Every marketer knows that highly targeted and personalized campaigns get better results than one-size-fits-all mass marketing. In fact, 72% of people will only engage with marketing messages that are personalized to their specific interests. One of the best ways to improve your targeting and build connections with your dream clients is to adopt an account-based marketing (ABM) approach. You can narrow in on decision-makers at specific companies and create messaging and content tailored to their needs and interests.
Further to this, an ABM approach can also make a positive impact on your bottom line. Within 12 months of using ABM, 60% of companies achieve a revenue increase of at least 10%. So – what is ABM, how is it different from inbound marketing, and should you be using it?
Let’s find out.
Account-Based Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
ABM and inbound marketing are different approaches, but both contribute to a strong overall marketing strategy. Inbound is all about laying the foundation to attract prospects. In the meantime, ABM builds on said foundation, developing deeper relationships with targeted accounts.
Inbound marketing attracts potential customers to your business and nurtures leads through each stage of the buyer’s journey. Instead of interrupting your potential customers with intrusive advertising, it focuses on helping people to overcome their problems with informative and engaging content.
ABM is a more targeted approach that starts with identifying the potential customers you know will be an excellent fit for your product or service. It’s about focusing your resources on building relationships with the decision-makers and stakeholders at a specific account through content and messaging targeted to their specific needs.
Inbound marketing attracts prospects to your business. ABM narrows in on targeted accounts to take those relationships to the next level.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
There are several benefits to an ABM approach, including:
Your messaging and content needs to be highly relevant to cut through the noise online and resonate with your target audience. With ABM, you can create content to address decision-makers’ pain points and position your product or service as the ideal solution for a targeted account.
Taking a more granular view of your marketing campaigns allows you to get a precise measurement of each account’s performance and ROI. You can see what worked, what needs to be improved, and which types of accounts are the most profitable for your business.
ABM puts relationship building at the forefront of your marketing initiatives. When you dedicate your resources to building a trusting relationship, you increase the chances of retaining customers once you have made a sale. According to Bain and Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by as much as 95%.
By focusing on delighting accounts with highly relevant and personalized experiences, you can also increase the chances of your customers becoming brand advocates and spreading positive word of mouth.
Account-Based Marketing Step-by-Step
There are some significant upsides to ABM. If you’re thinking about implementing ABM into your strategy, here are the tactics you need to apply.
1. Identify Your Ideal Account
The first step is to identify which types of account you want to target. Before you dedicate time and resources to any campaigns, you need to determine what your ideal customer looks like.
- Which industry do they operate in?
- How big is the company?
- Where are they located?
One of the easiest ways to identify your ideal account is to ask yourself:
“If we could repeat one sale from last year, which one would it be?”
You can use your best customers’ characteristics to help you narrow in on the types of accounts you want to target with your ABM initiatives.
If you already have an inbound marketing strategy in place, you can also review the companies engaging with your content that are yet to convert and become a customer.
2. Find Contacts within the Target Accounts
After you’ve identified companies that you want to target, the next step is to determine how decisions are made at the account and who the decision-makers are. Depending on the type of product or service you sell, several people may be involved in a business purchase.
If you’re targeting enterprise-level accounts, up to 10 people can be involved in the decision-making process.
With an ABM approach, you want to know as much as possible about the accounts you are targeting. The more you know about how decisions are made and who makes them, the more you can tailor your content and messaging to their specific needs.
3. Relationship Forming
Building a relationship with the stakeholders and decision-makers at the account is the next step.
- Create personalized content for stakeholders
- Engage decision-makers on social media
- Contribute to groups LinkedIn groups
- Send out personalized newsletters
This is usually a goal that your team works towards over an extended period. It can take months to develop a strong bond with the key people at the account.
4. Measure the Results
The final step is to measure the performance of your ABM campaigns. Once your campaign has been running for 30 days, evaluate how successful it has been.
- Did your personalized content generate engagement from stakeholders?
- Are decision-makers engaging with your company?
- Have prospects moved further along your sales funnel?
- Did the account become a customer?
If you find that you didn’t generate great results from your first campaign, identify areas you can improve. One of the key benefits of ABM is that it allows you to get granular performance data to help you optimize your future efforts.
How Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing Work Together
There are plenty of advantages to an ABM approach. Yet, this strategy often works best when used in combination with an inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing raises brand awareness and attracts potential customers to your business organically. ABM then enables you to narrow in on prospects and focus your efforts on the accounts that are the best fit. Speed up the buyer’s journey and offer even more value to win the account.
For example, you might find that your inbound campaign attracts a prospect to your site and gets them to opt-in to your email list. However, they are yet to convert. With a personalized account-based marketing campaign, you can provide the extra nudge to get the deal over the line.
Do you know what an inbound marketing agency can do for your business? Read our guide to find out.
Level Up Your Marketing with a Unified Strategy
The development of CRMs and automation has made ABM a powerful tactic for getting new customers. With a unified inbound and ABM strategy, you can increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build lasting relationships with customers.
If you’re interested in how ABM campaigns can help your business and work with your inbound strategy, contact Ogno today for a free consultation. Our team of experts can help you elevate your marketing to the next level.