Predictive analytics and big data are breathing new life into account-based marketing (ABM) experiences among B2B marketers. According to a recent study from SiriusDecisions, 92 percent of B2B companies called ABM “extremely important” to their overall marketing efforts, and 60 percent of these marketers plan to invest in the channel in the next year.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) allows companies to focus on accounts rather than leads in order to help teams align across the complex purchase funnel. Rather than identifying as many leads as possible, ABM focuses on identifying best-fit customers first. Instead of passing leads onto sales, marketers are identifying prospective clients using the targeted content and channels that can turn customers into brand advocates.
Data is at the center of this approach, there is an opportunity to isolate account-level buying intent and then apply machine learning to figure out which stage a prospect is in. B2B marketers can isolate key data points to identify high value accounts and then import these metrics into a marketing automation platform or CRM to do predictive marketing.
Identifying buyer roles is the key to a strong ABM approach. Marketers should identify key decision makers, influencers, users and buyers within a company in order to address each person during the sales cycle. Different campaigns can be applied to these different stakeholders in order to appeal to their specific role in the company. However, B2B marketers shouldn’t assume that a specific job title makes specific decisions. Instead, marketers should look at the data and use predictive segmentation, which relies on thousands of indicators for accurate role-identification.
ABM is helping B2B marketers make their processes more efficient by helping to align the efforts of sales and marketing teams. Unlike a traditional approach in which marketing teams are focused on generating leads and sales is focused on closing deals, ABM succeeds when these two departments come together to focus on marketing and selling to a set of accounts that sales and marketing define together. Instead of sales teams focusing on the second half of the sales funnel to generate additional revenue, ABM is all about expanding relationships with existing customers. Developing highly customized offers, and tailoring this content to the highest value existing accounts, will result in increasing numbers of deals closed, while at the same time giving marketing the credit as the main source of revenue.
The various tools on the market today help teams to conduct personalized research about targeted accounts and connect insights to sales teams. By adjusting KPIs, sales and marketing teams are able to identify quality leads and use this data to align marketing and sales teams on messaging and tactics.
There are various tools on the market depending on your company’s needs. Marketers know the value of ABM and with the right tools in place B2B businesses are now able to create highly effective campaigns, reaching the right people at each organization. The bottom line is that B2B marketers can stay competitive by turning to ABM.