You don’t want to waste your time with unqualified leads? Then Account-Based Marketing might be your answer! Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has emerged as a highly effective approach to B2B marketing that allows companies to focus on high-value target accounts and achieve better results. Here, an account refers to a specific company or organisation that a business is targeting as a potential customer or client. Unlike traditional marketing methods that cast a wide net, ABM tailors marketing efforts to specific accounts and decision-makers, leading to increased engagement rates and higher ROI. In this article, we will provide an in-depth exploration of ABM, its benefits, and how businesses can implement an effective ABM strategy. We will also present W4's ABM model, which offers a comprehensive approach to the marketing method that helps businesses thrive. By leveraging ABM best practices and adopting actionable tactics, businesses can take their B2B marketing efforts to the next level and drive growth and success for their organisation. Let’s get started!
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a targeted approach to marketing that focuses on identifying and engaging with specific accounts, rather than casting a wide net to reach a large audience. ABM is a strategy that allows businesses to identify their most valuable accounts and then create personalised marketing campaigns that address the specific needs and pain points of these Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP). In contrast to traditional marketing methods that focus on generating leads and nurturing them into customers, ABM takes a more targeted and personalised approach to engage with a smaller number of high-value accounts. Less is more, right?
Another important component of ABM is aligning sales and marketing efforts. In traditional marketing methods, marketing generates leads, and sales teams work to close those leads. In ABM, marketing and sales work together to engage with high-value accounts and decision-makers, creating a more cohesive and personalised approach to reaching these key targets. Thus, the phrase “Teamwork makes the dream work” is especially true for Account-Based Marketing.
ABM also involves creating personalised content and messaging that is tailored to the needs and interests of specific accounts. This may include creating targeted messaging for different decision-makers within an account, as well as developing personalised content that addresses the unique challenges and pain points of each account.
So far, so good. But what about the benefits?
The Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
There are several benefits to implementing an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy within your business. Let’s have a look at some of the most significant benefits:
- Better alignment between sales and marketing teams: ABM requires sales and marketing teams to work together closely to identify high-value accounts, create personalised content and messaging, and engage with decision-makers within those accounts. This alignment helps to create a more cohesive and efficient approach to reaching key targets as well as reducing the friction that can often occur between sales and marketing teams in traditional marketing methods.
- Higher customer engagement: ABM allows businesses to create personalised content and messaging that addresses the specific needs and pain points of high-value accounts. This approach can help to increase customer engagement and build stronger relationships with key accounts. By tailoring content to the interests and concerns of specific accounts, businesses can demonstrate their understanding of their customers' needs, which can help to increase loyalty and advocacy.
- More efficient use of resources: Because ABM is focused on a smaller number of high-value accounts, businesses can use their resources more efficiently. Rather than casting a wide net and investing in marketing campaigns that may not yield results, ABM enables businesses to focus their efforts on accounts that are more likely to generate revenue.
- Increased revenue and ROI: By focusing on high-value accounts and creating personalised content and messaging, ABM can help businesses to increase revenue and ROI. That is because ABM is a targeted approach to marketing and businesses may engage with key decision-makers and influencers within high-value accounts, which increases the likelihood of closing deals and generating revenue.
In summary, ABM can help businesses to improve alignment between sales and marketing teams, increase customer engagement, be more efficient with resources, and ultimately generate more revenue and ROI. Now that you know the benefits, you might wonder how you can approach this marketing method. That’s where our ABM model comes into play!
W4’s Account-Based Marketing Model
The account-based marketing model by W4 is a framework that businesses can use to better understand and execute their ABM strategy. The model is based on the integration of four key areas: Who, What, Where, and When. Here's a closer look at each of these areas:
- Who: This refers to the identification and targeting of the right accounts and decision-makers. By leveraging data and technology, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their target accounts, including their pain points, priorities, and decision-making processes. This information can then be used to create personalised messaging and content that speaks directly to the needs of each account.
- What: Once you have identified your target accounts, the next step is to create and deliver highly targeted and relevant content to those accounts. This may involve tailoring content and messaging for specific decision-makers within each account, and using personalised language and imagery to engage with those stakeholders. W4 can help businesses create and deliver this content at scale, using data and insights to ensure that it is resonating with the right people within each account.
- Where: In order to effectively engage with target accounts, businesses need to be able to identify and track those accounts across various channels, including social media, email, and website. W4 supports businesses in tracking their target account’s behaviour across these channels, and uses this information to trigger personalised content based on their actions.
- When: Timing is critical in account-based marketing. Businesses need to be able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in order to effectively engage with their target accounts. W4 helps businesses track the behaviour of their target accounts to trigger personalised messages based on their actions, ensuring that they are delivering the right message at the right time.
On the basis of the account-based marketing model by W4, businesses may better understand and execute their ABM strategy. By focusing on the Who, What, Where, and When of ABM, you will be able to identify and target the right accounts, create and deliver highly targeted content, track their target accounts across various channels, and deliver personalised messages at the right time. However, before implementing this marketing strategy, you should be ready to tackle the challenges that come with it.
The Challenges of Account-Based Marketing
While there are many benefits to implementing an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy, there are also several challenges that companies may face. The most significant challenges include:
- The need for specialised skills and technology: ABM requires specialised skills and technology to identify high-value accounts, create personalised content and messaging, and engage with decision-makers within those accounts. This may require additional training for sales and marketing teams, as well as investment in certain software and tools such as Terminus, 6sense or Demandbase. HubSpot provides an ABM module as well.
- The complexity of targeting and engaging multiple stakeholders within a target account: Because ABM is focused on high-value accounts, it often involves engaging with multiple stakeholders within those accounts. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, as different stakeholders may have different priorities and concerns. ABM requires a deep understanding of the decision-making process within each account, as well as the ability to create personalised messaging for each stakeholder.
- The potential for a slower sales cycle: ABM involves a more targeted and personalised approach to marketing, which can result in a slower sales cycle. Because ABM requires more time and resources to engage with high-value accounts and decision-makers, it may take longer to close deals and generate revenue. This can be a challenge for businesses that are looking for quick results.
- The difficulty of measuring ROI: Because ABM involves a more targeted approach to marketing, it can be more challenging to measure the ROI of specific campaigns. ABM requires a more holistic approach to measuring success, which may involve looking at metrics such as revenue generated from specific accounts, customer retention rates, and customer satisfaction levels.
However, there is no need to be discouraged by these hurdles. To make sure that you can make the most of your ABM strategy, we have gathered 5 best practices for you.
The 5 Best Account-Based Marketing Tactics for a Global Audience
- Personalised content and messaging: Creating personalised content and messaging that speaks directly to the needs and pain points of high-value accounts is a key component of ABM. This may involve tailoring content and messaging for specific decision-makers within each account, and using individualised language and imagery to engage with those stakeholders.
- Social media targeting: Social media platforms such as LinkedIn can be powerful tools for ABM, allowing businesses to target decision-makers within high-value accounts with personalised messaging and content. By using targeting features such as job titles, industries, and company size, you can make sure that your content is reaching the right people within their target accounts.
- Virtual events and webinars: Hosting virtual events and webinars can be an effective way to engage with decision-makers within high-value accounts. That is because you can demonstrate your expertise and build a stronger relationship with your target audience as you address the specific needs and pain points of your preferred stakeholders.
- Sales enablement: Sales enablement involves providing sales teams with the tools and resources they need to engage with decision-makers within high-value accounts. You might have to offer further training on how to engage with specific stakeholders within each account as well as access to data and insights that can help them to better understand their target accounts.
- International teams: If your goal is to generate leads on a global scale, you need a broad understanding of global markets, cultural differences, and local regulations. For example, a Chinese audience has different expectations and viewing habits than a Swiss audience, which is why you should use different languages, currencies, and channels to reach target accounts in different regions. At W4, we are well versed in international marketing – especially to the Chinese market.
In conclusion, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a highly effective approach to B2B marketing that allows companies to focus their resources on engaging with high-value target accounts. By tailoring marketing efforts to specific accounts and decision-makers, ABM can lead to increased engagement rates, higher ROI, and more effective marketing campaigns. The benefits of ABM are clear, but it is also important to acknowledge the challenges that come with implementing this strategy, such as the need for specialised skills and technology, the complexity of targeting and engaging multiple stakeholders, and the potential for a slower sales cycle. However, by adopting the actionable tactics outlined in this article, and leveraging W4's ABM model, companies can overcome these challenges and achieve better results. If you embrace ABM best practices, you will take your B2B marketing efforts to the next level and drive growth and success for your company. Our W4 teams are happy to support you every step of the way!