts can become a reality. It also creates new opportunities for businesses.

Marketing Budgeting

An account-based marketing program enhances marketing budgets by improving customer retention and makes it easier to track ROI. It also improves your brand awareness, engagement, and lead quality metrics, so you can allocate your resources better.

Now that the benefits of account-based marketing are evident, let us now look at ABM tactics to further enhance your B2B account-based marketing strategy.

ABM Tactics to Optimize Your Marketing Strategy

Before you start using any tips and tricks to optimize your account-based marketing program, you should set your expectations and finalize the KPIs you intend to use to measure the success of your B2B ABM marketing tactics.

Let us explore some ABM tactics that can optimize your account-based marketing program:

Optimize Your ABM Funnel

Optimizing your ABM funnel may be one of the most effective account-based marketing tactics that can help you achieve growth.

Target Accounts

Optimize your target accounts using the following ways:
  • Content Auditing
Audit your content and verify if it caters effectively to your target accounts’ personas and the industry they belong to. Stringently review every content piece you have to ensure it is hyper-personalized and addresses the target accounts’ needs and pain points. Sometimes, your content may help you tighten your target account list.

  • Use Intent Data Wisely
ABM targeting should be dynamic. Update your target account list based on the intent data you receive from CRM and other platforms. You must know what your target accounts are searching for. Is it something about your business, your product, or the solutions you offer? You should always use this data to enhance your list.

  • Approach Different Segments
Simultaneously run multiple account-based marketing campaigns with different levels of personalization and investment. Choose from ABM Lite (one-to-few accounts), Programmatic ABM (one-to-many accounts), or Strategic ABM (one-to-one) based on your ABM targeting goals.

Engaged Accounts

Optimizing engaged accounts can be difficult because no two engaged accounts can be in the same stage of the sales funnel. Checking on how your ads are performing through click rates, organic visits on your website, email click through rates, or any other digital interaction with your brand can be a good start. Your ads should be informative yet beautiful. Improve on your copy and tighten your target account list so you reach out only to the accounts that are engaging with your content. Go all out through social media, emails, and all other channels available on the internet to reach out to engaged accounts. These account-based marketing tactics ensure that you take advantage of target account engagement enthusiastically through all channels.

New Opportunities

Help your sales team to enhance the rate of new opportunities through lead generation strategies created by ad retargeting so they can tap into the accounts that have interacted with your ads previously with renewed vigour. Creating an account engagement model to define an ‘engaged account’ in collaboration with your sales team can smoothen out the process of controlling the number of accounts it has to work on.

Outreach

Focus on creating or warming up existing relationships with the employees of your target account stakeholders. Use direct mail or personal meetings to get in touch with your target accounts. This opens the doors to new pipeline opportunities. One-to-one C-level campaigns, phone calls, and demos can be used to reach more people, warm up leads, and create brand awareness.

Improve Sales Velocity

Sales velocity is the average time taken from when an opportunity is created to when it is converted into a customer. Treat every opportunity that comes your way with the same dedication that you show to your target accounts. This approach is applicable to all the lead generation strategies you execute. Opportunities may make their way through your ABM platform or through inbound channels. Once they make their way through the funnel, make it a point to shift from awareness to ROI campaigns by exhibiting customer success stories and testimonials. These efforts can lead to a shortened sales cycle.

Harness Social Media

For the success of your B2B marketing strategy, using social media can be an effective way to capture important target accounts’ behavioral data. Follow their company accounts, stakeholder accounts, and employee accounts to remain updated. Understanding stakeholders’ and employees’ social media behaviour, likes, and engagement can help you narrow down your target account list. Strategically calling out the target accounts on social media through mentions can work in your favour.

Use Paid Advertising & Content Marketing

LinkedIn targeting, paid Google ads, industry-specific blogging along with problem and solution-oriented content can create target account engagement. Consider using account-based marketing services to market your content better and more accurately.

Marketing Automation

Artificial intelligence (AI) based marketing can optimize your account-based program by providing you with predictive insights and enhancing your communication efforts. Email campaigns can be executed using marketing automation to offer measurable account engagement. AI and big data rely on CRM data to gather user information from different platforms. This information can help you personalize your content better. Account-based marketing services offer these options to execute targeted marketing campaigns at scale.

According to a MarketingProfs survey, companies that used this ABM tactic saw 59 percent increase in closing rates.

Implement Influencer Marketing

Harness the influence of industry experts, thought leaders, and recognized contributors that your target accounts consider authentic. It can improve your conversion rate. By humanizing the buyer experience through an influencer, you can win over the trust of your accounts, encourage brand advocacy, attract new audiences, and increase the authority of the content you share. This tactic adds value to your B2B marketing strategy.

Test, Measure, Improve

Periodically testing your ad copy, content, design, and channel elements to see what works and what doesn’t is crucial to improving B2B account-based marketing. Tracking important KPIs that measure the success of your strategy can help you make it more effective. Avoid being constrained and try new things boldly. If something doesn’t work, find other ways to achieve your goals instead of scrapping the strategy. Account-based marketing tactics will only work if you analyze how they affect your strategy and accordingly keep improving its execution.

In an interview with Media 7, Daniel Englebretson, the founder of Khronos, talked about how to improve an account-based marketing strategy.

“The best programs, and the best marketers, have built their success on the back of rapid iteration and a long history of testing, learning, and continuously improving.”

Northrop Grumman Won a $2 Billion Contract by Leveraging Account-based Marketing

Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company headquartered in Virginia, clinched a ten-year, $2 billion contract with VITA. Their B2B ABM marketing tactics included using marketing and business development teams that worked closely to understand VITA’s issues, needs, and priorities. They used all this information to create a focused branding campaign to target the key decision makers at VITA. They ensured that every interaction they had with VITA reinforced their IT expertise.

The Takeaway

These ABM tactics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optimizing your account-based marketing program. Confidence, attentiveness, and patience are key to achieving expected conversions from an ABM strategy.

FAQ

What are the types of ABM marketing?

Programmatic ABM (one-to-many approach), ABM Lite (one-to-few approach) and Strategic ABM (one-to-one approach) are the three types of ABM marketing.

Why is account-based marketing more effective than traditional B2B marketing?

Account-based marketing targets accounts with buyer intent. It increases the conversion rate and customer experience through content personalization and a close understanding of key accounts’ needs and challenges. This focused approach leads to a higher ROI.

What are the benefits of using account-based marketing software?

An account-based marketing software powered by AI can help you reach, engage, and convert target accounts and provide you with actionable data through your websites, CRM, and marketing automation platforms. It helps you grow your business quickly and efficiently.

Spotlight

GreenHouse Agency

GreenHouse Agency started with a question, a belief, and a vision.We wondered, what if every business, new and established, chose to apply a startup philosophy? How would that philosophy influence the strategic decisions they make? Would it accelerate the pace at which they are able to achieve their goals?

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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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Gaps are occurring in four core capabilities: lead scoring, account-based marketing, accelerated pipeline, and intention-based marketing. This report tiers factors that make up a model for better identification, engagement and conversion. The model coincides with the CMO Council and WM America’s thought leadership initiative to advance lead revenue science practices through a certified Lead Evaluation and Assurance Process, or LEAP model. “Marketers will need to take a few LEAPs of faith in the coming months, because sticking to the status quo is just not practical or possible anymore. As data becomes more critical than ever before, CMOs need to extend their visions for innovation and forward-thinking strategies,” according to Lee Salem, WM America’s Vice President of Sales. Methodology The report is based on a survey of over 170 heads of B2B marketing, sales, revenue, growth, demand gen and campaign execution in Q4 2023. 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The Council’s strategic interest groups include the Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Center, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE). To learn more, visit https://www.cmocouncil.org. About WM America WM America is a leading B2B marketing company specializing in targeted in-market demand generation. The intent database at WMA tracks the intent behavior of over 75 million business professionals globally, 24X7. The database is segmented into 3,300 categories. WMA keeps around-the-clock track of buying signals from each category in this database. Based on this extremely strong foundation of data points, the company delivers precisely targeted prospects for focused marketing. Accurate keyword search enables deriving of active content consumption and opt-in content downloads. 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We take pride in helping our customers drive deeper engagement with their target audiences and extract meaningful insights that result in revenue growth,” said Callan Young, CMO, ON24. “It is our honor to recognize the leading organizations that exemplify excellence in leveraging our platform to create digital experiences that not only meet but surpass their audience’s expectations.” The following organizations were recognized for delivering outstanding digital experiences on the ON24 platform in 2023: Danfossdrove product growth and customer retention by leveraging distributor, reseller and customer data to optimize its webinar and digital engagement program. FloQastinfluenced 82% of event pipeline in Q3 and created 120+ new active opportunities by routing high-quality leads from in-experience demo requests directly to sales. Global X ETFsincreased qualified, high-value leads in Australia by 22%, by integrating ON24 engagement data with their CRM and using the platform’s personalization capabilities. Informaticascaled a live event into a hybrid experience across three key regions simultaneously, driving registration and delivering a consistent customer experience on a global scale. Infopro Digitalincreased conversion rates and registrations by automating processes on the ON24 platform and making real-time adjustments based on customer feedback. Kasperskydrove product adoption and business growth by creating new relationships with prospects and fostering existing relationships with customers. KnowBe4generated over $300k in pipeline through an ON24-powered digital experience. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)achieved 100% participant satisfaction for its unique and impactful digital experience powered by the ON24 platform. PowerSchoolachieved record-breaking registration rates, 75 CTA clicks, over 400 poll responses and 300+ content downloads during an educational experience with ON24. S&P Globaldoubled marketing qualified leads and boosted engagement by designing an ON24 digital experience personalized to different customer segments. Tata Consultancy Servicesdrove revenue growth with record-high registrations for their webinar on ON24, resulting in 70% attendee participation across 30 countries. Texthelpsourced leads during a webinar series and converted at least 70% of them into marketing-qualified leads within 30 days. TOPdeskincreased revenue and improved its customer engagement by 7% YoY and extended the shelf life of its content with an on-demand hub. TravelMediaGroupclosed three deals from a single digital experience by creating a seamless and engaging customer experience on ON24. UCBachieved a 50%+ attendee conversion rate by enhancing the HCP’s experience and integrating ON24 engagement data with its business intelligence system. UnitedHealthcareachieved an 80% cost savings, increased attendee score and engagement with a new digital engagement strategy and an always-on content hub. Wood PLCsourced leads, increased audience engagement and automated continuing professional education credits on ON24, across different time zones. ZoomInfosurpassed webinar benchmarks by generating a record number of marketing-qualified leads and 190 scheduled demos, resulting in 10 closed-won deals. To learn more about 2023’s leaders in digital engagement, watch the on-demand webinar here. About ON24 ON24 is on a mission to re-imagine how companies engage, understand and build relationships with their audience in a digital world. Through our leading sales and marketing platform for digital engagement integrated with generative AI, businesses use our portfolio of webinar, virtual event and content experiences to drive engagement and generate first-party data, delivering ​revenue growth across the enterprise – from demand generation to customer success to partner enablement. ON24 powers digital engagement for industry-leading customers worldwide, including 3 of the 5 largest global technology companies, 3 of the 6 largest US banks, 3 of the 5 largest global healthcare companies, and 3 of the 5 largest global industrial manufacturers, enabling organizations to reach millions of professionals a month for billions of engagement minutes per year with all the first-party data being captured, generated and integrated from one place. ON24 is headquartered in San Francisco with global offices in North America, EMEA, and APAC. For more information, visit www.ON24.com.

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ABM Accounts

Bloomreach and Sonepar to Power Continued Search Relevance for Customers

Business Wire | January 12, 2024

Bloomreach, the platform fueling limitless e-commerce experiences, today announced Bloomreach Discovery will continue to power product discovery for Sonepar, the global world leader in B-to-B distribution of electrical products, solutions, and related services, as the companies renew their existing partnership. With Bloomreach Discovery’s AI-driven search and merchandising capabilities, Sonepar enables customers around the world to find what they want to buy — when, where, and how they want. “Sonepar is pleased to partner with Bloomreach as we continue to pursue our next stage of digital transformation,” said Fabrice del Aguila, SVP Digital Factory, Sonepar. “We look forward to leveraging Bloomreach’s expertise in product discovery as we become the first global B2B electrical distributor in the world to offer the best omnichannel experience to all our customers.” Sonepar leverages Bloomreach Discovery to drive personalized experiences across its omnichannel platform. Using rich data to refine search results, Bloomreach Discovery helps customers easily discover the products they want. It also accounts for a range of attributes and quantitative search queries, creating a search experience that is not only personalized, but personalized to the unique needs of B-to-B buyers. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Sonepar,” said Jordan Roper, General Manager and Head of Product, Bloomreach Discovery. “The B-to-B space has so much to gain from digital transformation, and Sonepar is a leader in making that transformation a reality. We’re proud to join them on this journey and look forward to continuing to support their omnichannel experience with the fast ROI and relevance of Bloomreach Discovery.” Learn more about how Bloomreach Discovery and Sonepar are working together to drive success. About Bloomreach Bloomreach personalizes the e-commerce experience. Its data engine unifies real-time customer and product data so businesses understand what customers really want. By connecting that understanding to every channel, the e-commerce experience becomes limitless — reflecting a changing customer as they shop. Amplified by the speed and scale of Loomi, Bloomreach's AI for e-commerce, this creates endless new paths to purchase, greater profitability, and fast business growth. Bloomreach products include: Engagement, a marketing automation platform; Discovery, an e-commerce search solution; Content, a headless CMS; and Clarity, AI-powered conversational shopping. The company has multiple AI patents and serves 850+ global brands including: Albertsons, Bosch, Puma, and Marks & Spencer. About Sonepar Sonepar is an independent family-owned company with global market leadership in B-to-B distribution of electrical products, solutions and related services. Through a dense network of brands spanning 40 countries, the Group has an ambitious transformation agenda to become the first global B-to-B electrical distributor to provide a fully digitalized and synchronized omnichannel experience to all customers. Drawing on the skill and passion of its 44,000 associates, Sonepar had sales of €32.4 billion in 2022. www.sonepar.com

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Events