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.
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.
Optimize your target accounts using the following ways:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.