What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing, simply called ABM, was one of the most popular trends in the B2B lead generation market in 2020. According to the 2020 State of ABM Report, respondents credited their ABM programs to be responsible for 79% of their company’s opportunities and 73% of total revenue.
These numbers are quite compelling, and the trend seems to continue going strong this year. But what is account-based marketing and why is it trending?
Account-Based Marketing Overview
Account-based marketing is a focused approach in B2B marketing wherein the sales and marketing teams collaborate on the best accounts to transform them into paying customers. It allows you to weed out low-value companies during the early stages, so these teams can prioritize engaging the high-value accounts faster.
ABM is designed to help businesses work with these accounts as if they’re individual markets. Together with improving personalization for the buyer’s journey and modifying communications, campaigns, and content, companies can experience greater ROI and customer loyalty.
Although not a new concept, account marketing has experienced a resurgence in recent years thanks to evolving technology and the changing business landscape.
Scaling ABM initiatives in the past was costly and difficult due to its high-level need for personalization. With new and improving technology, it’s now easier and more cost-effective for organizations to scale with account-based marketing.
What Problems Can ABM Solve?
In the B2B lead generation space, adopting a broad marketing approach might be a sensible choice at first, yet it can significantly lower your ROI compared to using one that is targeted. Successful ABM initiatives optimize marketing efforts, improve revenue, and provide in-depth insights that are unavailable through other methods.
Here are the main problems that account-based marketing can solve:
- Inability to show precise ROI: In account-based marketing, one of its main goals is the prioritization of ROI, which results in the business obtaining clear results. When compared to other marketing initiatives, 87% of marketers have found that ABM delivers higher ROI than any other approach in marketing.
- Wasting time, budget, and staff resources: With account-based marketing, you will start investing your time in high-value accounts instead of their low-value counterparts. This will allow your marketers to prioritize resources in running marketing programs that are optimized for the said accounts.
- Not seeing engagement results with the target audience: Account-based marketing is incredibly personalized. There’s a good probability that the targeted customers here will interact with the given content. Being more geared for them, potential buyers would more likely engage with your brand using ABM.
- Unsure what metrics and goals to track: ABM allows you to analyze campaign effectiveness easier. Since you’ll be measuring a smaller group of target accounts, the data you gather will be more in-depth and detailed.
- Both marketing and sales teams are not aligned: If your marketing and sales teams aren’t synchronizing, account-based marketing can be one of the best ways to get all of them on the same track. ABM is relevant to how sales operate, allowing you to easily let both teams work together to close deals.
What To Measure in Account-Based Marketing
Although it appears ABM has many benefits to bring to the table, how much time would it take for it to deliver the results you want? How will you know when would be the best time to reassess and adopt different techniques?
To help you understand how you can measure account-based marketing results, you should first learn what metrics to actually consider.
Brand awareness is where your customers understand what your company is offering and how it can help them. Target accounts that are unfamiliar with your business will most likely not buy your solutions.
That’s why you should make sure that they know the full capabilities of your company. You can gauge brand awareness by looking at the following:
- Amount of attendees in company events and trade shows
- Number of product presentations and demos
- Your customer click-through rate and their time spent in emails
When you have control over your brand awareness, you can start making the right type of content that is relevant for your contacts. You also get to ensure that the standard introductory and onboarding process isn’t neglected.
One of the most critical aspects of setting up your account-based marketing strategy is gathering in-depth intelligence concerning your target accounts. If you lack this type of knowledge, you cannot expect to personalize your content and customize your brand messaging to appeal to your priorities.
Account coverage measures the penetration level that you’ve achieved within an industry sector or with a customer. You can measure this by looking at:
- The number of contacts that have been identified
- How often do you engage and interact with them
- How well do you know your target accounts
- The level of decision-making power these contacts have
When you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to identify information gaps within companies, sectors, or even business functions. This will then let you refocus resources and attention in filling these holes to provide you with a strong foundation to start from.
The term engagement refers to the interest that prospects have in a brand. This is significant because it lets you know how much they would want to do business with you.
However, it is not easy to measure engagement especially since the metrics can vary depending on the business, its target accounts, and the industry it operates in.
You can start measuring account engagement by looking at:
- The number of meetings and calls with contacts
- The overall time spent on customer calls
- How proactive they engage with your brand online and offline
When you can measure account engagement, you can get vital insights into what is happening at the top and bottom parts of your sales funnel.
There are many reasons to adopt account-based marketing, but the main motivation for it is to minimize wasted resources and prioritize high-value accounts instead.
The goal in ABM is all about targeting and engaging the right accounts and measuring relevant metrics. When you build these aspects in the foundation of your business, you get to set both your marketing and sales teams up for success.
- Terminus Blog (2020, Oct. 27). The 2020 State of ABM Report. https://terminus.com/blog/2020-state-of-abm-report-preview/
- ITSMA (2017, Aug. 29). Driving Growth with Three Types of ABM: How Companies Are Leveraging ABM for Maximum Business Impact. https://www.itsma.com/research/driving-growth-with-three-types-of-abm/