ABM is B2B marketing with a higher ROI. It involves going after fewer accounts with a more personalized approach. So, account selection is vital. No matter the budget, if you fumble the ball in the account selection process, your campaign is bound to fail. Guesswork is not an option. You need to stringently research your ideal accounts based on your ICP (ideal customer profile).
In an interview with Media 7, Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World, talked about the common mistakes companies make while implementing brand strategy
. Not budgeting your ABM strategy correctly may be one of them.
"One of the most common mistakes companies make is implementing a brand strategy that isn’t aligned to the organization’s overall business goal."
Businesses that want to transition into ABM are often confused and have several questions about ABM implementation
. One of the most important questions they have is about budgeting.
According to a 2016 report by SiriusDecisions, 33% of companies allocated at least 30% of their marketing budgets to ABM. In 2017 that number increased up to 52% — a 57% year over year increase. Their 2019 State of Account-Based Marketing Study showed that the average ABM budget is around $350,000 excluding head count costs.
Going by these statistics, how much should you invest in your ABM strategy? It is common to finalize a strategy way in advance. Allocating budgets to a certain strategy and then deciding to execute ABM can be a pain.
Before deciding on your ABM budget and streamlining your ABM funding strategy, consider the following factors:
Factors to Consider for ABM Funding
Know Your Target Accounts
Business size, decision-makers, departments, positions, interests, demographics, get all the information you can on your target accounts. Make sure you are investing your money in the right target accounts. The bigger your target account, the more stakeholders, and departments there are to manage. This may considerably increase the cost and complexity of your campaign.
Your Advertising Budget
Zero in on the platforms you want to use to engage your target audience. Once you do this, you will get an idea of how much you need to spend to reach your audience on these platforms and get maximum engagement.
Additional marketing techniques like seminars, webinars, conferences, and other events should also be considered in your ABM funding.
Gather information on how well your target accounts know your brand. If they already know your brand, then you are saving time and money on creating a new relationship from scratch. However, if your brand does not have a good reputation or reach, creating new leads requires more resources than creating new opportunities.
Your Product’s Complexity
If your product or service complexity is high, you need to work harder to explain its advantages and benefits to convince the stakeholders of your target accounts. This effort is directly proportional to the amount of money you need to spend.
Your Customer’s Needs
The customer’s need for your product or service defines how much you need to spend on advertising. If there is no urgency or if there are many similar solutions that they have used in the past, it becomes difficult to convince them to use your product or service. In short, if they don’t need your product, you need to spend a better part of your budget on impressing them.
The more competitors you have, the more aggressive your campaign needs to be. An aggressive campaign will need a bigger budget. It gets trickier if your competitors already have an established relationship with your target account.
However, if you have the target account’s CLV (customer lifetime value) figured out, you can easily determine how much you need to spend on pursuing a particular account.
To deliver hyper personalized account-based experiences, you need to find suitable technological platforms to launch your ABM strategy. Platforms like ABM Unified Workforce are an ideal start because of their unified approach to strategy implementation. Consider allocating a part of your budget to technology integrations so you remain up-to-speed with modern implementations like marketing automation
. It will also help you optimize your campaign results.
You need knowledge, human resources, and technology to launch and successfully run account-based marketing campaigns. Alternatively, you can also hire new staff or train the people you already have. Partnering with an ABM agency is also a great option. It not only saves you the time and effort of finding the right marketers, but it also delivers the results and metrics you expect. There are many service providers in the market who can help you kick-start your ABM campaign.
Funding Your ABM Strategy
Now that you know the factors that should be considered for your ABM funding, let us look at some tips to enhance your budgeting.
Identify Target Account CLV
In ABM, less is more, so identify target accounts based on their CLV. It may require three or more years for your ABM campaign to show results, so make sure you periodically assess your target account’s CLV before making big investments.
Tie your technology budget with sales. Support your goals and streamline your processes by using martech. Collaborating with specialized agencies that have talent and technology can uplift your ABM campaign. Not only do agencies quickly launch your campaign, but they also save you the trouble of recruiting new staff. However, make sure you engage a trustworthy agency with the best technology offerings and expertise.
Get Approval and Support from Stakeholders
Get your stakeholders on your side by justifying your budget with a list of target accounts and their projected value. If you are planning to implement ABM, then you should already have a preliminary version of your ABM funding proposal ready.
Use relationships, reputation, and revenue, the three crucial R’s to measure your performance. These should be your benchmarks and should be assessed periodically.
ABM funding takes effort and time but doing it diligently can bring an increase in ROI, brand awareness, revenue, and confidence in ABM.
What is the first step in your ABM funding strategy?
The first step in your ABM funding strategy is to know your target accounts through stringent research.
What are the three important Rs for measuring ABM performance?
The three important Rs for measuring ABM’s performance are relationship, reputation, and revenue.