The marketing world certainly doesn’t need to let a new acronym in, but we’ll let ABM slip past the queue as it’s actually a very good idea (by the way, that’s Account-Based Marketing to those of you who still insist on using complete words).
In fact, ABM isn’t all that new - it’s been around for two decades. The idea is simple enough: align the efforts of Sales and Marketing teams on the top 10, 20 or 50 hottest prospects to bring in more revenue, more effectively. As an example, marketers might target the senior decision-makers at top-tier prospects with an expensive, bespoke direct mail campaign that’s then followed up by Sales. In short, ABM is less shotgun, more sniper rifle.
A new spin on the old laundry
Today, ABM is seeing something of a renaissance as automation and new technologies allow the same premise to become massively scalable. Imagine targeting not 25, but 2,500 ideal customers with personalised content that really speaks to their business needs and you have some idea of how powerful ABM has now become.
Already over 50% of B2B marketers are testing an ABM pilot programme and 92% said it was “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts. Better still, by focusing Sales and Marketing teams on the same accounts they can finally be judged by identical metrics, helping to unite their efforts around common goals.
What does modern ABM look like in practice? Consider a new visitor to your website: with ABM, you’ll be able to identify their IP address as belonging to one of your high-priority accounts and react in real-time with a tailored experience that’s directly relevant to both their business and vertical. This kind of bespoke approach can pay huge dividends; for instance, we already know that personalised CTAs drive web conversions 42% more effectively.
That illusive cut through
One of the major challenges facing marketers in the coming years is being heard by customers that are becoming ever more adept at filtering out the raucous din of irrelevant messages. Already, 44% of direct mail is never opened and 86% of viewers skip TV adverts. By delivering impactful, relevant messages at the right moments, ABM offers a powerful solution.
By combining all the benefits of one-on-one marketing with vast scalability, ABM has an enormous range of potential applications - from growing existing accounts, to nurturing leads or acquiring new customers.
Where to start?
Adding a dash of ABM to your business doesn’t need to be a multi-million pound investment across several years. Here are five steps you can take right now:
- Build bridges: ABM depends on a close alignment between Marketing and Sales, so make sure both are involved from the outset and develop a good working relationship.
- Establish clear goals: Are you trying to win new business, expand existing accounts or do something else?
- Identify and prioritise accounts: Build a list in no time by looking at important verticals, or finding the common traits among existing accounts. Social tools are then a great way to track down relevant people within prospect businesses.
- Align ABM with content marketing: Focus on providing the right content, via the right channel, at the right time throughout the sales funnel.
- Measure success: Be ready to monitor both traditional marketing metrics like click-throughs and page visits, as well as sales metrics like pipeline contribution, close rates and funnel velocity so you can chart success and optimise future campaigns.
If you’d like to learn more about the potential of ABM, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.