Marketing without creativity is like driving with your eyes closed. New innovations and new developments are part of the evolution of marketing. How do you keep up with such rapid advancement happening in a single department of an organization?

In recent times, there has been a lot of developments in the B2B marketing landscape. Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been one of the most bounced-around concepts, gaining a lot of popularity at the organizational level. Although the potential is known to the business leaders, marketing experts, and the C-suite level, the understanding of the concept poses a lot of challenges. Marketers are still trying to figure out how to understand the best process to implement it within the organization and to expand it throughout. Some innovative startups have already recognized the importance of ABM for their company strategy. Tarek Ouertani, Head of Marketing from ProGlove says, “Shifting our resources to Account Based Marketing helped us discover the potential, understand the needs, and scale our High Value Accounts, improving our ROI considerably.”

The concept of Account Based Marketing

The concept of Account Based Marketing

ABM is also referred to as key account marketing or in general terms, targeted marketing. It is a collaboration between the marketing and the sales department of a company to identify, assess, and analyze the high-value accounts and to create a personal touchpoint with them by delivering personalized content, messages, and offers.

Why is Account Based Marketing important?

Be a lighthouse, not a searchlight. It is the mantra all marketers use to support the importance of ABM. You need to hone your niche just like a lighthouse does to steer the boats in the right direction, and not act like a searchlight where you try to chase and capture everyone you see. You need to make sure that you are focusing on the right customers and not on those who do not bring any added value. The importance of ABM has become well-known to every successful marketer in this dynamic industry landscape:

Why is Account Based Marketing important?

Unparalleled Precision: “75% of the customers say that they prefer personalized content” (Aberdeen Group). It is inherently known that customers would engage and be more enthusiastically interested in content that is curated just for them. With ABM, the content is developed keeping in mind the customer and its stage in the customer journey.

ROI that matters: “84% of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments. Amongst them, half of them say the difference is significant” (ITSMA). In the case of ABM, the money spent will be considerably higher than your general marketing expenses. But you need to see it as an investment rather than a cost because the return that you get is significantly higher.

Marketing & Sales alignment to ensure maximum efficiency: In an organization, marketing and sales functions are not necessarily aligned even though the benefits of the alliance are unmatched. The easiest way to get them aligned is through ABM. It is not just a marketing function but it is a collaboration between the marketing and the sales department, making it so valuable.

Improved Customer experience with personalized touchpoints: The buck doesn’t stop with just client acquisition. The more important part of the customer journey is the customer experience throughout its lifecycle. This allows you to retain and grow your customer. ABM allows you to significantly explore the opportunities of improving the customer experience by creating various personalized touchpoints for them.

Clear understanding, analysis, and measurement of goals conversion: ABM helps in providing a clear understanding of the return because the point of investments is less compared to traditional marketing and the sales funnel is easy to follow since it becomes easier to see the steps where the customers are interacting and engaging.

Key Steps for Account-Based Marketing

Step 1. Understand the factors and discover your High-Value Accounts

Key Steps for Account-Based Marketing

Devise a structure to understand which factors qualify an account to be a high-valued account. You can take into consideration the potential revenue that the customer will bring in, the size of the company, the number of employees, if scalability is possible, or if that customer is likely to become a repeated buyer, etc. Based on these criteria, identify and discover your high-valued account.

Step 2. Identifying key internal players

Along with the sales team, devise a complete picture of that particular account. Find out who are the decision makers or the influencers in the company and how the organization is structured. Identify how your target accounts are structured, how decisions are made, and how to cut through the bureaucracy to reach the right people in the organization.

Step 3. Curate content specific to them

Dig deeper. Understand the pain points. Devise content to address those challenges. While creating content, always keep the end goal of solving the customer’s problem in the back of your mind. ProGlove, an industrial wearable company that is solely a B2B organization, has a great ABM strategy in place. For the purpose of the content, after having identified their high-valued accounts, they create a personalized newsletter for their clients, with offers specific to them and with knowledge content that would solve their existing problem. This is just one way how companies can create targeted content for their customer.

Step 4. Leveraging communication channels

From social media to personalized e-mail and messaging, leverage your customer’s presence on different channels to your benefit. Depending on the roles and the industries, make sure you are making a sound decision when it comes to choosing a specific channel for targeting your customer.

Step 5. Align Sales & Marketing to execute targeted campaigns

It is important to align the efforts of your marketing and sales department to create the absolute buzz that you need for ABM to work. Make sure both the teams collaborate to devise the fitting content for targeting a particular customer. Since the sales team has more ground coverage at the client, they know what their pain points are. Making sure sales and marketing are aligned, the targeted campaigns would direct towards the requirement of the client, making sure that the communicated message is relevant to them personally.

Step 6. Analyze, Assimilate, and Optimize

A/B testing has been the base of all facets of marketing. It is also true for ABM. Make sure that you are analyzing your efforts, learning from them, and optimizing the content and messaging to create the absolute-winning model.

One size fits all?

focused and targeted client-base

With ABM, we always need to see each customer as a separate entity. Each one of them is unique in its own way and have separate requirements. So make sure to learn, progress, and revamp the solution to make it thoroughly comprehensive. Having a focused and targeted client-base will help to achieve success in the B2B marketing aspect. This approach will foster an in-depth understanding of all high-valued accounts making sure the approach is effective in its true sense. In the words of Adam Audette, *“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.” *

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Aditya Bothra

Aditya Bothra

Digital Marketing Manager

Aditya Bothra is the Digital Marketing Manager at ProGlove, a startup in the Industry 4.0 space. Their embedded barcode scanners with ergonomic design helps the workers in logistics and warehouses to be more efficient and effective. Having in-depth knowledge of the digital sphere, Aditya is responsible for ProGlove’s online presence strategy and has devised automated strategies for faster and more effective communication. He has a double master’s degree in Management from the National University of Singapore, and CEMS Master in International Management from ESADE Business School and Bocconi University.