Article | July 14, 2021
B2B marketers meticulously craft content plans to include an attractive landing page, a remarkable eBook, and paid ads for maximum engagement. They write the slickest nurture emails, supporting blogs, and over-the-top articles. Nearly tens of thousands of dollars and a couple of months go into the campaign creation, but it stops abruptly.
How can this be? The data collected for the eBook was filled with insights that made them shudder. The strategy was executed to perfection but didn't make any sense!
Does this situation sound familiar to you as well? You must have faced the same! It often happens in B2B companies when sales and marketing are not fully aligned on their goals, messaging, and targeting audience. When you spread a wide net for lead generation, most of the leads may not be relevant. So, what should we do?
Here comes the protagonist of the B2B marketing story:
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
ABM curtails the time spent on irrelevant accounts while decreasing overall money spending. In addition, as businesses, after the pandemic, are starting to realize the potential of personalized campaigns, ABM is rapidly becoming the go-to strategy for B2B tech companies. As a result, they are aiming to improve their marketing and sales alignment.
Importantly, ABM demands sales and marketing alignment. It ends those hair-tearing, soul-destroying arguments on which leads to focus on. Now both teams have to keep the hyper-targeted focus on specific accounts, which will result in time-saving, the flow of quality leads, and, thus, your ROI will be up.
But before going about creating effective ABM campaigns, let's quickly read the factors to consider while implementing ABM.
Factors to Consider to Implement ABM
Get your Sales & Marketing teams to work together
To create an effective ABM campaign, marketing and sales teams must converge and act following a shared strategy. Furthermore, to expect excellent results, teams involved in the campaign should use the same data from diverse sources. Thus, it creates a data-inspired ideal customer profile (ICP).
To Identify Accounts
For defining target accounts, consider these factors:
Revenue potential: Your target audience should fall into your product or service's price line.
Best fit accounts: Find accounts and individual buyers who are aligned with your marketing personas.
Importance of Strategy: Aim for accounts that match your company's business strategy. Identify if they are your ideal customer or not.
Product requirements: Start with the low-hanging fruit, which means identifying accounts that can make precise use of the solution you're offering.
To Establish KPIs
To know whether you are rocking with your ABM campaigns, it's crucial to decide your KPIs. You can consider the following to confirm it:
How many companies match your customer personas?
Account and role-specific conversion KPIs such as booked meetings created deals, and purchases completed.
The accounts that visit your website or engage with the content types.
Thus, you'll have to track KPIs at every stage of your ABM funnel to determine the success of your campaign.
Prepare Multi-Channel Content
Relevant and engaging content is the root of every marketing campaign. Still, marketers should personalize ABM content so that they can timely reach each target. So, it's essential to keep the process of messaging focused on the account's pain points, budget restraints, and additional demands.
It is because your campaigns are hyper-targeted, where you'll need to spread them across multiple content channels to offer numerous opportunities. Doing so will help to gain engagement, and then you can calculate budgets for clicks and channels. In addition, blend touchpoints such as paid ads, blogs, personalized email, text messaging, and multi-touch SDR strategies will help create effective ABM campaigns.
Here are effective steps to execute an effective ABM campaign.
5 Steps to Create Effective ABM Campaigns
Build your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
As Account-based marketing is more like spearfishing, you need to be conscientious about who you target. It is because this type of marketing revolves entirely around who you reach out to. So, it is imperative that you pick companies that would benefit the most from your product or services and be your top-tier customers if they get converted to purchase your service. Hence, the first and most foundational thing for an effective ABM campaign is knowing who you need to target.
Many companies enjoy massive audiences. Therefore, they can increase revenue if they successfully reach them. However, with B2B SaaS companies in marketing, when they try to please everyone, they usually end up pleasing no one. It is because they produce standard messaging that doesn't speak to any group of people. So here, it becomes vital to build your IPC before creating an ABM campaign strategy.
Invest in the Right Account-Based Marketing Tools
To create successful account-based marketing (ABM) campaign, you need to have the right tools to help your team effortlessly execute your ABM strategy and monitor its progress simultaneously. Here are some of the best tools that you can use effectively:
Using a platform like ZoomInfo helps you quickly search companies based on their industry, number of employees, and current services. Then, you can easily set ABM campaigns based on information collected through ZoomInfo and proceed further to target.
SalesIntel is a sales intelligence platform. It provides your sales team with verified numbers of the target account. Using this platform, your team can evade gatekeepers and increase the chances of securing a targeting process.
Everstring's platform enables your ABM team to develop a predictive behavior model where target accounts can be identified and be more likely to convert into sales.
Create Relevant Content
Now, you have your ICP and personas penned down; it's time to communicate. But how do you make sure that you are effectively communicating with each account? And how to properly showcase the value that your solution provides to drive for their companies?
The secret lies in applying information gathered in each stage in the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
For an effective account-based marketing campaign, create content for each of these stages—general product & company information for Awareness, technical details for Consideration, and urgency for Conversion. Every piece of content in each step should be designed to appropriately educate prospects on their buying journey and push them to the next phase.
Here are some content types for the most successful ABM campaigns:
Emails to each persona (includes initial outreach, follow-ups, responses, and more)
Landing pages that provide information and facilitate actions
Thought leadership blog and articles for the Awareness stage
Product-specific pages for consideration
Testimonials for the Conversion stage
Organizing your content in such a framework enables you to find and fill content gaps while creating a comprehensive plan to address each persona in the customer journey.
Include Messaging Channels
You can use many avenues to engross prospects in an ABM campaign. Any medium that you use to communicate directly can be effectively utilized.
So, it's essential to focus on the most popular ABM channels like LinkedIn, Email, and telecommunication. Each method has its benefits and effectiveness to get your message to the right people in the right way. Here, you will understand how to go with it these channels:
LinkedIn is the most utilized channel for ABM campaigns because of its messaging capability and enrichment abilities. It consents you to send messages for free. Additionally, you promptly gain all of their professional information when you connect with a contact, including roles and email ids.
However, the best part of LinkedIn outreach is you are considered as a person, not a bot, when you reach out to contacts. In addition, you have a profile and a resume, which humanizes you. Due to these factors, LinkedIn is one of the most accurate and up-to-date B2B outreach platforms available, as everyone constantly updates their LinkedIn profile with professional milestone information.
Having being beneficial, keep in mind that there are some limitations with LinkedIn—you can send approximately a hundred connections per week. This being said, you can use this channel for the most important contacts on your list.
Email's largest advantage is that it doesn't have a character limit on initial outreach messages. Thus, you can write as much as you want. However, some trade-offs go along with that freedom.
As email being cheap, automatable, easy to use, and can reach thousands of contacts at a time, it's utilized by almost every B2B marketer. But, at the same time, this results in the clogged inbox situation, creating spam filters due to high levels of outreach competition. In addition, this makes consumers suspicious of emails received from unrecognized senders.
But the good news is that you can purchase email tools to help manage your email outreach campaigns. These can automate email message sending to ensure that you're constantly optimizing your outreach to prospects. Emails are a must-have for an effective email outreach campaign, which will exponentially surge your reach, make you smarter with analytics, and create an effective ABM campaign.
Phone outreach is the most effective channel to outreach. It also gives you a chance to really get to know your prospective customer and their fears and dreams so that you can:
Figure out if your product would be a good fit for the customer.
Know how to quickly and effectively communicate the value of your product to that customer.
Once you set up accounts with the proper channels that you plan to push people to with your ABM outreach, you can create simple retargeting ads that guide them further through the customer journey. These ads will result in Calls to Action that offer case studies or white paper resources on your solution or industry to give your prospects market insights and real-world examples of how your solution can benefit companies.
On top of it, when getting your logo and message in front of prospects again, retargeting ads perform splendidly compared to traditional methods. For example, a recent MarketLand article explained that retargeting ads often have Click-Through-Rates of "0.30%-0.95%, which is 3-10x costlier than the industry average."
Resultantly, you must pay close attention to who your audience is that you're serving these ads to, as well as where and how often you're delivering them. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it'll get easier over time. A properly executed account-based campaign will provide the results you want. Doing this will allow you to reap the enormous rewards that retargeting can bestow upon your ABM campaign.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ABM marketing campaign?
Account-based marketing (ABM) strategy concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market. The campaigns designed are to engage each account, basing the marketing message on the specific attributes and needs of the account.
How do I make an ABM campaign?
Follow these steps to make an effective ABM campaign:
Create a team that is dedicated to ABM only
Clear your goals and then make a strategy
Find your technology
Identify the right accounts
Pick the right channels
Execute your campaigns
Choose messaging platform
Spread relevant content (messages)
Why is ABM important?
ABM supports structure marketing efforts and resources on your key accounts to drive the most revenue. Doing ABM will maximize the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources. It will also help build the communication channel with sales to have an aligned sales and marketing organization.
"name": "What is an ABM marketing campaign?",
"text": "Account-based marketing (ABM) strategy concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market. The campaigns designed are to engage each account, basing the marketing message on the specific attributes and needs of the account."
"name": "How do I make an ABM campaign?",
"text": "Follow these steps to make an effective ABM campaign:
• Create a team that is dedicated to ABM only
• Clear your goals and then make a strategy
• Find your technology
• Identify the right accounts
• Pick the right channels
• Execute your campaigns
• Measure everything
• Choose the messaging platform
• Spread relevant content (messages)"
"name": "Why is ABM important?",
"text": "ABM supports structure marketing efforts and resources on your key accounts to drive the most revenue. Doing ABM will maximize the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources. It will also help build the communication channel with sales to have an aligned sales and marketing organization."
Article | March 20, 2020
Some B2B marketers tell me they think account-based marketing (ABM) will eventually replace demand marketing. Some think ABM is just a new buzzword for the data-driven demand marketing they have always practiced. Others tell me that demand marketing and ABM are completely different strategies that should exist on their own within a company. To me, all of these different viewpoints are rooted in the fact that the B2B marketing ecosystem is in a state of rapid evolution and innovation and that’s fantastic for those of us in the B2B marketing profession!
Article | February 17, 2020
The B2B sales cycle can be a long journey with many twists and turns in the road. For example, when you’re selling a complex service or piece of software that’s going to impact multiple processes within a business, you need to be patient and attentive in your lead nurturing process. However, here I want to talk about one powerful approach to give your lead nurturing strategy extra fuel and encourage a faster conversion. This is focused on Account-based Marketing (ABM), an approach that has become increasingly popular within B2B organizations over recent years. In his Smart Insights article, Adrian O’Gara defines ABM as: “a strategic approach that coordinates personalized sales and marketing efforts, to target specific accounts for new business and create deeper and broader relationships with existing customers.” Essentially, ABM creates “markets of one” based on specific accounts, allowing you to make your marketing efforts highly specific and personal.
Article | July 19, 2021
Account-based marketing is the ultimate personalization tool.
Instead of incurring unnecessary marketing expenses, an account-centric strategy segregates vital business accounts and markets directly. This means, by appealing to specific market leaders, who can benefit from what your company has to offer, you can make marketing efforts more tailored and effective.
ABM strategy is not new by any means. Still, it has gained widespread recognition over the past few years as it's evolved along with the progression of technology. An entirely tech-based, the marketing automation solutions have made account-based marketing more measurable and affordable for all-sized businesses. Thus, ABM automation gained pace.
Research from Marketo suggests that account-based marketing delivers a better return on investment than other various strategies for 97% of marketers.
Marketing automation plays a vital role in driving impressive results. It allows companies to target their outreach based on interests and actions. But what makes ABM automation win the rat race?
ABM Automation: AI is the Driver
The reason why ABM automation has recently emerged is the availability of AI. Initially, AI was used by ABM to propel the automatic selection of target accounts through predictive analytics. Also, it is driving intelligent marketing nurturing and other marketing responses based on how the targets respond, their needs, and so on.
If you're targeting 100 accounts as potential new corporate customers, those accounts will visit different pages of your site. Some will download white papers and respond to emails. You will get leads from the targeted companies through these activities, and thus you can knock at their door.
AI enables quick responding to a dynamically changing engagement in the ABM platform and delivers the best action. This is how automation with AI is emerging in ABM platforms.
You can take four steps to automate your ABM to drive leads and create a successful ABM automated platform.
4 Steps to Plan ABM Automation
Draw the Automation Cycle
To start with ABM automation, firstly, create a blueprint of the targeted business. In this, you should identify the complete process of lead generation. The trail looks like; subscriber, lead, MQLs, SQLs, and a client to target. In this process, you cannot communicate at each phase. When one clicks on the particular link of your website, you should have a system-generated mail to send.
Once you track the movement of the lead, quickly trigger the sales team to take the follow-ups. This saves the time of salespersons, and therefore ABM strategies are implemented wisely.
Integrate your ABM automation software and CRM
Before you build your account-based marketing campaigns, you'll have to integrate your ABM automation software and CRM.
Integrating marketing automation tools is vital in the automation process. If your ABM software doesn't interact with the email marketing software, you won't be able to automate the process. In addition, if it doesn't relate to your CRM, it will be difficult to know if leads converted into accounts and track the ROI of an account-based campaign. So, to integrate ABM automation, you'll have to research and keep ICP, content, target accounts, and CRM all in one place.
Tailor Your Content
Ensure you're sending the right message to the right target account. Creating customized landing pages looking at how people have recently interacted with your brand is a great way to execute automation. Using ABM tools, you can automatically message target accounts with relevant messages when they engage with you and help you build the connections that become conversions.
Create Dashboard to Assess Efforts
The last step to automate your ABM platform is to track and measure the efforts you have put in to see information at-a-glance.
You get information about your target accounts on your dashboard, such as open deals, company score, total pipeline, and the number of decision-makers identified. In addition, you should consider ongoing A/B tests when started with ABM automation. This is because you can see what messaging appeals to your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).
ABM is a result-driven approach. ITSMA reports that 87% of marketers consider ABM as delivering the highest returns. But without automation, ABM becomes a strewn process. Marketing automation lets your team offer a personalized approach and immediate outreach with valuable content that pushes visitors to become regular clients. Thus, using ABM software tools — ideally the marketing automation tools — can help you automate and scale your strategy and adds value to your ABM efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the account-based marketing tactics?
Account-based marketing uses hyper-personalized tactics to attract, engage, and convert high-value accounts. Similarly, it uses emails to contact existing customers and target consumers and social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and more to reach out to prospects.
Why is an account-based marketing strategy so important?
The importance of ABM lies in structuring marketing efforts and resources on key accounts to drive the most revenue. ABM maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources along with building the communication channel with sales to align with sales and marketing functions.
How to create the automated ABM strategy?
To create the automated ABM strategy, follow these steps:
Create your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Align your target accounts
Integrate ABM, marketing automation software, and CRM
Set up a dashboard for assessment
"name": "What are the account-based marketing tactics?",
"text": "Account-based marketing uses hyper-personalized tactics to attract, engage, and convert high-value accounts. Similarly, it uses emails to contact existing customers and target consumers and social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and more to reach out to prospects."
"name": "Why is an account-based marketing strategy so important?",
"text": "The importance of ABM lies in structuring marketing efforts and resources on key accounts to drive the most revenue. ABM maximizes the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources along with building the communication channel with sales to align with sales and marketing functions."
"name": "How to create the automated ABM strategy?",
"text": "To create the automated ABM strategy, follow these steps:
Create your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Align your target accounts
Integrate ABM, marketing automation software, and CRM
Set up a dashboard for assessment"