Technology businesses face a number of challenges. First, it’s a highly competitive, overcrowded space. The problem is that even though many tech businesses provide unique services and solutions, because they speak ‘tech’ and their customers don’t, their clients either don’t realise what their differentiators are, or they don’t see why they’re important – in other words, the value proposition gets lost.
As a technology business, the ability to tell your story in your customer’s language is therefore critical.
This was one of the key reasons why we started focusing on Account Based Marketing (ABM). We’re a storytelling business, and we realised that ABM is a strategy that helps ICT companies in particular speak to the right customers in a language they understand.
Gartner’s research validates our own: ABM has been the fastest growing go-to-market topic amongst Gartner’s own TSP (Technology Service Provider) clients for the past few years.
South Africa, Tech Businesses and ABM
In our own survey, Digital Kungfu’s State of ABM, we could see that local ICT companies are turning to ABM to achieve lead generation (56%), pipeline acceleration (46%), revenue generation (46%) and customer retention (36%).
Here are four reasons why we believe Account Based Marketing is the marketing strategy that will help ICT companies differentiate from their competitors, achieve higher ROI from marketing spend and attain high-quality lead generation, starting with communicating the right message in an individualised language that customers can relate to:
ABM focuses only on the decision-makers within the same organisation, ensuring a campaign resonates with the people who have buying power. No marketing campaigns can successfully cater to wide audiences in such a way that each reader, viewer or user feels that their individual needs are being addressed. ABM doesn’t try to.
Instead, it takes the view that the bigger your audience, the more types of people you’re trying to help and the more you dilute your message. ABM isn’t focused on a large audience to generate leads from. Instead, it taps into the right audience at the right time with a message that resonates and leads to higher win-rates.
One of the biggest challenges that marketing departments face is attrition – how do you allocate which campaigns brought in the highest revenue? Which were more successful than others? When you’re marketing to a wide audience, it’s difficult to know exactly what message resonated with whom, or why they’ve chosen to buy from you. When you’re marketing directly to buyers however, it’s much easier to attribute your marketing campaigns to the revenue they led to.
ABM aligns sales and marketing. Sales identifies the highest-value prospects and accounts that they would like to close, and marketing creates specific and personalised messaging for each individual stakeholder.
While this does take effort, it’s effort that is directed at business that the organisation has a higher chance of closing. Effort and resources are not wasted on projects, campaigns and even customers with little to no clear business value.
A large amount of time is typically given to lead generation – not just generating the leads, but qualifying them. Bringing sales into the loop earlier shortens this cycle. When you eliminate unqualified prospects early in the game, you direct company resources to the right customers.
Sales and marketing can focus their energies on leads that they are most likely to convert to sales. Because ABM messaging is so personalised and focused, it also generates more qualified leads upfront.