What Is Account-Based Marketing?-A Complete Guide

Did you know that about 56% of B2B marketers use account-based marketing? This means that over half of the B2B world has taken on a new business trend and strategy.

If you haven’t jumped on this trend yet, now is the time. You will see a difference in your business by doing so. 

To learn more about account-based marketing, why it’s important, and how to implement it in your business environment, keep reading. This is the ultimate guide to account-based marketing.

What Is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a relatively new strategy in the business world. It involves taking your resources and placing them all on a set of targeted accounts within the market. 

The business strategy uses campaigns that have been personalized to engage each account individually. These campaigns are developed by looking at the specific needs and wants of an account.

Many people across the business industry consider account-based marketing revolutionary. This is because the strategy looks at marketing holistically, whereas older techniques focused too heavily on lead generation. 

A key attribute within account-based marketing looks at wagering and taking advantage of larger accounts. This means that you’re looking at trying to upsell and cross-sell your larger accounts to get more value out of them rather than spending time in the seemingly endless loop of lead generation.

Why Is Account-Based Marketing Important?

As you may be able to tell by the variety and number of businesses taking advantage of it, account-based marketing is extremely popular. This is for good reason.

The strategy is important and has taken the business world by storm.

Account-based marketing comes with benefits to both your business and its customers. Let’s talk about some of the benefits that you can see when implementing the new strategy.

1. ABM Personalizes the Marketing Experience

As we mentioned, a large piece of account-based marketing is the personalization of marketing techniques to larger accounts. By figuring out the customer’s wants, needs, expectations, and more, you can tailor the marketing campaign specifically to them.

Why does this make ABM important?

Well, understanding your customers better gives you a leg up on the competition and allows you to strengthen your business relationship with that customer. Plus, the personalized marketing campaign could lead to better sales.

2. ABM Uses Fewer Resources

As we said, the account-based marketing approach focuses on a smaller number of accounts at a time. Because they’re working with fewer accounts, they are more likely to bring those accounts to the final sales process. This means that you’re actually going to be bringing more with fewer resources.

This also frees up resources that used to be spent on funnelling a large number of companies. So, companies who used account-based marketing tactics can use these now free resources to complete other tasks.

3. ABM Aligns Marketing and Sales

Because of the structure of account-based marketing, marketing teams and sales teams are more likely to (and should) work together to accomplish goals and sales together. By bringing these entities together, they can work on important tasks as a team rather than individually:

  • Identify accounts that your business wants to target
  • Create customized marketing campaigns for those accounts that they’ve chosen to target
  • Aligning accounts along the sales cycle as a team
  • Moving accounts through the sales cycle as a team

If your marketing and sales teams are still separated, you likely run into a lot of issues when it comes to successfully converting leads. Having an account-based marketing approach will take your lead conversion method to a new level.

4. ABM Shortens the Sales Timeline

Since the sales and marketing teams are working together to align and move accounts through the sales pipeline, you’ll find that the sales cycle shortens. Your teams don’t have to juggle multiple moving parts separately.

Rather, you’re streamlining the process and making it easier for everyone to keep up with the leads and customers that your business currently has. This also makes it easier to cater to these specific customers. They don’t get lost in the noise.

5. ABM Gives a More Predictable Outcome

Account-based marketing is known for giving higher returns than any other marketing strategy. In fact, it offers the highest return on investment (ROI) than any other B2B marketing technique.

The new strategy gives more precise measurements of the ROI that a company can expect. In turn, it allows companies to get a better grip on how their customers are responding to certain advertising techniques. This means that they have more control over what tactics are working as well as those that aren’t working.

How Can I Build an Account-Based Marketing Strategy?

Building and implementing an account-based marketing strategy the right way is crucial to taking advantage of all of the benefits that come with the strategy. This means that you have to know exactly how to transition to the strategy.

Let’s go through the process of implementing an account-based marketing strategy step-by-step.

1. Set Goals Before Implementing the Strategy

In order to tell if a change is truly working the way that you want it to, you have to set goals. Look at your company’s current performance and decide what improvements you’re looking for from the implementation of account-based marketing. 

Think about what kind of increase in ROI you want or how many sales you’re looking to make. Perhaps, you’re focused more on revenue or follower growth.

Whatever it is, write your SMART goals down and set them aside for the analytic evaluation that will come after you’ve launched your ABM campaigns.

2. Identify the Accounts That You Want to Target

Before you get started with your marketing campaigns, you need to choose which accounts you’re going to target. We recommend that you choose high-value accounts that are more likely to bring in more revenue. 

By choosing these high-value accounts, you’re going to have a better chance of getting those benefits that come with account-based marketing. These include a higher ROI and the use of fewer resources.

3. Conduct Research on the Accounts That You've Selected

Now that you’ve selected the accounts that you want to target, you need to do research on those accounts. We’re not talking about surface-level stuff here. The deeper you dive, the more likely you are to reap the benefits of account-based marketing.

You should know each account inside and out. From their pain points to their successes, from their needs to their wants, you should be an expert on every single one of those accounts that you chose in the previous step.

In addition, you should have a good idea of where each account is in the customer journey

The more that you get to know the account, the better you’ll be at developing the marketing campaigns needed to impress and ultimately win over those accounts. Your research will reflect in your analytics at the end.

4. Develop Marketing Campaigns Targeted at Those Accounts

It’s finally time to develop your marketing campaign. Once you feel that you’ve gathered enough about each client, you can start catering your marketing strategies to them.

Think about the pain points, wants, and needs that you identified during the research period. Then, start brainstorming creative solutions to reach and fix those for the customer.

By building a marketing campaign around those creative solutions, you are more likely to make a sale with that customer.

The key here is that you want to think from the customer’s point of view. If you were dealing with the problems that they were dealing with, what would convince you to buy a potential solution? 

Don’t just try to sell your product and make money. Try to solve a problem and help a customer.

5. Run the Marketing Campaigns That You've Made

Now that you’ve made the best marketing campaigns for each account, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and run them. Launch any and all campaigns that you’ve made to the target account.

Set back and see if anything clicks. Be patient.

6. Analyze the Data You've Collected After Running the Campaigns

After being patient and waiting a while, it’s time to look at the analytics. If you’re looking to run a successful business, you need to look at the analytics.

See how the different accounts have interacted with (or ignored) your campaigns. Evaluate whether or not your campaigns were successful.

Most importantly, see if you met the SMART goals that you set at the beginning. Hopefully, you followed the SMART goals format and created specific, measurable goals that can help you definitively see the progress that you’ve made with account-based marketing.

How Does Account-Based Marketing Work?

You may be wondering how an ABM strategy works if you’re being picky about the companies that you’re targeting. You might think that this closes doors and leads to a slew of missed opportunities.

The truth is that ABM only works if you’re doing it right. The tricky part is that the ‘right’ strategy looks different for different companies. This means that your account-based marketing strategy may look different than other companies’ account-based marketing strategy.

To make ABM work for you and your company, you need to make sure that your sales and marketing teams are constantly optimizing their tactics to meet their predetermined goals. Without consistent shifts and adjustments, you’ll end up falling behind on the ABM trend.

What Are Some Examples of Account-Based Marketing?

If you’re still not convinced that ABM is the strategy for you, keep reading. We’re going to cover a couple of case studies that will reveal the benefits of ABM. Plus, it’ll show what our team at Zelite Solutions can do.

You’ll be amazed at how account-based marketing has transformed these businesses.

One of the companies that we had the pleasure of working with found out the benefits of hyper-targeting clients quickly. They came to us needing a hyper-targeted list of accounts to work with as well as information regarding those accounts.

By providing them with information about each client – including that client’s industry, location, and revenue – this company was able to create precise strategies made for each client. This led to more engagement from each client and a higher number of conversions.

Read more about this case study in detail to see how these details helped the company take advantage of account-based marketing.

For our second case study, we’re going to discuss a company that we worked with that’s based in the UK. This client asked us to find specific technology stacks that a predetermined list of accounts was using. With this information, the company was going to partner with those technology companies to expand their reach.

With our expertise, the company was able to do exactly that. Our team here at Zelite was about to figure out what technology stacks these accounts were using. Plus, we were able to find the specific products that these companies were using.

By honing in on this information, our client was able to take advantage of the benefits that come with account-based marketing. They chose a few accounts, allows us to gather the information for them, and then used that information to work with the right companies and expand their reach. With this, they were able to increase their clientele base, improve their ROI, and positivity affect the relationships that they already had with those accounts.

All of this came from focusing on just a fraction of their current clientele base. Feel free to read more in-depth about this case study.

Account-Based Marketing Metrics

As you can see, account-based marketing is groundbreaking. By shrinking down the number of clients that you’re trying to reach, you can accomplish a lot.

Several businesses agree that the research is the hardest and most time-consuming part of account-based marketing. That’s why our team here at Zelite are experts on just that.

We can identify the contacts that are making the decisions for the companies that are using your products and services. This can help you decide who you need to impress.

If you’re looking for more to read, we invite you to check out another case study.

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