Over the last couple years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way customers engage with brands. The effect of this shift has also trickled down to the B2B domain. The marketing strategies that drove sales and revenue pre-COVID no longer work. In response, brands are focusing on revolutionizing their marketing strategies by implementing ABM to optimize their processes and drive a higher ROI. Today, 67% of brands leverage account-based marketing.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is the answer to B2B marketers’ struggles as they navigate through the volatile business situation that the pandemic has created. It uses content personalization, focused targeting of high-value accounts, and aligns the marketing strategy with business goals. Through multiple platforms, brand awareness, and optimized processes, ABM gives a higher ROI than any other marketing strategy.
In an interview with Media 7, Mark Emond, Founder and President of Demand Spring, talked about B2B marketing strategies
, content, and technology stacks.
“In today’s long B2B buying journey, buyers are in control and they are interacting across multiple channels. The key is to use data and technology to serve up highly targeted content across channels, tuned to the stage of the buyer’s journey a prospect is in, and what their behavior shows they are most apt to engage in.”
The following five emerging trends in account-based marketing have defined ABM in 2021 and may influence the way it evolves in 2022:
Manually researching target account data requires resources and time. To overcome this challenge, businesses use integrated marketing automation and CRM to collect firmographic data (company size and location), technographic data (target company’s technological choices), behavioral and intent data, predictive analytics, and more to optimize their ABM campaigns.
and CRM keep track of this integration so that brands can segment their prospects effectively. With the help of this integration, they can also find accounts similar to their target accounts. Breaking down internal info silos for cross-departmental collaboration promotes using the valuable customer intelligence that departments have. For example, the product management department can share the customization preferences of the clients they work with. This information can help marketers offer clients just what they want. Data integration helps steer ABM campaigns in the right direction.
A wide array of tools to simplify and optimize account-based marketing are available on the market. These tools are used for CRM and marketing automation, intent monitoring, campaign execution, orchestration, measuring and reporting the performance of the ABM campaign, and content syndication. These tools are a part of the martech stack that brands use to find key accounts closest to their ideal customer profile (ICP). They facilitate better resource allocation so that personnel can spend more time on personalized interactions with the target accounts.
B2B businesses prefer using marketing automation platforms that they can customize to fit their needs, like sending email marketing
(behavior based email), CRM and sales automation, campaign tracking, account-based digital marketing, and analyzing the performance of their ABM campaign, instead of creating a martech stack from scratch. They choose software that can have numerous integrations, products, and services to better adapt to changing circumstances.
Omnichannel presence is one of the most influential emerging trends in account-based marketing. Brands need to be present and relevant in the lives of their customers. They do this by using different channels for communication and engagement so that their relationship is deep and meaningful, focusing on understanding their problems and offering effective solutions.
A 2019 study by Gartner found that B2B buyers only spent 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. In the current pandemic situation, in-person events and meetings are replaced by AI-powered chat bots, behavior-based emails, personalized website content, and account-based digital advertising so that customers receive a steady flow of information from businesses across different channels. Marketing automation streamlines this omnichannel communication in ABM. However, it can also complicate things for buyers because of the barrage of information they receive. The Gartner study found that 77% of B2B customers found their purchase journey difficult. Striking a careful balance is necessary while integrating new channels into your strategy.
According to a 2020 ABM Benchmark Survey Report, 42% of respondents are personalising their content to increase account engagement and build long-term relationships. Businesses are creating tailored content for specific industries, roles, titles, challenges, and needs. Their content strategy is based on mapping content to suit a specific buyer persona. They engage the buyer at every stage. As one of the most important emerging trends in account-based marketing, customized content is making a huge difference in lead generation, conversion, and retargeting accounts.
The latest tools allow B2B marketers to personalize content based on target accounts’ interests and preferences. Selecting an appropriate content format, topics of interest, and the response to the use of respected industry influencers are mapped to create hyper-personalized content to better connect with prospects, especially decision-makers. Using marketing automation can modernize this process and deliver extraordinary results in terms of conversions and lead nurturing.
Assessing the performance of an ABM campaign is of paramount importance if marketers want to meet their ROI expectations. To keep up with the emerging trends in marketing and analyze campaign performance, B2B marketers are focusing on account-centric metrics. Generated revenue and the number of accounts gained and retained are mapped using metric tools. Marketers also focus on KPIs like win rate, pipeline velocity, pipeline contribution, and account engagement score to measure the success of their ABM campaigns. As account-based marketing is evolving, it is crucial to map campaign performance so any weaknesses can be taken care of and the campaign can be optimized for better results.
Connecting siloed data sets across the entire content strategy becomes easy because of these ABM-specific metrics. These metrics gather valuable information that impacts purchase decisions as prospects move through the sales and marketing cycle.
How Snapchat’s Bitmoji Brings Traffic to Its Discover Page
Snapchat’s Bitmoji app was launched in 2016 so that users could create their own personalized cartoon avatars. Every user’s Bitmoji appears on the Discover page, where advertisements and brand content are also displayed. This way, traffic comes to the Discover page for Bitmoji but ends up being exposed to brand content and advertisements. This is a great illustration of how personalized content can drive traffic.
B2B marketers are keeping up with the changing and emerging trends in account-based marketing to get the most out of their campaigns. In 2022, ABM is expected to flourish and optimize the demand generation and conversion process.
What is the future of ABM?
ABM is expected to become robust with the use of technology like marketing automation to enhance the customer experience.
Why should businesses use account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing motivates marketing and sales teams to work together, identify target accounts, craft campaigns, and align individual accounts through the pipeline.