What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to sales and marketing that uses highly targeted and personalized communication to win new business from a specific company (or an account).
Your marketing efforts should be focused on attracting, nurturing and selling to prospects that are the right fit for your services. And by ‘focused’, I mean laser-focused.
Highly targeted sales and marketing campaigns that are tailor-made for specific businesses.
It’s one message to one specific audience.
And this is where account-based marketing comes in.
What Types of Businesses are a good fit for Account Based Marketing?
- Concrete Contractors [General Contractors & Property Management Companies]
- Drywall Contractors [General Contractors]
- Electricians [General Contractors & Property Management Companies]
- Excavation Contractors [General Contractors & Municipal Agencies]
- Flooring Contractors [General Contractors & Remodeling Companies]
- Handyman [Realtors & Property Managers]
- HVAC [General Contractors & Property Managers]
- Insulation Contractors [General Contractors & Energy Auditors]
- Landscaping & Lawn Care [Property Managers, HOA & Large Property Holdings]
- Painting Contractors [General Contractors, Interior Designers and Property Managers]
- Plumbing Contractors [General Contractors & Property Managers]
- Roofing Contractors [General Contractors & Property Managers]
- Tree Services [Solar Companies, Property & Municipal Managers]
With account based marketing, you are not advertising to the masses, but larger more profitable accounts. These are strategic accounts. One’s in which we choice to market too.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is by nature an aggressive marketing method. We target in on companies and business you want to work with, and market directly to them. Tailoring our marketing offers to these account.
What are the key benefits of ABM?
What can your business gain from implementing an ABM strategy?
- Sales and marketing alignment
The reasons for aligning sales and marketing teams are clear:
Companies that align their sales and marketing activities generate higher revenue, enhance brand awareness and increase average deal size.
With ABM, the goal is to close a single account.
- High Return on Investment (ROI)
Research by ITSMA found that 87% of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM outperforms every other marketing investment!
TSMA also found that the marketing investment you make in ABM delivers either the same ROI, somewhat higher or significantly higher returns compared to other marketing methods – making it a zero-waste strategy!
Instead of spending $1,000s on a generic branding campaign across several markets, you create smaller, more specific campaigns towards a single account and its key decision makers.
- Increased revenue
Incredibly, 60% of companies that use ABM saw a revenue increase of at least 10% within 12 months, while 1 in 5 companies experienced a revenue increase of 30% or more.
The answer lies in average deal size.
Of course, increasing your average deal size is not something that happens overnight.
It begins by re-evaluating who your ideal target customer is and who you want to work with.
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How to get started with account-based marketing
1. Identify a list of target accounts
Account-based marketing is about tailoring campaigns to specific accounts, so the first thing you need to do as part of your campaign is to identify a list of key accounts.
So, where do you start?
Find companies or businesses that match your ideal target customer. It helps you narrow down your focus as to what type of company will do business with you in the future.
2. Research each account
Unlike research for personas, ABM is not about targeting individuals (just yet).
Account-based marketing requires account-based research!
So, what information do you need to collect as part of your research phase?
We recommend you start your research with the following:
- Market: industry, company size, competitors
- Company: revenue, marketing share, history
- People: management, buying power, key roles, influencers
- Relationships: organizational structure, reporting, buying teams
In most cases, this information will be publicly available and can be found on the company website, in press releases or annual reports.
One of the most important aspects during the research phase is to identify and get access to key decision makers.
3. Create relevant content
Can you guess what kind of content engages B2B buyers?
It’s personalized and relevant content.
One survey from Demand Gen Report found that 95% of B2B buyers choose a solution provider that “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.”
It’s easy to see why.
The more personal and relevant the content is, the more likely a buyer is to engage with you.
And in terms of most effective ABM tactics, personalized content ranks number one!
So, how do you personalize content and make it relevant?
Well, the length that you go to to make the content relevant is entirely up to you.
For example, the most common approach in ABM for B2B marketers is to create content that is tailored to a specific industry, but you can also tailor content to specific roles or accounts.
But, before you create any new content, start by reviewing your existing content.
Catalogue blog posts, case studies, white papers, and e-books and consider how they might be relevant for your ideal target customer.
4. Distribute content to the right person
The goal for any piece of content in your ABM campaign is to reach the right person at the right account, so you can engage, nurture and build on that relationship.
So, what’s the most effective way to distribute content to reach the right person?
That’s right – the good old-fashioned email.
Contractor Marketing Network, handles each and every stage of setting up, executing and managing your Account Based Marketing System.
Consider the following from ITSMA:
- 92% of companies pay attention to unsolicited email even if it’s sent from a company that they have never done business with
- 1 in 4 decision makers will read unsolicited email that contains ideas that might be relevant to their business
- 78% of businesses have scheduled appointments or attended an event as the result of a cold email
Don’t dismiss email marketing dead…not yet!
5. Measuring the results
Your ABM campaign is live; now it’s time to see how it performed.
With other forms of marketing, a successful campaign typically means a high volume of visits or business leads.
That’s really not the case with account-based marketing.
The goal of ABM is to build and nurture relationships you have within your target account and move them from one stage to the next. And in some cases, this could take months, or even years!
For this reason, traditional metrics like number of leads, website conversion rate, click-through rate and cost-per-click (CPC) are not part of measuring the success of account-based marketing campaigns.
What does ABM success look like?
To determine success, you will need to look at broader metrics such as awareness, engagement, relationships and ROI.
- To measure awareness within your target account, you can report on website visits, social media mentions, social shares and/or email responses (if you have an existing relationship).
- To measure engagement, you can report on website behavior including page visits, number of return visits, time spent on site and email permissions from your target account.
- To measure relationships, you can report on number of decision makers reached, content downloads and product or service trials.
Account-based marketing is nothing new.
Highly targeted sales and marketing campaigns have always performed better than generic, non-targeted campaigns. However, it does require a new way of thinking.
As a marketer, you’re no longer tracking volume of impressions or the number of website visits and leads. Instead, you will be tracking activities and engagement from single digit accounts.
Does this mean that vanity metrics will go down? Most likely.
Will revenue numbers go up? Most definitely!
RJ Cooper, Marketing Consultant/Manager, Contractor Marketing Network
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