Account-based marketingWhat is account-based marketing and how does it relate to your customers?

When trying to understand what account-based marketing (ABM) is, you should look at it as a fundamental shift in how you view your customers and how you approach targeting them. But what is account-based marketing? And how can it help your sales funnel? Let's take a closer look.

What is ABM?

Account-based marketing is one of the best ways to focus your marketing efforts without blowing your budget—and it's overtaking the marketing world fast. When you break it down, account-based marketing is a strategy that focuses on acquiring and retaining high-value customers. It flips the funnel by focusing on fewer prospects rather than many prospects.

This change leads to more personalized contact between you and your audience, which allows you to target their specific needs through highly tailored messaging. This personalization makes them more likely to convert into customers and stay a customer for longer.

By looking at sales and marketing as two sides of the same coin (instead of butting heads), ABM allows you to provide better service and support from end to end, instead of just having one side do all of the work and hand off a defective product or service.

ABM lets you put much more thought into the kind of customers you want; it filters out those who don't fit your criteria so that you can take advantage of valuable opportunities where your company can be successful.

How does ABM work?

ABM is highly effective, but only if you do it right. Here are the main steps to follow to create a successful ABM campaign.

Identify your target accounts

Most companies make their leads lists based on keywords and job titles that they think are relevant to their company, but these methods often produce false positives.

It's crucial to create your list of desired companies that involves more than just looking at the surface-level information available on them. Research the company thoroughly before including it on your list; it should align with your product or service and has a demonstrable need for whatever value you offer.

Identify decision-makers at those accounts

It's not enough to know who needs your products in general; you also need to be able to figure out precisely who will be making decisions about acquiring those products within each account.

When you find the right decision-maker, use tools like LinkedIn or data enrichment software to learn everything you can about them. Find out what kind of person they are or what's going on with them professionally that may affect their buying decisions. Use this information when creating personalized content.

Create unique, personalized content for multiple buyers at every account

Now that you know who's most likely going to make the purchase decision and other stakeholders who could influence the champion and how they'll evaluate or approve it, craft content tailored specifically for each person based on what you learned about them through research earlier.

Instead of just getting bombarded with marketing fluff like they're used to seeing from salespeople and marketers, crafted content ensures that these stakeholders have all of the information they need before being asked to buy anything.

What can ABM do for your business?

There are plenty of reasons to try account-based marketing. Here are a few: It focuses your marketing activities on a specific list of target accounts. This focus helps you get the most mileage out of your marketing budget because you're only putting money into efforts that will bring in your ideal customers. It allows you to tailor your messaging to the specific needs of each account.

There's a good chance that every company on your target list has different concerns and needs. With ABM, you can customize content and messaging for each account, ensuring that it speaks directly to their problems and challenges rather than generalizing an entire industry.

It lets you build personalized relationships with each potential customer. The more customized your approach is, the more likely that potential customers will respond positively to it.

How can you implement ABM?

Account-based marketing is fast becoming the preferred strategy for B2B companies in the digital age. This change has shifted the focus from one-off campaigns to a more strategic approach to acquiring and nurturing customers over time. Here's how a company can implement account-based marketing.

Set clear goals

Knowing what you want to achieve with your ABM program is crucial, so set some goals and KPIs upfront. These should be specific (not just "make more money") and measurable (for example, "generate 12 marketing qualified leads from target accounts in the first three months of our pilot program"). Dig into your CRM for historical data about how many meetings your sales team can schedule from MQLs to help inform these numbers.

Define your ideal customer

Just like any other marketing strategy, an ABM approach can't be successful if you don't have a well-defined customer profile in mind before you start creating content or launching campaigns. This customer profile includes demographic and psychographic information about the types of companies that would benefit most from your product or service.

At this stage of the process, it's also helpful to consider influencers within those companies—these might be decision-makers or people who are actively involved in researching vendors but are not necessarily part of the buying cycle itself.

Define your target accounts

After defining your ideal customer, look at how many organizations fit that profile and determine how many target accounts you want to engage with at once—your goal here is quality over quantity!

For example, suppose you're a niche B2B software provider for financial services companies with less than 50 employees. In that case, there may not be that many available customers out there for you, so try to strike a healthy balance between focusing on a few high-value prospects and reaching more potential customers without going too broad. You'll only waste time targeting accounts that aren't interested in what you have to offer!

Conclusion

ABM is an effective marketing strategy because it lets you truly customize your messaging for each company and job title. You aren't casting a wide net, hoping to catch a few fish. Instead, you're reaching out to the right companies with specific messaging built for them. It's also more manageable when you have account-based sales support and marketing alignment — they can play off each other, creating more robust results than either could achieve alone.

ABM is still a relatively new concept in B2B marketing, but it's quickly become one of the most sought-after strategies for growing companies. ABM is showing signs of becoming the next big thing in marketing, and if you want to stay competitive, you need to understand how to use these tactics on your own.