Successful Account Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns achieve three things: They identify, engage and measure target lists to achieve the best results for the business as well as top-line growth.
So, let’s dive into how these three steps are achieved, and what you need to do within your own organization to launch an Account Based Marketing campaign that delivers a real return on investment (ROI).
Identifying your ideal customer
Account Based Marketing is all about focusing on building and maintaining relationships with your highest-opportunity, highest-value clients.
The foundation of an effective Account Based Marketing strategy is therefore the alignment of sales and marketing. International statistics tell us that only 22% of sales and marketing teams are aligned. In order for ABM to work, this needs to change.
Marketing knows how to target customers, speak their language and reel them in. But sales knows who those high-value accounts are. These two departments working together is an essential component of success – you need to be having the right conversations with the right customers.
An Account Based Marketing strategy isn’t about casting a wide net with your lead-generation efforts. It’s about marketers working closely with sales to identify key prospects and then tailor customized solutions and messaging for the decision-makers and stakeholders within those accounts.
Here’s an example. Let’s imagine you’re focusing on migrating businesses from fixed servers onto the cloud through Microsoft’s Azure offering.
Rather than taking a blanket approach – going after small businesses, SMEs, and enterprises across all sectors – you might start by focusing on the accounts within your existing customer base who have the highest need and the required budget.
Need to know who those accounts are? Ask the sales department. Not only does your sales team have the highest amount of client facing time, they understand the needs and challenges your customers are facing. You just need to delve into the insights they already possess.
Engaging with the right prospects
ABM is two things above all else: It’s highly personal and specific to its target audience. In action, this means all ABM communications and marketing collateral need to be personalised and consistent in the way they interact with prospects.
Once you’ve determined who your ideal prospect is, you can start creating your personalised and optimised content.
According to research from Microsoft, the first ten seconds of a page visit are critical for a user’s decision to stay or leave.
Whether you are creating content for a webpage, LinkedIn message or newsletter, keep this statistic top of mind – if you are immediately capturing your audience’s attention, they will move on.
Your campaign must hit a nerve. In order to achieve this, ask the following questions before crafting your message:
While designing your messaging, keep this top of mind: For ABM to truly be successful, your messaging needs to support the entire B2B buyers’ journey, from acquisition and prospecting to closing new business. This consistency is important, because the goal is to nurture existing clients as your most valuable prospects.
Measuring the success of your ABM campaign
The goal of Account Based Marketing campaign is to improve efficiency and gain higher revenue from marketing efforts while using fewer resources.
Research reveals that 84% of businesses using ABM say it delivers higher ROI than other marketing campaigns.
So, how do we achieve this? First, keep in mind that ABM is a targeted marketing tool. This means that while you are speaking to far fewer prospects, you are also running your campaign in such a way that you focus your resources in the most efficient manner possible.
Your goal is therefore to use your internal (and outsourced) talents, technologies, social platforms, analytics and content creation reams in the right areas and in the right ratios to produce the most positive results.
It’s important to track your results, measure them and then tweak them as you go along to get the best return on investment.
Here are five key metrics you can track to determine how well your ABM strategy is working, broken down into the buyer stages (remember, ABM covers the entire buyer’s journey).
Engagement by account: Track which customers in which accounts are completing specific actions (ie visiting your website and from where, opening an email, engaging with a social post asking for more information etc). ABM is a technology-based strategy, so everything is measurable – you just need to access the data.
White space: Where are your targeted customers not engaging with you? You need to fill in the blanks with your key contacts just as much as you need to understand where they are engaging with you.
Meetings held: Are your marketing campaigns resulting in meetings? This is a key metric – the goal is to get your sales team in front of prospects so that they can hold a values-based meeting. How quickly are you moving leads from first touch to meetings to a sale? ABM should be shortening the sales cycle, so ensure you have previous data on hand as a comparison as well.
Average selling point (ASP): By honing in on the needs of specific customers and providing a personalized journey, you should be closing more higher-value deals. By establishing where your ASP is, you can track if this is in fact the case.
According to a SiriusDecisions report, “89% of respondents have increased their close rate using ABM, and one in four increased their closed deals by more than 50% for ABM accounts versus non-ABM accounts.”
Churn rate: Since ABM is all about targeting existing customers, churn rate is important. Your ABm churn rate should be slower than your baseline. ABM isn’t about how many leads you’re reaching out to – its about the quality of the relationship that you’re building. By developing a more meaningful relationship with your customers, churn should decrease significantly.
To measure whether your ABM strategy is effective, these are all key metrics. To ensure you’re getting the most from your strategy, make sure you’re tracking them!