What is Account-based Marketing (ABM)?
Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic marketing plan that focuses resource, effort, and talent on developing customized and personalized marketing relationship with top-tier partners within a given market.
Generally, we are talking about an entire marketing campaign designed for one or two people in a buying or contracting position at a target company.
The expanded role of ABM is that it:
- Enables a company to enter the market at a much higher segment than starting at the bottom or beginning. In fact, you are not interested in all the companies in a given market when you use ABM. You want only clients that are the best fit within that market.
- Enables a faster financial growth stream because you deal with the most lucrative companies within the market rather than all the companies within the market. You are putting the resources you would use to reach every company in that market into a tighter funnel to increase ROI for each campaign.
- Looks beyond basic marketing and enables the creation of markets within markets where upselling and cross-selling becomes the vehicles for increasing the value of each B2B relationship. The goal is to expand sales to subsidiaries or parent companies where applicable.
- Presents an opportunity to increase sales within current lead-generation pools. Through data mining and collection you are able to target companies with similar needs and morph campaigns to target those companies.
What Account-based Marketing is Not
While many of us point out what ABM marketing is, we sometimes forget to mention what ABM is not. It is not:
- Demand Generated Marketing – The two are similar, but their focus is different. ABM is a tightly focused form of marketing strategy while Demand Generation marketing tends to be broader. Generally, ABM is a single target while Demand Generation marketing is attracting many small leads.
- A single Marketing Team Project – ABM must include marketing and sales teams. The success of ABM is that while marketing teams understand a market, sales teams understand the people within that market. ABM Team work blends the understanding of customers (sales) with contact options of marketing (marketers.) It is many people – marketers and sales teams focused on developing a sales strategy for one or two people.
- A B2C strategy – ABM is a strategy that works on a single target for B2B and where the ROI of forming that relationship is substantial. In B2C marketing, the ROI is too low for the energy that goes into ABM to focus on customers rather than on companies.
There are many marketing strategies and ABM is one of those. If you have a job you want done correctly, you must choose the right tool for the job. Ask yourself if ABM is the right tool for where you need revenue and growth to land.
Company Selection and Target Audiences
The success of ABM comes from the selection of companies you want to target. It is important to point out that while everyone wants to be the go-to supplier for companies such as Coke-a-cola or Pepsi, that goal is not always attainable. Selecting your target companies must be a strategic development with a ton of metrics involved.
Because you are often dealing with one or two people whose jobs are to contract or buy, a buyer persona is not needed. What is needed is the data to define the likes, needs, and wants of this very narrow target audience. Whereas other forms of marketing use buyer personas, ABM uses a persona profile to target an audience.
What Are The Best Company Stats to Look at When Building A Target List
When choosing a target company a company persona is useful. The stats for those companies may include:
- Annual Revenue
- Number of employees
- Subsidiaries or Parent Companies
The type of companies that appear on your target list will have needs that match what you produce or the services that you provide. The closer you match the business to your product or service offerings, the more likely it is that your ABM strategy will work.
Technology is a Must
There is so much data to collect and refine that technology is the only way to ensure that data remains viable. Many ABM campaigns begin with Account Based Marketing software and include technology and apps that help to:
- Identify companies to target
- Identify the buying community at each company on the target list
- Manage content and marketing
- Build communication between marketing and sales, and also between your company and your target company.
- Track progress, identify failures, and provide an accounting of current opportunities
As technology changes the capabilities of ABM change to include real-time opportunities thanks to account based marketing software and apps, such as those offered by ChatFunnels.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is customer-focused marketing that takes the power of written or visual content and turns it into a conversation through phone, chat, and automated bot tools. When you need to improve customer engagements, improve UX, and improve revenue streams, conversational marketing is powerful.
ChatFunnels dramatically increases pipeline opportunities through conversational marketing. With a market that is one or two people, conversational based marketing is a powerful tool that enables your target to contact you or any member of your live chat team. You design that experience as you design your ABM campaign.
For Account-based marketing, chat makes it easier to answer questions, capitalize on marketing momentum, enabling targets to:
- Book Demos
- Enjoy more personalize UX
- Provide data and user information by filling out forms, signing up for newsletters, etc.
- Build relationships – buyers find it easier to buy from people they know. Chat helps build that relationship.
- Ask questions – Top-tier managers are busy and chat makes it easier to jump into a conversation without committing to a long-winded telephone call.
ChatFunnels allow ABM to come to life through live chat and automated chat customized to each ABM campaign. ABM takes conversion marketing to a higher level by focusing communication tools – video, chat, and pop-up – to target contacts.
Problem Solutions with ABM
Increased ROI – Plenty of studies show the dynamic and positive way that effective account based marketing increases ROI dramatically. If you are looking at ways to increase ROI due to slow performance from other marketing systems, ABM when correctly applied may help.
A Time Investment – ABM can be a more efficient way to increase revenue and growth. The reason for that efficiency is that more people – larger teams – work together to access accounts that have more potential to supply bigger payoffs. That process is more efficient, especially when compared to marketing systems such as demand-based marketing.
Lack of Engagement – Other forms of marketing tend to be broader in focus making it difficult to track engagement or fix engagement issues. ABM is tightly focused and because everything you do within that campaign is targeted at one or two people, it is easier to see how content and other forms of contact fair.
There are many other problems that ABM helps solve. They differ between industries and are both external and internal issues.
The next step is to see how ABM fits your company. If your marketing is not living up to your expectations, ABM may be a better fit for your business. If you are hesitant to jump into the ABM pool with both feet learn more about how to set up ABM and implement an ABM strategy that matches your company with high-value accounts.