What is Account-Based Marketing? A Guide to ABM

Account-based marketing(ABM), allows companies to target marketing efforts to certain, target accounts rather than to the masses.  Learn more about ABM in this guide.

What is Account-Based Marketing? A Guide to ABM
Maura Rivera
Maura Rivera
March 9, 2020
min read
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Wouldn’t it be nice to target your marketing efforts to a focused group that meets your ideal customer profile? That is where ABM comes in. Learn more about Account-Based Marketing and how you can use it to your advantage.

ABM has a proven business impact

In this post, we’ll share what ABM is, why modern companies use it, the technology needed to make it a reality, and how Conversational Marketing fits into your ABM strategy.

Qualified ABM helps you engage and convert target accounts the moment they arrive on your site
Conversational Marketing opens the door to real-time, personalized sales conversations

What is account-based marketing?

Account-based marketing, often known as ABM, allows companies to target marketing efforts to certain, target accounts rather than to the masses. A target account is a defined set of accounts that reflect your ideal customer profile (industry, vertical size, employee count, purchasing power, etc.) This is in contrast to creating and launching generic campaigns that serve the masses.

In the past several years, the ABM approach has caught on, so much so that more than 60% of companies plan to launch an ABM-based campaign in the next year, according to Terminus.

How does ABM work?

Now that we understand what ABM is, we can better grasp how ABM works. Typically, there are 3 steps that go into an ABM strategy. Following these steps will allow your teams to identify relevant prospects and target them.

  1. Identification- The first step of ABM is identifying through marketing and sales, what accounts to target.
  2. . Marketing- Create unique marketing campaigns that specifically target the accounts identified in step one.
  3. Measurement- Analyze the results of your ABM strategy for further insights and knowledge sharing.

What are the Benefits of Account-Based Marketing?

Companies use ABM because of its success rate! Companies that invest in ABM have 38% higher win rates, according to MarketingProfs, and have 91% large deal sizes, according to SiriusDecisions. ABM is particularly helpful in the B2B enterprise space where there are multiple people to reach at a given company. 

Account-based marketing strategies force your marketing and sales departments to be aligned, resulting in better lead quality and a more focused business plan. This in turn can result in an accelerated sales cycle.

Customer experience is also better with an ABM strategy. With personalized touch points throughout the customer journey, your customer comes to you happy with their experience, which can result in more revenue and a longer customer life-cycle.

Examples of Account-Based Marketing

Let's create a real-life scenario. You might have a large corporation like Apple as a customer. You might serve multiple teams in multiple capacities, and have a specific account executive that works with the Apple account.

Using ABM, you can develop specific strategies and campaigns that target the Apple account. For example, you could launch a targeted digital advertising with copy that is specifically geared towards Apple employees, such as. "See how we can help Apple improve efficiency." This campaign could retarget Apple employees on Google, LinkedIn, or via email. 

You might then send them custom swag and invite them to an intimate event specifically focused on how their solution can help Apple.

This approach works well for companies that work with large enterprises, as many have 100 or more target accounts. These target accounts may make up substantial portions of revenue, so they’re worth treating with care.

Why modern companies use ABM

Did you know that 82% of visitors to B2B sites aren't even actual prospects? Why would you heavily market to these people when they’ll never make a sale? The better bet is to use ABM.

Modern companies use ABM because it allows companies to have more control over their marketing efforts. More control = more targeted, better performing campaigns. Here are a few reasons why modern companies use ABM. 

  • ABM is personalized. Unlike a generic campaign that is targeted to any potential prospect, ABM. infused with ABX, allows you to personalize your efforts to particular accounts. That way, if you have a certain company in your sites, you can target your marketing to better reach their team.
  • ABM shows you ROI. Perhaps the most compelling reason that B2B companies invest in ABM is because of the return on investment. According to the Altera Group, 97% of B2B marketers said ABM had a higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.
  • ABM allows you to target decision-makers. If you have very important prospects or customers, then you want to give them the best possible service. ABM helps you do that. With ABM, your sales team can roll out the red carpet for their most important buyers

The technology you need for an end-to-end ABM stack

Part of the reason ABM has gained popularity in the last several years is because we have the technology to make personalized marketing a reality. Today’s software tools help you identify and target the right individuals, plus they can show you who is on your site and their history with your company. Not only that, but you can also use live chat to instantly engage with VIP prospects.

There are a number of ABM platforms that are focused on identifying and retargeting target accounts. These platforms include 6Sense, Demandbase, and Terminus. You can house ABM data in Salesforce and Pardot, and enrich your data with tools like Clearbit. Then you can use Qualified to engage with key accounts on your site. The result? Hyper-personalized sales conversations.

Qualified Conversational Marketing is the key to your ABM strategy
ABM helps you focus marketing and sales efforts on a set of target accounts

Conversational Marketing: a core pillar for your ABM strategy

ABM helps you connect with the right prospects from key target accounts. But timing is important. 

Unfortunately, 42 hours is the average lead response time for B2B companies, which is quite a long wait, especially since sales reps are 100x more likely to make contact with a prospect if they respond in under 5 minutes, according to a study by LeadResponseManagement.org. 

Thankfully, Conversational Marketing helps you connect with target accounts at exactly the right time. You can integrate your Conversational Marketing tool with your Salesforce CRM so that you know when key accounts arrive on your site and can see all relevant information, like firmographic data or any open opportunities; sales reps are armed with the information they need to have immediate, contextual, constructive conversations. The end result? You can get in touch at the opportune moment. Target accounts will never have to wait to engage with your team.

Surface all of your CRM data to get a 360-degree view of your target accounts

Wrap up

Account-based marketing is a surefire way to build relationships with key accounts. Using ABM, you can create personalized campaigns, drive more sales, and ultimately run a more efficient and profitable marketing and sales organization.

If you leverage Conversational Marketing within the context of your larger ABM strategy, you’ll be able to provide a stellar sales experience to your target accounts by being in the right place at the right time.

If you’re a B2B company that wants to grow your pipeline, or simply wants a better way to engage with target accounts, it’s time to try Conversational Marketing. Watch our 90 second demo video see how you can do this with Qualified ⬇️

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