Buying Group Marketing: Another Evolution of ABM

Apurva Pathak | May 23, 2022 | 446 views

Buying Group Marketing: Another Evolution of ABM
B2B marketers use account-based marketing (ABM) to generate business because it allows them to drive focused account-level interactions. These interactions are a result of relevant and customized messaging. Today, the messaging focuses on not just one decision-maker but a group within the target account that green lights a buying decision. This natural evolution in ABM implementation is called buying group marketing (BGM). It isn’t a new concept but keeps evolving. B2B marketers are religiously implementing BGM in their ABM strategy to get a competitive edge and to keep up with the changing trends in the ABM industry.

Carefully created buyer personas are used to create hyper-personalized campaigns for buying group members. In this sense, BGM is a person-centric marketing approach, differentiating it from an account-based marketing approach.

While talking about buying group marketing, Dmitri Lisitski, CEO and Co-Founder, Influ2, a B2B targeted advertising solutions provider, said,

"Buying Group Marketing will empower B2B marketers to achieve greater precision by extending this approach more holistically across their programs."


How Does BGM Drive Revenue?

Revenue factors into every effort that aims to increase sales numbers, retain customers, and engage prospective customers. Let us look into how BGM drives revenue in the B2B domain.

Closing the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

Organizations struggle to bring sales and marketing teams together. They max out their budgets to make it happen, but more often than not, they do not get the expected results. Additionally, their marketing automation platform doesn’t make the connection between the multiple leads coming from the same account. This lack of insight can affect the performance of the entire demand management process, such as sales, revenue development, and customer organization. 

Buying behaviors are constantly shifting. It is crucial to use a fresh approach that enables the teams to connect directly with the target accounts’ decision-makers, offering them just what they need through effective campaigns and driving revenue is crucial.

In the buying group framework, marketing and sales align their goals and operations, share important insights on buyer personas, orchestrate messaging for campaigns, and collate data from platforms such as CRM and sales engagement tools to successfully find common ground for approaching a buying group. They are no longer stuck on one side of the MQL wall but are involved in every stage of the conversion process. As a result, they guide specific buying group members to make a buying decision and generate revenue.

Putting Buyer Experience on Top

In a Forrester survey, 94% of respondents said they sold to buying groups that had three or more individuals, while 38% said that they sold to groups of 10 or more.


Purchase decisions in large enterprises are never restricted to one individual. The bigger the purchase decision, the bigger the buying committee. The bigger the buying committee, the larger the pool of buyer personas that need targeting.

For example, if the HR department of a growing organization realizes that it needs a new human capital resource management system (HCRM) to manage its HR-related processes, then a buying group is created to choose a new system. When this group goes to the market to find a solution, it becomes a potential lead for HCRM providers, and the lead is called a demand unit. Targeting this demand unit with not just the HCRM but also a travel and expense solution (T & E) is possible with BGM.

In BGM:

  • Every step in the buyer’s journey is based on buyer personas and presents value to the buying group.
  • Every demand management process focuses on the buying group.

Through this approach, multiple types of selling opportunities can be explored. All this effort appeals to different buying group members in different ways and will push them to get in touch with the sales team and make a purchase decision.

Offering Solutions to Pain Points

Information designed precisely to complete the purchase should be provided to every member of the buying group committee. Interestingly, before making a purchase decision, members of the buying group will explore the content of different solution providers. According to a recent study by Dimensional Research, 90% of buyers thought that positive online reviews of a product or service influenced their buying decision. This is just one type of information that the buying group members will consume before they make a buying decision.

With the help of real-time intent targeting or cognitive product targeting, it is easier to understand the customer’s intent through channels like websites, apps, and email. The terms searched, specific or broad, can point to the needs and requirements of a member of the committee. Once the intent is clear, buyer personas can be segmented and targeted with prescriptive content that talks about solutions to their pain points and how the expected results are achieved. For example, if a C-level buying committee member displays a high level of intent activity, then it is highly likely that he or she is looking to make a strategic investment. Such an opportunity will be ready for sales conversion in a couple of months.

How Should You Implement BGM on Sales Funnel?

We have already established the importance of buying group engagement in driving leads through the sales funnel. When sales and marketing teams share insights, marketing becomes effective and tangible. Now, let us take a look at BGM implementation in the sales funnel:


Top of the Funnel

While targeting a buying group at the top of the funnel, the focus should be on creating awareness and understanding the demand of the target account. Social media ads and relevant landing pages that act as lead magnets can help achieve this goal.


Middle of the Funnel

For buying groups in the middle of the funnel, engaging and educating the groups is imperative. Posting relevant content on social media handles can foster interaction with the members. LinkedIn messages from sales development representatives with ad and landing page support are effective.


Bottom of the Funnel

Conversations that lead to conversion start when the buying group is at the bottom of the funnel. In this stage, the account executives present members with compelling content that addresses their pain points and influences them enough to make a purchase decision.

While executing BGM, B2B marketers should begin by understanding the business needs of the target account and create a comprehensive marketing strategy to address these needs. Orchestrating a holistic experience for the buying committee through high-quality, relevant content is the next step. Achieving a strategic, operational and practical alignment with sales will ensure success and higher conversions.

Amplitude Drives 5.6x ROI on Ad Spend with Influ2’s Help

With Influ2’s person-based advertising, Amplitude, a digital optimization system provider, focused 100% on advertising to key decision-makers within its target accounts. Influ2 used engagement insights to create and execute personalized and attributable B2B marketing. The result was a 5.6x ROI on ad spend.


Last Word

ABM marketing has evolved with the help of buying group marketing. Implementing BGM with an account-based marketing strategy can create lasting relationships with target accounts, retain existing clients and bring new leads.


FAQ


What are the three important tenets of buying group marketing?

The three important tenets of buying group marketing are understanding the needs of the target account, attaining sales and marketing alignment, and creating a holistic marketing strategy that addresses the pain points of the target account.


How is buyer experience different than customer experience?

Customer experience focuses on the existing customers in the pipeline, while buyer experience focuses on the prospective customers’ complete buyer journey.


How can you engage top-of-the-funnel audiences in buying group marketing?

You can engage top-of-the-funnel audiences through social media ads and relevant landing pages that display content relevant to the needs of the target account.

Spotlight

SCHERMER

SCHERMER is a Minneapolis-based, globally-focused marketing agency that leads B2B brands from Relevance to Revenue. We build brands and engineer experiences that drive buyers to and through their B2B buying process, utilizing a unique fusion of brand, demand and digital capabilities. We specialize in branding, go-to-market strategy, marcom, content marketing, and sales enablement, combined with expertise in digital, social and UX – enabled by research and empowered by analytics.

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