The last time I spoke about Account-based marketing (ABM), I laid out what it was and some awesome reasons why it can be a boon for your business.
But first a quick review: ABM is the flipside of traditional marketing tactics of first attracting prospects and then identifying among them the most qualified ones to begin nurturing relationships. Instead, ABM is about first identifying who your ideal prospects are and targeting them from the very beginning.
Of course, as you’re a B2B, your ideal target prospects will be those businesses that best suits your needs, and the audience is going to be the CEO or other decision makers of those businesses.
Of course, no two B2Bs are alike—the size of your sales and marketing teams will differ, as well as the number of prospects you can effectively nurture to clients.
Fortunately, ABM doesn’t try to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the need, it can be modified rather than you having to make radical changes to fit the ABM strategy.
Let’s delve into the different types of ABM—a primer to help you decide which one fits your business goals.
ABM Factoid 1: 86% of marketers report improved win rates with ABM1
This ABM approach treats a select handful of individual targets as their own markets. This will require highly specific, customized and yes, personal touch. This type will require a considerable number of resources, so it’s vital you’re able to gauge just how likely each of them is to become a client. For it to be effective, expand your customized communications across more channels and media. Go digital with highly specialized ads and specially tailored social media content—online experiences that encourage interactions. Even direct mail marketing to complement sales events and collateral is within bounds here. Because you’ll be putting so much into these campaigns, it’s best to limit these designated markets to between 5 and 10 prospects—each one could be a potential game-changer for you, giving you the means to expand your business or open the way for you to begin the directional change you’ve wanted to make.
ABM Factoid 2: Companies using ABM saw a 208% increase in revenue.2
This ABM strategy scales things up a bit. Instead of working toward wining over a few prospects in one particular market, you’ll organize small groups of individual markets into clusters. They’re not necessarily in the same industry, competing with each other—rather they share similar challenges to conversion. This approach could be best suited for B2Bs that need to court upwards of around 30 or so prospects. You’re going to put more focus on the cluster. Marketing and sales teams will still collaborate—deciding on which accounts to target, what issues to highlight, how to tailor sales and marketing content to the campaigns for each cluster, etc. It’s less resource-heavy because you’re spending less time crafting communication for each client and more on the cluster. This frees you up to directly address their shared hot buttons and how your solutions will overcome their mutual pain points. Of course, your target number for prospect buy-in is scaled up as well—3 to 4 conversions per cluster—be sure you have the personnel already in place to handle all the incoming accounts.
ABM Factoid 3: 60% of companies report at least a 10% increase in revenue in year one of their ABM program.3
Just how many clients can you realistically handle? If you think that number sits anywhere from 100 to 1,000 accounts that share similar business and challenges to you, then this ABM strategy might be the one that’s best for your business. But this is also where the boundary between ABM and traditional marketing strategies starts to get murky. If you’re leaning toward on the larger end of this scale, try not to tackle them all at once. Nothing wrong with being ambitious, but it’s best to first scale things back—try focusing on the 100 to 250 most likely conversions at first. If you still feel that’s still too small a target group, don’t go any larger than 500, at least for now. Of course, you’ll need to identify who these prospects are, which makes the one-to-many technique highly dependent on marketing technologies that target, analyze, and can personalize aligned sales and marketing content across multiple accounts. But if you take the time to do that research, you know best where to concentrate your resources to winning over this smaller target, and earn yourself more wins, bigger deals, more future opportunities, and continued revenue growth from your existing customers. Think about it: you’re still winning over a large portion of your overall target accounts, and you’re doing so more efficiently and with minimal waste.
Don’t think of ABM as a choice of do or do not—but rather think about which type is best or whether you have the kind of versatility to utilize more than one. Which of them will best meet your business needs? Which of them is your best path to success?
Do you need a hand to find out who your target market is, their hot buttons, and pain points? Then our Smart Market Research© is just the thing to not only discover this vital intel but get your AMB strategy off to the right start. Learn more now.
Ready to start nurturing your high-quality prospects now? Give us a call: 888-919-4034.
- “4 ABM Metrics That Matter (and How to Track Them)” Terminus, 8 July 2019, terminus.com/blog/4-abm-metrics-that-matter/.
- “Two Great Tactics That Work Great Together, B2B Social Selling and ABM: LinkedIn’s Ty Heath on Marketing Smarts [Podcast], MarketingProfs, 26 Sept 2019, marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2019/41861/b2b-abm-ty-heath-marketing-smarts-podcast.
- “ABM Adoption Benchmark Report”, Demand Metric, demandmetric.com/content/abm-adoption-benchmark-report.