Account-Based Marketing 101: The Ultimate Guide to ABM

Lidia Vijga

Table of Contents

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy that targets specific high-value accounts with personalized campaigns.
  • ABM enables organizations to direct energy toward high-value target accounts, craft tailored messages, develop a unified front between marketing and sales teams, and build long-term relationships.
  • Strategic ABM is ideal for targeting high-value accounts with a personalized approach.
  • ABM Lite targets slightly more numerous but similar accounts.
  • Programmatic ABM offers automation and scale when engaging larger and more diverse account pools.
  • Traditional Marketing vs ABM: Account-Based Marketing targets specific high-value accounts, while traditional marketing reaches a broad audience.
  • Inbound Marketing vs ABM: ABM emphasizes marketing and sales alignment, while inbound marketing focuses on content and building relationships with leads over time.
  • Demand Generation vs ABM: ABM targets specific accounts with personalized content, while demand generation creates product or service awareness to generate leads and drive customer engagement.
  • Lead Generation vs ABM: Account-Based Marketing strategically targets specific accounts with personalized campaigns, while lead generation focuses on generating a large volume of potential customers through broad-reaching strategies.
  • Challenges of Account-Based Marketing: 1) Identifying the right accounts to target. 2) Conducting in-depth research on key accounts. 3) Crafting personalized content for each target account. 4) Aligning sales and marketing teams. 5) Measuring and optimizing the effectiveness of ABM campaigns.
  • Benefits of Account-Based Marketing: 1) Higher ROI. 2) Personalized messaging. 3) Uniting marketing and sales teams. 4) Building long-term relationships with key accounts. 5) Accurate measurement of marketing efforts.
  • Essential Members of an ABM Team: Head of ABM, Integrated Campaigns Manager, Marketing Operations, Revenue Operations, Digital Marketing Manager, ABM Specialist or Content Manager, ABM Analyst, Field Marketers, SDRs, and BDRs.
  • Tools for Account-Based Marketing: CRM software, Marketing automation platforms, Content delivery platforms, Analytics and reporting tools, Email marketing platforms, Social media management tools.
  • Account-Based Marketing can complement inbound marketing efforts by providing a targeted approach for high-value accounts.
  • Inbound marketing can attract potential leads, while Account-Based Marketing can convert those leads into customers.
  • ABM can be effective for small businesses by helping them focus on high-value target accounts that can generate significant revenue. By concentrating resources and efforts on a select group of accounts, small businesses can make the most of their limited resources and achieve a higher ROI.
  • Implementing Account-Based Marketing requires careful consideration of business goals, resources, and target audience.
  • When choosing ABM, evaluate the potential benefits, such as increased ROI, personalized messaging, and long-term relationships with key accounts.
  • Account-Based Marketing may be the right choice if your business is primarily focused on B2B sales and marketing and aims to target high-value accounts for maximum ROI.

If you’re in the world of B2B marketing and sales, you’ve probably heard the buzz around Account-Based Marketing (ABM). ABM can help companies to significantly maximize ROI by creating personalized or customized campaigns that target accounts individually or at scale. In fact, according to a study by Alterra Group, 97% of marketers reported that ABM had a higher ROI compared to other marketing initiatives.

Aligning both marketing and sales teams is critical for ABM’s success, as it will ensure all key stakeholders are in sync with each other’s strategies. The effort required might seem daunting at first, however, the Account-Based Marketing approach to targeting audiences yields greater efficiency and enables businesses to get more out of their investments – making it well worth the time spent.

Google trends - Account-Based Marketing Statistics

This comprehensive Account-Based Marketing guide will uncover the untapped power of ABM and take you through all the steps to give your Account-Based Marketing strategy a boost – from Account-Based Marketing basics to exploring its ins and outs, delivering practical tips, using helpful tools and discussing real use cases to help you navigate the world of Account-Based Marketing with ease.

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a business marketing strategy focused on targeting specific accounts. Instead of casting a wide net to attract leads, marketing and sales teams collaborate on personalized campaigns built to resonate with individual accounts, leading to increased engagement and higher conversion rates.

The History of Account-Based Marketing Strategy

ABM book - The One to One Future - Building Relationships One Customer at a Time

Uncovering the roots of Account-Based Marketing provides a captivating look into its past while also giving us an idea of where it may be headed in the near future. Examining this evolution can help unlock new strategies and opportunities to make sure businesses remain on top-of-mind for their target market customers.

Since its invention in 1450, marketing has been revolutionized multiple times. The idea of Account Based Marketing was born in the early 1990s when B2B and B2C companies realized that personalization of sales process is the key to getting maximum ROI from their strategies. This insight ultimately kick-started a new era of personalized approaches with Account-Based Marketing as one powerful tool at our disposal today.

Don Peppers and Martha Rogers revolutionized marketing practices when they published their groundbreaking book, “The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time” in 1993. Receiving high praise from Business Week as the bible of new marketing, this influential work anticipated the emergence of one-to-one approaches that would replace more generic mass marketing techniques.

Peppers and Rogers advocated for marketing and sales teams to find the most loyal customers, who possess the greatest potential for financial returns. They suggested creating tailored approaches that foster lasting relationships with these valued clients.

ABM in 1993 was a very different beast than it is today. What was once considered cutting-edge technologies – fax machines, voicemail, and cell phones – allowed Pepper and Rogers to foresee the rise of CRM software – an invention that would revolutionize the way sales and marketing teams identify and meet their customers’ needs.

It took one decade for Account-Based Marketing to officially be coined when in 2003 the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) published its game-changing paper – “Account-Based Marketing: The New Frontier”. From then onwards this trend revolutionized how marketers approach their B2B marketing strategies.

Personalization has always been essential in successful B2B marketing, but this paper highlighted an additional element for optimal results: cultivating strong relationships with key customers.

Over the years, Account-Based Marketing has transformed from a basic approach in the 1990s to a powerful strategy for establishing and sustaining connections with important customers. With the help of modern sales and marketing technologies including email, team collaboration apps, and videoconferencing software, ABM is used to establish and maintain relationships with customers.

Don Peppers and Martha Rogers created a revolutionary marketing approach that continues to shape the industry today. Their pioneering ideas enabled personalization, built stronger customer relationships, and focused on high-value accounts – transforming marketing forever. We continue to witness their legacy through modern technologies and strategies that carry out their vision for customer success everywhere.

What is the Role of Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing is essential to B2B marketing success. It enables organizations to direct energy toward high-value accounts, craft tailored messages that resonate with customers, develop a unified front between sales and marketing teams, and build long-term relationships while accurately measuring the results.

Strategically targeting key accounts to maximize ROI

Account-Based Marketing brings a laser focus to marketing, enabling businesses to optimize their resources and target high-value accounts with precision. Rather than attempting blanket outreach through traditional marketing methods, pinpointing the most likely prospects for conversion and ROI ensures that Account-Based Marketing efforts are concentrated in the right places.

Account-Based Marketing is a great way to direct your marketing efforts in the most profitable direction. As an example, software providers can use ABM strategy to target and provide tailored solutions for larger enterprises that fit their industry-specific requirements and pain points. By expending resources strategically, your marketing and sales team can maximize the ROI.

Crafting personalized messaging to connect with target accounts

Customer success teams working on personalized campaigns

Account-Based Marketing takes personalization to unprecedented heights, allowing ABM teams to craft powerful personalized messaging that truly connects with their target accounts. By digging deep into account research data and insights, they can develop content tailored precisely towards each unique customer’s needs, pain points, and goals – creating an experience like none before.

This level of personalization helps companies stand out from the competition, build trust, and increase the likelihood of conversion.

For instance, by leveraging Account-Based Marketing, marketing agencies can craft effective email campaigns for their target accounts in the retail industry. Instead of a generic approach, these customized ABM strategies address unique obstacles and provide tailored solutions to help them succeed.

Even though modern ABM tools make it easier to use data, according to The ABM report, the main challenge for 50% of B2B marketers is still the complexity of utilizing data to make decisions and evaluate their progress.

Still, According to Harvard Business Review, suppliers who sent personalized content to their individual stakeholders were 40% more likely to make a sale than those who did not.

Uniting sales and marketing teams to achieve better results

Account-Based Marketing success hinges on the close relationship between sales and marketing teams. When these teams join forces, they create a unified front that focuses strategically on goals, target accounts, and personalized messaging – all tailored to engage key prospects for maximum efficiency. Through ongoing collaboration and communication, both sides bring unique perspectives which can drive effective marketing campaigns with superior results.

This collaborative approach not only improves the efficiency of marketing and sales efforts but also fosters a culture of teamwork and shared success. A great example of this is a B2B SaaS company that uses Account-Based Marketing to target mid-size businesses, with sales and marketing teams working hand-in-hand to create compelling content, engage prospects, and ultimately close deals.

Building long-term relationships with key accounts

Account-Based Marketing tactics involve building relationships with key accounts

ABM’s approach allows marketing and sales teams to create valuable relationships with customers by taking the time to get to know them on a personal level. This individualized approach helps build strong, enduring bonds and encourages clients to view your company as much more than just another vendor. They see you as their partner in success! Not only does this lead directly to increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), but it also results in repeat business opportunities and referrals from happy clients.

According to Cyance, companies that have implemented ABM have seen an 84% increase in reputation and an 80% increase in customer relationships.

Measuring more accurately the effectiveness of marketing efforts

Account-Based Marketing makes it easier for marketers to track how their campaigns are performing, so they can make the most of every marketing dollar. Through monitoring KPIs like pipeline value, conversion rates, and more – marketing and sales teams get a better read on just how effective their tactics really are and fine-tune strategies to maximize ROI.

Be sure to check our handy cheat sheet that provides in-depth information about ABM KPIs.

What Are the Three Types of Account-Based Marketing?

3 Types of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) - Strategic ABM, ABM Lite, Programmatic ABM - Diagram

There are three types of Account-Based Marketing: Strategic ABM, ABM Lite, and Programmatic ABM, each with its unique benefits and challenges. Strategic ABM is ideal for reaching those all-important high-value accounts in a more personalized way, focusing on the best fit target accounts while ABM Lite allows engagement of slightly more numerous but similar targets. Programmatic Account-Based Marketing meanwhile offers automation and scale when engaging larger and more diverse account pools.

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What is the Difference Between Account-Based Marketing and Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing techniques involve using content marketing, social media campaigns, or email outreach in order to reach a broad audience. This approach can pay off with branding awareness but requires significant resources. Meanwhile, Account-Based Marketing is more focused on specific high-value accounts. ABM team can foster stronger relationships with clients by tailoring messages toward their unique needs which often leads to higher engagement, conversions, and ROI.

In choosing strategies that work best for your business goals both approaches have merit, however, they must be weighed against available resources and target audiences before making any decisions.

What is the Difference Between Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing

Account-Based Marketing vs Traditional Inbound Marketing

Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing may appear similar on paper but can be worlds apart when executed correctly. ABM is a targeted approach that emphasizes marketing and sales alignment while traditional inbound marketing focuses on broad audiences through content-building relationships with leads over time. The goals of each also differ. ABM’s ultimate goal is conversion rates compared to gaining trust for Inbound Marketing.

It all boils down to understanding your target audience, resources available, and business objectives so you can make a more informed decision about which method will yield higher ROI for your company.

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What is the Difference Between Account-Based Marketing and Demand Generation?

Although both strategies share the common goal of generating revenue, they differ in their methodologies, targets, and execution. With an Account-Based Marketing Strategy, businesses can target specific high-value accounts with personalized content tailored to their needs. Alternatively, demand generation works by creating awareness of products or services through various channels to generate leads and drive customer engagement.

According to a Forrester survey, a significant number of marketers (56%) believe that using personalized content and 43% believe that advanced data management are crucial factors for achieving successful account-based marketing.

What is the Difference Between Account-Based Marketing and Lead Generation?

The difference between Account-Based Marketing and Lead Generation is like night and day! The distinction between ABM and Lead Generation lies in their respective approaches. ABM strategically targets specific high-value accounts with personalized campaigns, while Lead Generation focuses on generating a large volume of potential customers through broad-reaching strategies and tactics.

Discover the key differences between ABM and Lead Generation, and learn which marketing strategy is best suited for your company’s growth.

What are the Challenges of Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing has emerged as a game-changing approach in the world of B2B marketing, enabling businesses to target high-value accounts with personalized campaigns and achieve impressive results. However, it’s no secret that ABM can be challenging to implement and maintain, requiring a significant amount of time, effort, and resources.

These are the main challenges facing Account-Based Marketing teams:

ABM challenge #1:
Identifying target accounts that are a good fit.

ABM and sales team identifying target account list

One of the biggest challenges in ABM is identifying the right target accounts to focus on. It requires you to take into account multiple factors such as company size, revenue, and industry – all while keeping an eye out for any potential trends or opportunities.

By analyzing your existing customer accounts base alongside market data and industry insights, you can create a profile of those ideal prospects most likely to generate maximum ROI – making sure every marketing and sales effort counts where it matters most.

For example, identifying the correct target accounts can be tough for a B2B marketing agency in a constantly evolving industry, such as technology. To ensure maximum ROI and effectiveness of services, they must stay current with industry trends and growth areas to determine which target accounts would benefit the most from their services.

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ABM challenge #2:
Conducting in-depth research on key accounts.

After you have determined the target accounts you want to focus on, the next step is to conduct thorough research on each account. This research should gather information on their specific needs, areas of concern, and objectives. Doing so is essential to the success of your ABM plan since this insight allows you to design individualized content and marketing strategies that will appeal to your target accounts.

However, collecting and analyzing this data can be a challenging task, especially when dealing with a substantial number of existing customer accounts, which may require a significant amount of time and resources.

For instance, researching the challenges and requirements of each target account within the healthcare industry is important for a B2B software company. This process involves gathering information on the regulatory landscape, technology adoption, and key decision-makers. Although it can be complex and time-consuming, it is necessary for an ABM strategy execution success.

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ABM challenge #3:
Personalizing marketing campaigns at scale.

Personalizing your marketing campaigns to each individual account is a powerful way of speaking directly to their needs and setting yourself apart from the competition. However, creating multiple customized messages for every target can be difficult – especially if you don’t have much in the way of resources.

For example, it can be difficult for a small cybersecurity company to develop customized marketing materials, such as tailored email campaigns, webinars, and whitepapers, for each finance sector target account. They must account for various security issues, compliance regulations, and technological infrastructures specific to each account, which becomes increasingly challenging when managing multiple key accounts.

ABM challenge #4:
Keeping sales and marketing teams on the same page.

Sales and marketing alignment is crucial for ABM success

To ensure that Account-Based Marketing initiatives take off, marketing and sales both need to be fully aligned. This can be tricky in organizations where sales teams work and have traditionally been kept separate but it’s key for creating alignment on goals, accounts targeted, and marketing messaging.

For instance, implementing an ABM strategy may pose challenges for a B2B manufacturing company in aligning their sales and marketing teams. To tackle this, both teams need to establish a mutual understanding of target accounts, collaborate efforts, and track progress together, which may require a significant shift from their conventional work style.

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ABM challenge #5:
Measuring and optimizing ABM efforts.

Measuring and optimizing ABM efforts can be a complex process. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like pipeline value, conversion rates, deal size, and customer lifetime value is essential to understanding the success of your ABM strategy.

However, these insights are difficult to gather without specialized tools or advanced analytics capabilities. Plus traditional marketing metrics will rarely apply effectively. Hence, companies must identify their own unique set of KPIs specific to Account-Based Marketing if they truly want to maximize their ABM impact.

For example, if a B2B logistics company wants to use Account-Based Marketing , it might be difficult to measure the effectiveness of their personalized marketing campaigns on their targeted accounts in the retail industry. To know if their campaigns are effective or not, they should follow up on metrics like account engagement, deal velocity, and revenue attribution. This information will help them make data-driven changes to their Account-Based Marketing strategy.

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ABM challenge #6:
Missing out on smaller accounts.

Strategic Account-Based Marketing may mean more ROI, but if your aim is to bring in leads from a larger audience – you’ll be missing out on those smaller accounts that could still make great partners. While opting for an all-encompassing approach can have its benefits, it’s important to note the value of these opportunities and weigh them against possible losses.

For instance, if a B2B software company employs an ABM strategy and focuses on large enterprises in the finance industry, they may overlook potential opportunities with smaller financial firms that could also benefit from their product and add to their revenue growth.

ABM challenge #7:
The cost of personalization can be very high.

The cost to implement Account-Based Marketing can be high

The high degree of Account-Based Marketing personalization can be a game changer for many businesses but it takes time and resources to conduct research on target accounts and build campaigns tailored specifically to the unique needs of target accounts.

For businesses with budget or personnel constraints, implementation of an effective personalization strategy might require additional investments. The ultimate payoff, however, is greater returns on those efforts.

For example, the implementation of an ABM strategy by a B2B marketing agency in the healthcare sector can be difficult due to the extensive time and resources needed to create tailored content, email campaigns, and webinars for each targeted account. This approach can put a strain on the agency’s budget and hinder its ability to undertake other marketing projects.

ABM challenge #8:
Long sales cycles.

Finally, if you’re looking for quick wins, Account-Based Marketing isn’t it. Instead of a speedy conversion rate, ABM takes time and effort to build relationships with key accounts while carefully shepherding them through the full sales funnel and sales process – but if all goes according to plan, these investments could result in some serious ROI down the line.

Unlocking the power of Account-Based Marketing can come with a few hurdles along the way, but when you have an understanding of these challenges and use best practices to overcome them, there are major rewards. To hit your Account-Based Marketing goals over time you will have to invest in tools like CRMs and marketing automation platforms as well as foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams.

What are the Benefits of Account-Based Marketing?

Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

It can be quite challenging to implement Account-Based Marketing strategy, however, it remains one of the most powerful tools for B2B businesses, unlocking the potential to drive long-term success. With higher ROI and better customer relationships than traditional approaches offer, companies can benefit from improved marketing and sales alignment as well as easier measurability of performance through best practices adoption.

ABM benefit #1:
Higher ROI.

Account-Based Marketing has a major benefit in achieving a higher return on investment. When marketing and sales teams prioritize high-value accounts, they can effectively use resources and attain better results, ultimately leading to an improved ROI.

According to the Demand Metric report, 60% of companies experience a minimum of 10% growth in revenue during the first year of their ABM program.

For example, A software company that provides project management tools for businesses has decided to use Account-Based Marketing to reach out to larger construction companies. By focusing their marketing efforts on these high-value target accounts, the company has seen a notable increase in revenue from their marketing budget. This approach has resulted in a higher return on investment when compared to their traditional marketing approach.

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ABM benefit #2:
Improved customer relationships through better personalization.

Account-Based Marketing helps businesses build better customer relationships through personalized marketing messages – specific to each account. By understanding their customers’ needs and pain points, companies can tailor messages that show how much they value those relationships and make meaningful connections with each customer.

The Demand Metric report indicates that the primary advantage of using ABM, as reported by 83% of its users, is a boost in engagement with the target accounts.

For instance, a B2B marketing agency that focuses on the healthcare sector is using an ABM strategy to create tailored content, webinars, and email campaigns for their target accounts. By doing so, they are building stronger and more meaningful relationships with their clients, resulting in increased engagement.

ABM benefit #3:
ABM strategy benefits from better marketing and sales alignment.

The real payoff goes beyond just better performance and a smoother sales cycle and sales process itself – improved alignment between marketing and sales teams. Account-Based Marketing encourages departments to collaborate in identifying, engaging with, and converting high-value accounts that can have tremendous benefits for your company.

82% of B2B marketers said ABM greatly improves alignment between sales and marketing.

For example, a B2B manufacturing company decides to use Account Based Marketing tools, which results in an improved collaboration between their sales and marketing teams. These teams collaborate to identify target accounts and develop personalized marketing campaigns, which helps them to close deals faster and increase their revenue.

ABM benefit #4:
Tracking performance and optimizing campaigns is easier.

The use of Account-Based Marketing can help businesses track the success of their marketing campaigns more accurately by focusing on a smaller group of valuable accounts. This approach allows for more precise attribution of metrics giving businesses the relevant data they need to make informed decisions and improve their campaigns over time.

For instance, a cybersecurity company uses an ABM approach to target specific accounts in the energy industry. By tracking metrics such as account engagement, intent data, deal velocity, and revenue attribution, they get detailed information about their target audience. With these data points, the company can fine-tune their marketing campaigns to increase their effectiveness and gain a deeper understanding of their audience.

Before starting with Account-Based Marketing, it is important to consider its potential drawbacks along with its benefits. Doing so will help you make an informed decision about whether this targeted approach is suitable for your business goals, resources, and target audience. If your company decides to pursue an ABM strategy, prepare to invest the necessary time, effort, and resources to overcome these challenges.

What is The Long-Term Objective of Account-Based Marketing Tactics?

Long-Term Objective of Account-Based Marketing Tactics

The long-term objective of Account-Based Marketing is to create sustainable growth for B2B companies by building and nurturing strong relationships with high-value accounts. Account-Based Marketing is different from traditional marketing because it concentrates on a specific group of target accounts instead of a broader audience. This approach allows businesses to allocate their marketing resources more efficiently and effectively.

Strengthening customer relationships

The main purpose of Account-Based Marketing is to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with key accounts. This involves customizing marketing strategies and messages to address the specific needs and challenges of each account. By doing so, businesses can show their dedication to helping their customers succeed.

Expanding revenue opportunities through expanding ACV

Another goal of Account-Based Marketing is to increase ACV (Average Customer Value) by finding and making use of opportunities to upsell existing customer accounts and cross-sell related or more expensive products or services to existing accounts.

When companies build strong relationships with these existing customers, they learn more about what they need and can suggest additional offerings that will provide even more benefits to the existing customers, and higher ACV for the company.

Enhancing marketing and sales alignment for continuous improvement

With an Account-Based Marketing approach, sales and marketing teams can join forces to maximize the entire customer lifecycle journey from start to finish. Through continual collaboration and accountability between departments, organizations will discover new opportunities for long-term success. Collaborating to improve strategies and sharing insights about what works well in benefits everyone. This is another way that ABM can aid teams in reaching their goal of sustainable growth in the long run.

In fact, according to Terminus, Account-Based Marketing efforts account for 79% of opportunities and 73% of total revenue for companies with mature ABM strategies.

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Who are the Essential Members of an Effective Account-Based Marketing team?

ABM requires marketing, sales and customer success teams working together

Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to adjust the size of your team accordingly. Here are some of the ABM roles that your company should consider when putting together an Account-Based Marketing team:

  • Head of ABM – responsible for supervising your entire ABM program and providing reports on its outcomes to the C suite.
  • Integrated Campaigns Manager – collaborates with different teams within the company to ensure that all offers and marketing across multiple channels are aligned and optimized.
  • Marketing Operations – helps the company measure the return on investment and facilitate the connection between systems and people on the Account-Based Marketing team.
  • Revenue Operations – represents a cohesive strategy that harmonizes sales, marketing, and customer service functions with the aim of fueling growth and optimizing the customer lifecycle.
  • Digital Marketing Manager – the person responsible for aligning your offline and online ABM strategies, allowing for seamless integration of all Account-Based Marketing activities.
  • ABM Specialist or Content Manager – focuses on researching target accounts and creating personalized content at scale.
  • ABM Analyst – plays a critical role in analyzing data and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to optimize ABM efforts and drive results.
  • Field Marketers – assist in implementing events and campaigns in person and serve as a bridge between potential customers and the sales team.
  • SDRs and BDRs – your sales reps are responsible for converting interest into relevant opportunities.

How do you Choose Target Accounts for Account-Based Marketing

Marketing and sales team identifying target accounts

Account-Based Marketing strategy requires pinpoint accuracy and that starts with carefully selecting the high value target accounts you’re targeting. By identifying high-value accounts, analyzing historical sales data, leveraging predictive analytics tools, and collaborating with sales teams, companies can optimize their ABM efforts and focus on the highest value accounts with the highest potential for conversion.

Here are some practical tips on how to choose target accounts for Account-Based Marketing:

1. Identify high-value target accounts.

To begin selecting target accounts, you should identify high-value accounts. This should be based on factors such as revenue potential, industry vertical, and strategic fit. It is very important to consider both the account’s potential lifetime value and its alignment with the company’s business objectives and expertise.

For example, a B2B marketing agency that focuses on the healthcare sector may start by identifying target accounts in that industry that have high revenue potential and align well with the agency’s services. These target accounts could consist of big healthcare organizations, hospitals, or medical device manufacturers that require sophisticated and industry specific marketing solutions.

2. Analyze historical marketing and sales data.

Another critical step in target account selection is gaining a deeper understanding of past successes.  Analyzing historical marketing and sales data can help companies make better decisions when it comes to selecting target accounts for future sales campaigns. By examining historical data, important patterns and trends emerge which can provide invaluable insight into the types of accounts that are most likely to convert.

For instance, you may find that your top-performing key accounts are in the financial services sector and fall within a specific company size. This information can guide your Account-Based Marketing strategy towards these types of accounts, which can lead to higher ROI and shorter sales cycles.

3. Leverage predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics tools can help you pinpoint target accounts that are highly likely to convert. Analyzing various types of data, like firmographic data, technographic data, and intent data signals, can help ABM teams predict which accounts are most likely to engage with their Account-Based Marketing campaigns and eventually convert.

For example, a B2B manufacturing company may use a predictive analytics tool to go through data on a large number of accounts and find the ones most likely to purchase their products. By doing this, they can concentrate their efforts on Account-Based Marketing towards the ones that have the highest potential to buy their products in high volumes.

4. Collaborate with your sales team.

Finally, getting your sales reps and marketing teams to work together can pay dividends. By joining forces, your team has the potential to draw upon invaluable insights from those on the ground directly interacting with customers. This is exactly what’s needed for refining your target accounts list.

For instance, a B2B consulting firm may organize meetings between their sales and marketing teams to assess the potential target accounts. During these meetings, the sales team can share their insights on the accounts that have a higher potential to convert, based on their experience and connections with important decision-makers.

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What Tools Do You Need for Account-Based Marketing?

Account-Based Marketing tools discussion

Account-Based Marketing is a powerful B2B marketing strategy that focuses on identifying, targeting, and engaging high-value accounts. To successfully implement and manage ABM campaigns, marketers need a set of specialized tools that can streamline marketing and sales process, enable personalization, and provide valuable insights into campaign performance.

Here’s the list of the most essential Account-Based Marketing tools you will need to implement an effective ABM strategy:

1. CRM and marketing automation platforms to keep track of target accounts.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation platforms play a key role in Account-Based Marketing. These automation platforms can make campaign executions a breeze while helping marketers and sales reps track their interactions with prospects and customers seamlessly.

For example, an ABM team that uses HubSpot can take advantage of its integrated Account-Based Marketing features to generate target account lists, designate the target account list managers, and track target account list progress and sales engagement, all on one platform.

2. Account intelligence tools to uncover valuable insights about target accounts.

Account-Based marketers need to go beyond surface-level data points when targeting high-value accounts. With account intelligence tools, they can get in-depth details about an industry’s size and revenue plus uncover essential insights and intent data that will help them make data-driven decisions when implementing and executing their ABM strategy.

For instance, marketing and sales team using Apollo can easily access comprehensive company profiles that contain industry information and contact details of important decision-makers. This information can help them choose target accounts and personalize their efforts more effectively.

3. Content marketing tools to deliver personalized experiences to target accounts.

Crafting personalized messages that resonate with your target accounts is key to a successful Account-Based Marketing strategy. With personalization tools, you can effectively deliver content based on specific account insights that resonate and captures their attention.

For example, a B2B company using DeckLinks can create personalized content hubs for each target account with personalized messaging, branding, and content that speaks directly to the account’s unique needs and challenges.

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4. Analytics and reporting tools to optimize ABM campaigns.

To make sure ABM strategies are driving performance, it’s essential to measure and adjust along the way. With analytics solutions in your arsenal, you can easily track KPIs for success tracking and stay on top of trends that impact results – helping unlock opportunities for sales optimization at every opportunity.

For instance, marketing teams that are using Tableau can track engagement metrics, including time spent on the website and conversion rates, for their Account-Based Marketing campaigns. And sales and marketing teams that are using DeckLinks can track engagement of their sales and marketing content, like sales decks and marketing presentations. This helps the team identify which accounts are responding positively and pinpoint areas that require adjustments.

To run successful ABM campaigns, it is essential to have a diverse range of tools for Account-Based Marketing. These tools include CRM and marketing automation platforms, account intelligence tools, personalization and content marketing tools, and analytics and reporting tools. By taking advantage of these tools, marketers can effectively manage their target accounts, deliver customized content, and assess the outcomes of their Account-Based Marketing campaigns.

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How Do ABM Campaigns Integrate Into a Company's Overall Marketing Strategy

Account-Based Marketing has become an essential part of modern B2B marketing strategies. By integrating ABM into your company’s overall sales and marketing strategy, you can drive revenue growth, improve customer retention, and foster collaboration across your organization.

Fueling revenue growth by focusing on high-value accounts

Account-Based Marketing campaigns directly contribute to increasing revenue by expanding relationships with high-value accounts capable of generating significant revenue. This approach allows digital marketers to prioritize resources and concentrate efforts on opportunities that have the highest potential for return on investment.

Building strong customer relationships and supporting retention and expansion goals

A company’s success depends heavily on their ability to build meaningful relationships with customers. That’s why Account-Based Marketing campaigns are an invaluable tool, allowing marketers to deliver tailored content that speaks directly to the needs of each target account. As a result, ABM teams can create trust and loyalty through personalization – leading not only to increased customer retention and ACV but also new opportunities for revenue growth.

For example, after incorporating account-based marketing, the ABM Leadership Alliance observed an average rise of 171% in their annual contract value (ACV).

Improving efficiency and collaboration of marketing and sales teams

Account-Based Marketing promotes collaboration between marketing and sales teams. To run successful ABM campaigns, sales and marketing teams must collaborate closely. This collaboration benefits not only the execution of ABM campaigns but also overall sales and marketing strategy by enhancing departmental efficiency and communication.

When marketing and sales teams work together identifying target accounts, creating customized campaigns, and sharing insights, they can generate better outcomes, streamline the sales process, and shorten sales cycles.

According to Internal Results, companies that have strong coordination between their sales and marketing teams in the B2B sector have achieved annual recurring revenue growth that is 24% faster and profit growth that is 27% faster over a period of three years.

How Do You Measure Account-Based Marketing Tactics Success

Measure Account-Based Marketing Tactics Success

Unlocking a successful Account-Based Marketing strategy is like discovering the holy grail of marketing. The key lies in tracking the right metrics and focusing on what really matters. Instead of getting lost in a sea of numbers, zero in on the trifecta: pipeline generation, revenue growth, and customer engagement.

To achieve success in Account-Based Marketing, keep track of both quantitative and qualitative feedback. Watch for an increase in good leads, bigger deals, and quicker sales cycles while also listening to feedback from your team and customers. A balance of hard data and personal communication will uncover the secrets to Account-Based Marketing success and lead to higher ROI and revenue growth, and shorter sales cycles.

How Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing Work Together

The combination of Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing can be very effective for B2B companies. When combined, Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing can create a powerful and cohesive B2B marketing strategy that can help companies attract, engage, and convert high-value target accounts. Let’s take a closer look at how Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing can work together to achieve significant results.

Attract high-value accounts with inbound tactics

The main focus of Inbound Marketing is to produce and distribute valuable content which will appeal to potential clients and help them discover your brand. Your Inbound Marketing team can attract high-value accounts and position your company as a trustworthy source of information and authority in your field by addressing the specific problems and needs of your target audience.

In contrast to traditional marketing, Account-Based Marketing teams focus only on select high-value accounts and get them engaged. Integrating Inbound Marketing techniques with ABM can help attract high-value accounts to your Account-Based Marketing team and increase ROI.

For account based marketing tactics for example, your marketing team can create personalized blog posts, whitepapers, and webinars for your target accounts that cater to their specific needs and challenges. By providing such targeted content, your company can connect better with high-value prospects and encourage them to engage with your ABM team.

Nurturing and converting inbound leads from target accounts

To convert high-value inbound leads that your Inbound Marketing team has attracted, you can use Account-Based Marketing tactics and create customized marketing campaigns that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each target account. Providing customized content and experiences can help you establish trust and reliability with potential customers, which can increase the likelihood of them becoming paying customers.

For example, to improve the chances of conversion and establish strong relationships with high-value customers, you can take advantage of targeted email campaigns, personalized portals, and landing pages that cater to the unique needs and interests of each target account.

Optimizing marketing efforts by integrating data and insights

The benefits of using Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing together go beyond just attracting and engaging high value target accounts. When you integrate the data and insights from these two approaches, you can develop a better understanding of your target accounts and make ongoing improvements to your Account-Based Marketing strategy.

To better customize your Account-Based Marketing efforts, keep track of engagement metrics such as website and personalized portal visits, content downloads, and email opens. Analyze this data to spot trends and preferences among your target audience. Then, focus your marketing campaigns on the channels and content types that appeal the most to your high-value accounts.

By combining the strengths of both marketing approaches, you can attract, engage, and convert high-value accounts, maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts and driving significant revenue growth.

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Does ABM work for small businesses?

There’s a common misconception that Account-Based Marketing is only suitable for businesses targeting large enterprise customers. While it’s true that Account-Based Marketing has historically been associated with enterprise sales, the reality is that businesses of all sizes and industries can benefit from adopting an ABM approach.

The reason is very simple, ABM prioritizes quality over quantity when generating leads. It focuses on nurturing relationships with high-potential accounts instead of casting a wide net. While ABM approach does require more resources than traditional marketing strategies, effectively implemented ABM strategy results in better conversion rates, stronger customer relationships, and increased customer lifetime value.

Why choose Account-Based Marketing Strategy?

Why choose Account-Based Marketing Tactics

If you’re a B2B company, choosing to adopt an Account-Based Marketing strategy could have major benefits. ABM can help strengthen customer relationships and get your sales and marketing teams working in harmony. However, there are some key factors to consider before deciding if it’s the right choice for you. Let’s explore these key factors to help you better understand if an Account-Based Marketing strategy is the right choice for your company.

Navigating complex and long sales cycles

If your company deals with long sales cycles and multiple decision-makers, implementing an Account-Based Marketing strategy could greatly benefit you. Traditional marketing methods may not be effective in engaging and converting prospects in these situations, as they tend to lack personalization.

In contrast, ABM targets the specific requirements and inclinations of each potential account. This involves designing customized marketing strategies and adapting your materials to suit individual decision-makers, allowing you to manage complicated sales process more efficiently and achieve faster sales cycles.

Targeting high-value accounts

Adopting an Account-Based Marketing strategy can greatly benefit B2B companies that sell high-value products or services to a select group of target accounts. With its laser-focused approach, Account-Based Marketing enables businesses to concentrate their marketing efforts specifically on the most potential accounts that are likely to generate significant revenue.

To make the most out of your marketing budget and get better ROI, focus on high-value accounts. This sales and marketing strategy is especially effective for companies in niche markets or with a small customer base.

Aligning sales and marketing teams

Many B2B companies struggle to align their sales and marketing teams, which can result in wasted resources, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities. Adopting an ABM strategy can help overcome this challenge by promoting collaboration between these two teams.

Account-Based Marketing involves teams from both marketing and sales working together to pinpoint target accounts, create tailored campaigns, and monitor progress toward mutual objectives. By collaborating closely, they foster stronger communication, enhance marketing and sales process, and ultimately achieve higher revenue growth.

Fostering long-term relationships and increasing lifetime value

Consider implementing an ABM strategy if your company aims to enhance customer relationships and boost clients’ lifetime value. Through personalized marketing and tailored content, you can establish credibility and trust with target accounts, leading to long-lasting relationships. Building strong relationships with customers can help improve their satisfaction and generate more revenue opportunities through upselling and cross-selling. This can ultimately lead to increased revenue growth and lifetime customer value.

Account-Based Marketing examples

Account-Based Marketing examples

Here are some ABM examples that your team can use to stimulate their creative juices and implement Account-Based Marketing campaign:

ABM example #1:
Predictive lead scoring

Predictive Lead Scoring uses advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to prioritize target accounts based on the likelihood of engagement, conversion, and revenue generation. This helps to focus your efforts on accounts with high potential, maximizing your return on investment and ensuring your sales and marketing teams work efficiently.

ABM example #2:
Personalized email campaigns

Using marketing automation tools to send customized email campaigns to a larger group of target accounts. Creating personalized subject lines, content, and CTAs (Call-to-Action) to engage various stakeholders within each account while still maintaining relevance and customization. It is important to continuously monitor the performance of your email campaigns and optimize them for maximum impact.

When implementing an email marketing campaign, make sure you don’t rely too much on email opens. Learn here why.

ABM example #3:
Personalized content

Your ABM team can use website personalization tools to make your company website and personalized content hubs more engaging to increase lead generation and conversion rates. They need to make sure that they are tailoring sales and marketing content to fit the target audience’s specific needs and addressing their pain points.

Developing the appropriate content for their target audience is still one of the biggest challenges for 40% of B2B marketers.

ABM example #4:
Account-Based Advertising campaigns

One way to improve your advertising campaigns is to use Account-Based Advertising. Account-Based Advertising campaigns involve targeting key accounts in your target account list on platforms like LinkedIn, Google Ads, and Bing, and through specialized Ad Networks and Demand Side Platforms (DSP). With personalized messaging, you can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your ABM campaigns by focusing your ad spend on the most relevant accounts.

ABM example #5:
Data-Driven content personalization

Your Account-Based Marketing team can improve personalized experiences for your target accounts by using data. They can dig deep into technographic and firmographic data, and intent data to understand target accounts needs and preferences, and then personalize messaging accordingly.

ABM example #6:
Social media listening

To effectively engage with your target accounts on social media, your Account-Based Marketing team can use social media monitoring tools to stay up-to-date with the activities of the key accounts on social media platforms like LinkedIn. You can join discussions, provide helpful content, and answer any questions to show your expertise and establish a strong company presence and brand awareness. This approach can position your brand as a leader in the field and get noticed by your intended audience.

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ABM example #7:
Lookalike modeling

Use data analysis and machine learning to find prospects who share similarities with your current highest-value accounts. Lookalike modeling can enable your ABM team to target accounts with similar attributes, broaden your scope, and increase your chances of successful conversions.

ABM example #8:
Cross-Channel campaigns

By coordinating ABM efforts across various channels, including email, social media, advertising, and content marketing your team can greatly improve the effectiveness of their Account-Based Marketing strategy. Orchestrating cross-channel campaigns can enable your team to provide a consistent and unified experience for your target audience, resulting in a higher chance of your message resonating with them.

Conclusion

Personalized relationships with high-value accounts form an integral part of building and implementing an effective Account-Based Marketing strategy. ABM is all about building personalized relationships with high-value accounts and ensuring that your ABM efforts are laser-focused on the right targets. A great set of ABM tools, when used correctly, can give your team a massive uplift in the effectiveness and efficiency of their ABM efforts – allowing them to reach new heights.

Account-Based Marketing may be intimidating at first glance but nothing worthwhile comes easy. So stay agile in learning new trends and ways of thinking while staying committed to success and before you know it – ABM will work its magic!

FAQs

What are the key components of an ABM strategy?

Key components of every Account-Based Marketing strategy include identifying target accounts, aligning marketing and sales teams, creating personalized content and campaigns, engaging decision makers, and measuring success through relevant data.

Account-Based Marketing benefits include higher ROI, improved sales and marketing alignment, better targeting of high-value accounts, personalized messaging, and stronger long-term relationships with customers.

Sales reps can collaborate with marAccount-Based Marketing teams to identify target accounts, provide insights on key decision makers, and engage with prospects through personalized messaging and content.

Some of the most common Account-Based Marketing tactics include creating personalized content, using multiple channels for outreach, targeting decision makers, leveraging marketing automation, and coordinating efforts between sales and marketing teams.

Account-Based Marketing tools include marketing automation platforms, live and asynchronous video platforms, CRM systems, intent data providers, and third-party data sources to help identify target accounts, create personalized campaigns, and measure success.

ABM results may vary depending on the sales cycle and target accounts. Give your teams enough time to generate results in line with the typical purchase cycle, and adjust your strategy and tactics as necessary.

Yes, Account-Based Marketing can be adapted to various industries, from tech to healthcare. The key is to align Account-Based Marketing efforts with business objectives and target accounts that make sense for your organization.

Data points, such as firmographic data and intent data, enable personalized messaging, precise targeting, and tracking of the buyer’s journey. Data-driven ABM campaigns are more effective.

To engage decision-makers, personalize messaging for key stakeholders within target accounts and tailor your approach to address their pain points. Account-Based Marketing programs designed for buying committees yield higher ROI and a better customer experience.

About the Author

Lidia Vijga is a seasoned professional with 10 years of first-hand experience in B2B sales and B2B marketing. She has a proven track record of driving growth for companies across various industries. Throughout her career, Lidia has led numerous successful sales campaigns and implemented innovative marketing strategies that have significantly increased revenue and reduced customer acquisition cost for her clients. Lidia regularly shares her insights and experiences on LinkedIn, webinars, and public speaking engagements. Lidia believes in the power of personal qualities such as kindness, empathy, and the willingness to understand others. She is committed to empowering client-facing teams with tools that enhance their talent instead of automating it, and she firmly believes that teams that show their human side grow companies much faster.

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