Account-based marketing (ABM) is on the rise for B2B marketers who are looking for an alternative to traditional methods. This new approach allows B2B companies to take advantage of the same automation and personalization tools that have benefitted B2C marketers or so long. By using technology, B2B marketers are able to cut down their sales cycle and make their businesses more efficient and allows firms to focus less on the sales pipeline and more on engaging qualified leads.
According to 2015 State of Account Based Marketing Survey by SiriusDecisions, 92 percent of B2B marketers find this new strategy to “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts.
Demand Metric’s 2015 Account-Based Marketing Adoption study, found that 71 percent of marketers are interested in adopting an ABM strategy and are currently testing or are already using it.
The same study found four top benefits of ABM users:
- 83 percent reported that this approach helped increase engagement with target accounts
- 69 percent said it helped improve sales and marketing alignment
- 66 percent reported that ABM helped B2B marketers uncover better qualified prospects
- 59 percent revealed a greater understanding of program performance.
“It allows marketing and sales to target the accounts they value most, including prospects, current customers and partners,” explains Demand Metric’s report. “This precise approach to targeting helps bring the right accounts to the table, making the marketing and sales process more efficient.”
ABM is beneficial to B2B marketers because it allows them to identify the people within an account, to approach, and then deliver highly targeted content to these prospects at each stage of their journey. In order to capture the attention of buyers, marketers need to work with the sales team to know more about the prospect than simply his or her name and job title. ABM tools are able to help B2B marketers create persona-based journey maps that target content based on a potential customer’s actions and their stage in the customer lifecycle.
Once identified, marketing and sales should work in tandem to help build solid relationships with these audiences in order to truly understand the identified audience. ABM can help marketers identify how prospective clients interact with each other, what their challenges and pain points are, and what their needs and content preferences are at any given time in the lifecycle.
These journey maps give marketers and sales teams deep insights into clients and how they shop. Journey maps are essential because they help marketers see the buyer’s point of view, a valuable insight to strategically helping them solve their problems.
For ABM to achieve digital scale, B2B marketers need to find the right technology partners that suit their requirements. With the right tools in place, B2B marketers are better poised to identify which accounts represent their ideal customer. To select the right vendor, B2B marketers should identify their goals first and look at how these tools will support their roadmap.
ABM tools can include predictive analytics in order to help build a holistic list of account profiles. In addition, the technology should help B2B marketers extract relevant points of contact, ideally incorporating automated CRM platforms to source and store the data. Since targeted advertising is an important step in the journey, B2B marketers should consider seeking vendors that provide advertising solutions in order to achieve seamless integration. In addition, tools that offer companies the opportunity to personalize their content and digital assets based on a customer’s persona are ideal to help engage prospects.
Thanks to new technology, B2B companies are making new strides in prospecting and bringing sales and marketing together in a more effective way. The question shouldn’t be should you be doing ABM, but how will it work best for your organization.
Image via chb1848