Also known as key account marketing, account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that employs the combined expertise of the sales and marketing teams. It targets select groups of accounts regarded as acquirable with the right tailored marketing efforts.
Marketers using ABM focus on locating potential high-value target groups, engaging with them, and closing deals with them. The sales and marketing teams take advantage of their respective strengths and resources to get the attention of high-value accounts and convert them into customers.
Going beyond B2B marketing
ABM is on a level higher than B2B marketing not only by converting more prospects into customers but also by delivering better ROI. Generally, B2B marketers have the tendency to cover leads as broadly as possible to appeal to more prospective customers. It is like a shotgun approach, which lacks accuracy but expands the coverage of potential hits.
In the modern age, settling with inefficient methods is no longer acceptable, given the availability of new technologies to facilitate targeted actions. Organizations can adopt ABM solutions that they can scale easily to match the scope of their campaigns and the kind of industry they are in. Marketers can implement bespoke ABM strategies to address specific needs and drive higher value outcomes.
High-tech equipment and software vendors, for example, may use entitlement management software to automate licensing, create versatile packaging, and increase license visibility to a select group of prospective and existing customers who are identified to be likely buyers. The sales team can use its data on customers who have been in contact with the business previously to update offers, drop reminders, or send out announcements on new products or features the target customers are likely interested in. Meanwhile, the marketing team may exert new efforts to raise license visibility and present versatile package options.
Why ABM is worth considering
Businesses should not dismiss ABM as just another online ploy to draw them into trying something new, only to fail and be frustrated. For one, it is already a trusted marketing approach. According to Gartner, over 70 percent of marketers in large and midsize companies have, as of the later part of 2020, already launched full-scale ABM or considered trying it. Gartner’s 2020 Technology Marketing Benchmarks Survey noted considerable improvements in marketing and sales performance after businesses implemented account-based marketing. These businesses reportedly saw major web traffic bumps and better advertising and email marketing performance. Moreover, sales efforts also experienced faster sales cycles, higher deal volumes, and greater win rates.
Additionally, ABM creates better customer engagement because of the personalized marketing pitches, and the special attention marketers pay to high-value customers. Account-based marketing emphasizes efficiency by minimizing the costs of marketing efforts while maximizing positive outcomes.
Furthermore, ABM stands out when it comes to ROI. A study by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) shows that 87 percent of account-based marketers are convinced that their ABM initiatives outperform their other marketing efforts. ITSMA reveals a correlation between the duration of ABM implementation and the percentage of companies that attain higher ROI.