In Account Based Marketing (ABM for short) you turn the tables: You first select the companies you want to win as customers and then contact them. The trend from overseas is now also finding more and more followers in the DACH. So it's time for us to take a closer look at it.
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a marketing strategy from the B2B area. Unlike other strategies, it is not about addressing the largest possible mass of people
With account-based marketing, you want to target the important decision makers in a company
For example, with inbound marketing, measures are also aligned with the desired target group, but a selection of the generated leads only takes place afterwards. With ABM, you already select in advance and only then approach
Since this marketing philosophy has some advantages, we would like to take a closer look at it in this guide. This way you can find out if Account Based Marketing is something for you and your company.
The ABM Trend
Account Based Marketing has its origins in the USA. There, a strong increase in measures in Account Based Management has been recorded in the last few years. The development points steadily but clearly in the direction of ABM - also in the DACH region.
A few years ago, many decision-makers in the field of marketing still shied away from the step towards Account Based Marketing. The biggest concerns were that it would be too complex and that the measures would not be applied correctly. But even though it takes some time for ABM to bear fruit, more and more companies are opting for it
For Whom is ABM Suitable?
Especially companies that work with large customer companies, this strategy offers significant advantages in marketing compared to other measures. This is the case, among other things, if your company specializes in a niche and offers high-priced products in this area. But basically, anyone who has a clearly defined, selected target group in the B2B area can apply the measures in ABM.
Furthermore, this strategy increases the interaction between your company and the target company. Even if this means a little more work up front, it will pay off in the end.
What Are the Advantages of ABM?
All measures are geared towards the company and its specific topics. This increases the dovetailing of marketing and sales in your company, as both areas have to adapt equally to the target group.
The advantages are even more comprehensive
All contacts in a company or its decision-making body are viewed and handled collaboratively.
ABM concentrates time and resources on the target customers who are most likely to generate sales
Accordingly, the probability of closing a deal is higher, especially with the particularly important customers
Marketing & Sales Alignment
The term Marketing & Sales Alignment covers the process of aligning the areas of marketing and sales. This can be done on different levels: Processes per se as well as the achieved goals or other measurable key figures are merged through these measures. This results in both areas pulling together not only on a higher level, but also "on a day-to-day basis", so that common goals can be achieved efficiently
Especially in ABM, it is important to create a good symbiosis between the marketing and sales departments in order to address large customers individually
Therefore, you should make sure that decision-makers from both areas sit down for a conversation and jointly discuss goals and needed resources
The Perfect ABM Team
In ABM, too, a well-coordinated team is worth its weight in gold. Basically, it can be said that competent leaders and decision-makers from the areas of marketing and sales form a good basis. In practice, this is also the most common case. These decision-makers in turn assign employees from their teams to take care of the implementation of the project. Their primary task should be to develop content for the target companies. Once this task has been fulfilled, the next step is to approach the decision-makers of the "account".
Focus on the Important Customers
The whole philosophy of Account Based Marketing is to build a long-term relationship with individual "accounts", i.e. companies. To do this, you bundle all the information about that company and approach your target company individually and personally
This also affects the campaign strategy
Instead of large campaigns that address a broad mass of people, with ABM each target company is, in a sense, its own campaign
So instead of fishing in the ocean with a net and trying to catch lots of small fish, you go out with a spear in a targeted search for a few, but all the bigger fish that match your exact target. To put it in marketing jargon: The classic lead funnel is upside down with account-based marketing.
The Target Account
The term target account translates to "target customer" - the company you want to target with your ABM campaign. Identifying these is an essential task at the beginning of the ABM, and you should also spend enough time and resources on this step
The better and higher quality the selection in this phase is, the more efficient the chosen measures will be later on
You have to make the approach to your target accounts as individual as possible
Who are the decision makers?
What moves them?
What information do they need to make an informed decision about your service or product?
Only with the right content can you attract their attention and build a long-term business relationship.
How does ABM work?
"If you don't know which port you are heading for, no wind is favorable," said the ancient Romans. Meaning: Only when you know where you want to go, can you take appropriate action to reach that destination. That's why you shouldn't just trust in Account Based Management that the measures will somehow work - you should write down the goals you have set and keep checking them as the project progresses.
In this article we will show you in detail how to create an ABM campaign step by step. Roughly summarized, the following steps are necessary
As already mentioned, the first step is to identify your ideal target group. The more precise and detailed this identification is, the more precisely you can tailor your approach or content to them and the easier the next steps will be
Now you get in touch with your target accounts. In perfectly tailored campaigns, you arouse their interest in your offer. It is important that you reach all decision-makers in the company at a level that is as tailored to them as possible. That's why you need to find out who is responsible for what in the company.
The better you get to know your target customers, the more in-depth and specific your approach can be. For example, you can find out what challenges your customers are facing. You can use this to offer your product or service as a solution.
Once you have "a foot in the door", supporters for your offer will be found in the target company. You should support them as much as possible and provide them with further content. Because internal decision makers can often argue your offer better than you can from the outside.
Why Monitor Success?
Measuring (and optimizing) the return on your efforts is the key to long-term success. You can use special tools to measure how well (or how poorly) individual measures are received by your target accounts
Account-based marketing is a never-ending project, because there are always adjusting screws that can be turned.
And when everything seems to be optimally set, a new customer comes along - and the wheel turns again.
The "Dos and Don'ts" of ABM
As positive as Account Based Marketing will be for your business, there are ultimately some things you should keep in mind
Don't Give up Right Away
Understandably, you want to try new things first to see how the implementation works and if it's even something for you and your business. But account-based marketing is fundamentally a long-term strategy that will take time to show its positive effects
Know Your Customers
As already explained, ABM is all about addressing your customers individually. For this you need to know your target acocunt exactly
Choose Your Target Accounts Wisely
In ABM, you should only focus on a few companies that offer high revenue potential. Remember: 80% of the total revenue is often generated by just 20% of the customers. You can still add more customers later on.
Conclusion: ABM as a Powerful Strategy in B2B marketing
Account Based Marketing is a powerful marketing strategy if used correctly. The strong focus on a few target companies may take some getting used to at the beginning and may involve increased effort. The success in practice of many companies speaks for itself.