understand this strategy and how it can benefit your business – WAU
Account-based Marketing is a B2B strategy that is based on creating targeted actions for a target company.
Have you ever heard of account-based marketing or account-based marketing?
Abbreviated as ABM, this strategy is not the newest, but it has started to become more commented in recent years.
This is due to the popularity that the use of this type of marketing had in B2B companies of different sizes.
However, even with this market opening for ABM, many marketers still do not understand the concept and application of this strategy very well.
We have prepared this article to show you what Account-Based Marketing is all about and we have listed a series of tips for implementing this method in your company.
Check it out below!
What is account-based marketing?
ABM can be understood as a personalized B2B marketing strategy focused on a specific target company (account).
All marketing, relationship and sales actions are focused on the profile, needs and objectives of this account.
Rather than directing efforts to attract and convert as many qualified prospects and leads as possible, account-based marketing goes in the opposite direction.
You are the one who chooses the companies you want to have as customers.
From there, an entire personalized marketing campaign is prepared to convert that specific account.
To make it even easier to understand the concept of account-based marketing, we made this complete video on the subject. Check out!
Although the focus is on the collective, communication remains individual
When you set up an Inbound Marketing strategy in conjunction with email marketing, for example, the relationship is made individually with each lead, right?
This structure is maintained in ABM.
The difference is that all leads from a specific company are included in a segmented group.
Instead of trying to sell your solutions to each of these people, you work on the collective benefits. That is, the gains that the company can have with its offer.
But what about leads generated from other companies?
Well, these will be maintained in your regular Inbound and email marketing campaigns. The idea is not to oppose different strategies, but to complement them with account-based marketing.
This is a type of marketing that focuses on a very narrow target audience for more success.
After all, if you dig deeper into the relationship with fewer accounts, it is easier to promote content and offers that generate more value for them, isn’t it?
What is the role of technology in the functioning of ABM?
Today, there is a greater interest from B2B companies and marketing professionals in ABM.
This is related to the opportunities offered by technology.
For example, to choose which accounts will be targeted by a campaign, you need a thorough data analysis to be more likely to get it right.
With the use of tools such as marketing automation platforms and CRM systems, it is possible to make this analysis based on the prospects and leads that best relate to the company.
But how to build a personalized and scalable campaign?
With marketing automation, sales force and email marketing systems, everything is simpler. It is possible to automate, customize and monitor the contacts made with the target companies.
Realize that the use of technology simplifies and facilitates the development of ABM strategies for the most diverse companies.
How to put Account-Based Marketing into practice?
To better understand how ABM works, we have selected 8 tactics to apply this method successfully in your company.
1. Create a base of qualified leads for ABM
Let’s start with the account pre-selection steps.
The first is the formation of a lead base that serves as a sample for choosing target companies.
For these accounts to meet your selection criteria, you need to filter them. One of the best ways to sift through this more specific target audience is by forming an email list.
These lists are usually made up of contacts who have shown an interest in your content or offers.
Many new leads are formed with only basic information, such as name and email – which is not enough to choose a target company.
Therefore, the mission is to continue this relationship until extracting more relevant information from these contacts, such as the names, types and sizes of the companies they work for, as well as their respective positions.
If you can build a base of qualified leads in this way, the choice of accounts will be easier.
2. Align your sales and marketing teams
One of the advantages of Account-Based Marketing is the alignment between the marketing and sales teams, also known as vendarketing.
This alignment is necessary, because the two sectors need to come together to determine the selection criteria and the profiles of the accounts that will be targeted by the campaigns.
In fact, the campaigns will also be planned and executed jointly by the two teams.
They need to share goals, indicators and service level agreements (SLAs), and they must define ways to complement their relationship actions with companies.
3. Define the account selection criteria
With the marketing and sales teams together, it’s time to establish the rules for choosing the target companies.
Preference goes, of course, to companies that can bring greater value to the possible contracts signed.
On the other hand, it is important to consider customers according to their location, type of business, size, market share and their influence with the public.
It is also important to take into account other aspects developed during your previous relationship with these companies.
For example, the company’s level of education with the offer you sell and their engagement with your blog posts, social networks and email are important factors for analysis.
Companies that meet their criteria must be assessed as likely targets for their campaigns and their efforts will now be directed towards them.
4. Understand how each of these companies works
Once the accounts are chosen, it is time to study them. Do one research on the organizational structure of these companies.
Find out who the decision makers are, how many people spend buying a product / service, what the average purchase cycle is and whether these companies already have experience with the solutions you sell.
In addition, gather information such as the organization’s goals, challenges and problems. This way, you will know how your business can help these companies solve their pain.
You can do this research through internet searches, interviews or forms on landing pages (as long as rich material is offered in return).
5. Prepare personalized content
Now, it’s time to get your hands dirty and create the content targeted for each of these accounts.
Personalization is essential in this strategy, as the content of one campaign does not fit the other.
The materials need to be designed with a focus on the problems and interests of each account.
Even if two target companies have similar characteristics, the contents must be different, since there will always be a relevant aspect that differentiates them (such as the experience of using the service and the internal organization).
Therefore, it is recommended to select very few accounts to be the targets of these campaigns. Imagine the work you would have to do to create different types of personalized content for each of these companies?
6. Draw the nutrition flows for each account
Contact with these companies should be done predominantly by email, as this route allows for more direct (one-to-one) communication.
However, making these contacts manually is something that will take a long time and make your campaign more expensive.
The best thing to do is to create and automate nutrition flows to these accounts. For this, prepare a sequential path that leads leads to the bottom of the funnel.
You can do this by sending content that educates these audiences more about your solution in a more direct tone, addressing the problems and goals of these companies. After all, you need to keep personalizing.
7. Follow the news and social media accounts
Throughout your pre- and post-purchase relationship with these companies, it is natural that changes in the profiles of these companies will occur.
It may be a cut in investments, higher than expected growth, a change in command or the inclusion of new products in the portfolio.
There are a number of factors that can affect how you relate to these accounts.
That said, it is indicated that your company continues to study and monitor these companies even if they are already targets of your campaigns or are already your customers.
You can do this by following the news about these companies through their websites, blogs and social networks.
The specialized press can also be a good source of information about them.
A good idea is to create an alert on Google Alerts to stay on top of everything that comes out in the media about your potential and current customers.
8. Measure and optimize your campaigns
Finally, we couldn’t stop talking about measuring results in a Digital Marketing strategy, right?
In the case of account-based marketing, it is important to measure both engagement and sales metrics.
In the first group, it is relevant to measure all the indicators that indicate how much the leads in an account interact with its contents, such as the email opening rate, click-through rate and shares.
In the second group, it is recommended to focus on indicators that give an idea of the efficiency of the campaigns and the investments made in them. The main ones are qualified leads for sales, ROI and Lifetime Value.
Detail: remember that each campaign must be measured separately, ok? Each account is a story with different strategies and investments!
So, are you ready to use ABM?
Account-Based Marketing campaigns need to be personalized and focused on each of the targeted accounts.
In addition, they need the support of other marketing strategies, such as Inbound, Content Marketing and email marketing, in addition to tools that facilitate application, such as marketing automation platforms and CRMs.
Some tactics cannot be left out either, such as creating a qualified lead base, defining selection criteria, aligning marketing and sales and studying these companies.
From then on, everything will depend a lot on the creativity and conditions of each business to relate and convert these accounts into customers.
To close, we think that you will like to know more about one of the concepts that we raised throughout the text and that is essential for the smooth functioning of ABM: the vendarketing.
For this, check out our article: Vendarketing: aligning Marketing and Sales with exceptional results.