We Know You’re Curious. So Here It Is, Everything You Need To Know And More About Account-Based Marketing

If you work as a B2B marketer, you’ve probably heard the term “account-based marketing” (or the acronym, ABM) tossed around. But what exactly is account-based marketing, and how do you implement an ABM strategy?

Account-based marketing is a B2B strategy that directs personalized sales and marketing campaigns to a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market. Each campaign within the strategy is designed to resonate with a specific, targeted account, as opposed to more traditional marketing strategies that take a broad-reaching approach.

While that level of personalization may sound slow and cost-inefficient, it doesn’t have to be. And the results speak for themselves: according to research from the Altera Group, 97% of marketers surveyed who used an ABM strategy reported experiencing “somewhat higher” or “much higher” ROI than other marketing initiatives.

Benefits of account-based marketing

1. Time and resource efficiency

Since the ACM approach is so targeted, marketers are able to focus their resources efficiently. It may take more time on the front end to research and create the ideal campaign, but ultimately, this ends up being more efficient than the time spent a “one-size-fits-all” broad approach. With a targeted approach, it’s also easier to measure campaign success and ROI. With a smaller pool of accounts to evaluate, you have the ability to draw clear conclusions. Plus, doesn’t it just feel better knowing that your time was well-spent and purpose-driven?

2. Customers prefer it

It turns out customers actually appreciate you going the extra mile and personalizing their offer. According to a survey conducted by Epsilon, 80% of respondents indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences and 90% indicating that they find personalization appealing. With a targeted, research-based approach, you’re not only cutting through the noise of non-relevant marketing messages consumers are receiving, but you’re showing potential customers that you appreciate them and are willing to go the extra mile. If you’re able to provide potential customers with what they want before they’re your customer, it says a lot about the level of service you provide once they do start working with you.

3. Sales and marketing alignment

It’s well-known that sales and marketing teams don’t always see eye-to-eye. ABM is one way to fix that! For a marketer to implement a successful ABM strategy, they have to think more like a salesperson. By getting into the headspace of someone working in sales, marketers often have a newfound understanding and alignment with their sales team

How to kick off an account-based marketing strategy

Step 1: Identify and document your current high-value accounts

Who are your highest-paying customers? Who do you have the best partnership with? Which accounts align with your vision for the company moving forward? Which clients refer other business to you? Who are the decision-makers at each of these companies? These are just some of the questions you’ll want to ask as you evaluate your current client base and pick out the top dogs. And don’t forget to document who you chose and why–you’ll need this information later on as you define who to target moving forward.

Step 2: Define your target accounts

Now it’s time to marry that internal data with external research. Take a look at market research and see who fits the profile of the high-value accounts you just documented. Remember: taking the time to do your research on the front end is crucial when it comes to ABM. Don’t skimp on this part of the process!

Step 3: Create a personalized content plan

The content used in an ABM strategy should be developed to clearly help a pain point your target account is experiencing. It can be a pain point specific to the company or the contact you’re trying to reach. When developing your content plan, it’s important to also consider which channels you’ll be using. What’s the best way to serve the message you’re trying to convey, and what platforms are your targets using?

Step 4: Execute your strategy

Now that you’ve done all the planning, time to put this strategy into action! There are plenty of helpful technology options, like HubSpot, to help you coordinate campaign deployment.

Step 5: Measure results and adjust

With a targeted approach, it should be easier to evaluate success and adjust your strategy as needed. How are your efforts performing on an individual level? Are there any trends you can identify? Use this information to make improvements over time and refine your ABM strategy.

Ideas for account-based marketing tactics

Use content to drive in-person meetings

Strategic content offers can encourage prospects to meet with you in person. For example, we offer a free HubSpot audit.

Connect with target accounts on social media

Get their attention outside of just their inbox! Mention a target account in a blog piece then tag them when you publish it and share it on social media.

Build a target audience for social advertising

Social media ads allow you to get pretty granular with your targeting if you have the right information. LinkedIn specifically allows you to use company-based targeting.

There you have it! If you’re ready to get started on your own ABM strategy, take a look at our Target Audience Guide. We’ll help you define your target audience, build out buyer personas, and kick off on the right foot.

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