Like any other type of marketing ABM also has a way to target, engage customers and measure campaigns. But unlike most marketing strategies ABM is built to target high value clients. As such the core components that ABM consists of slightly differs from other marketing strategies.
Primarily, an ABM campaign consists of target accounts, specific channels, personalized content, segments within these target accounts you want to target, shared KPIs or measurement and finally a way to align sales and marketing teams.
We will dig deeper into all 6 of them. But first, let’s take a quick look at what account-based marketing is.
As the name suggests, account-based marketing, also referred to as key account marketing, is a complex, highly-targeted B2B marketing strategy that focuses on certain specific accounts. In this marketing strategy, your sales and marketing teams will target only the high-value accounts with highly personalized engagement.
In ABM, the campaigns are tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each account, which makes it more personalized than just an average B2B lead generation process. ABM is the solution for B2B companies that are willing to target accounts with a large deal size.
If we look at the core principles of ABM, we will get:
Targeting, interaction, and measurement all fall under the umbrella of account-based marketing. Your marketing team will be successful if these components are incorporated into the program's framework.
ABM campaigns will not work if your sales and marketing teams are not aligned.
What we mean is they have discussed and agreed upon a set of shared KPIs.
Alignment is necessary for both teams to take responsibility together. You don't want the marketing team to complain about the lack of follow-up and the salespeople to complain that the MQLs aren't good enough.
The ultimate objective of both marketing and sales is to increase the amount of business that the organization receives. It's essential for sales and marketing to communicate often in order to give a coordinated, personalized account approach in order to develop an effective ABM strategy.
This becomes especially true incase of ABM, which is built upon sales and marketing teams working together.
Sales often begin by concentrating on the account level before establishing connections with the account decision-makers.
Salespeople are knowledgeable about market dynamics since they interact with clients and prospects directly. The creation of buyer personas depending on these characteristics can then be done in collaboration by marketing and sales.
These buyer profiles provide direction for marketing personalization initiatives. Customers' unique demands, demographic characteristics, and behavioral patterns are also included, in addition to their pain points.
Buyer persona is one part of the equation which ABM shares with any other type of marketing strategy.
The second part is the target account firmographics, like ICP firmographics essentially defines the characteristics of the accounts i.e. companies we should be targeting, everything from industry to employee count to department size and hiring trends.
Essentially, trying to answer the question “what are the characteristics of the high value accounts that buy from us or our competitors?”
After creating your buyer personas, you will have to choose the channels and strategies that can help you reach your decision makers where they are available.
Remember ABM is a combination of push and pull marketing strategies which includes driving engagement from the target accounts using outbound tactics even cold email if that is the best way to reach these accounts.
Based on target account firmographics and buyers persona(ICP) you can select not more than 3 channels you would use to reach these customers. More if you have a larger team and resources to spare.
Based on the channels that you choose, the strategy to reach them would also differ, a direct channel might include emails and invite only webinars.
While content based channels might include premium content being created for that specific account and distributed via social media ads.
ABM and personalization go hand in hand, which is why delivering tailored content based on each account’s pain points and goals is important.
Since you will be targeting a specific set of accounts, your sales and marketing teams must strive to deliver content that resonates with the target accounts. Focus on the industry trends that include company-level insights, positions, rankings, and information regarding competitors. You can even further personalize content by establishing a one-to-one approach.
As a B2B company, you can’t expect your ABM campaign to be a one-size-fits-all strategy that caters to each account with the same level of personalization.
For example not all accounts are large enough to be catered with hyper-personalized content, some could be grouped together and targeted with similar content.
Understanding the firmography helps here, you can essentially divide your accounts into 3 groups
This would also allow you to define the channel and content that you would have to use to reach these accounts and the number of accounts you would have to start with in each segment based on the target you want to reach.
Lastly, measuring the success of the campaign is essential to ensure the ABM efforts are effective enough to convert the accounts into customers. Your sales and marketing teams should be in sync to determine if the efforts are successful. And for that, you need to focus on certain metrics, including pipeline velocity, average deal size, influenced pipeline, upsell and cross-selling revenue, sales cycle length, ROI, and more. By measuring the results and metrics, you will be able to make better decisions, plan any modifications, and increase ROI.
In ABM, your marketing and sales teams need to approach each account as a separate entity. Because each target account is different from the other and they have different requirements and challenges. Understanding the core components of ABM will help you understand how to grasp, execute, and amplify the strategy to achieve success in the B2B marketing landscape. Having an in-depth approach is important in making the ABM campaign effective in its true sense.