ABM (account-based marketing) is a business-to-business (B2B) strategy devised to drive collaboration between marketing and sales departments toward the goal of building individual client accounts and thus boosting revenue growth.
If we distinguish between traditional marketing and account marketing in a sentence, it will go along the lines of:
Traditional marketing is akin to fishing with a wide net, while account-based marketing is fishing with a spear.
In this blog, we take a deep drive into today’s audience journeys in B2B account-based marketing (ABM) and suggest best practices for spearing the right fish effectively.
Gone with the old, in with the new
Gone are those days when businesses reached for their Rolodex and a copy of the Yellow Pages to find vendors. Not too long ago, in-person sales and interpersonal relationships were the main avenue to securing big deals.
Recent research finds nearly half (49%) of all B2B purchase transactions are now conducted via digital channels—a major development for which B2B businesses have to be prepared if they want to stand out from the competition.
The proliferation of digital devices and channels have also impacted buyer demographics. Research shows that millennial buyers (people born between the 1980s and the late 1990s) are the new purchasing decision-makers. With just a few simple clicks, they have access to a plethora of content on the internet—articles, reviews, blogs, use cases, videos-–that build the foundation of their selection process.
To excel in this new digital marketplace and convert buyers, B2B businesses must project themselves as trusted advisors who genuinely understand their customers’ needs.
Why should brands use ABM?
Instead of spray-and-pray communications that miss the mark, or call-to-actions that remind potential buyers of annoying fortune cookies, brands can consider cross-departmental collaborations to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts.
This careful and personalized approach will give decision-makers the confidence that the vendor has the ability to support their specific needs.
However, ABM has its own challenges. Since it is likened to a special VIP treatment for individual decision-makers, it requires huge amounts of hours, effort, and data to customize interactions at the market-of-one. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to improve their workflow with the following guidelines.
Know your customers
Firstly, to curate the most delightful buying experience for customers, brands need to start with data.
Using a CDP, brands can consolidate, clean, and transform diverse data—personal, demographic, behavioral, and more—to acquire the unified insights for crafting individualized journeys that can delight decision-makers.
With such a robust data engine at its core, a B2B business will spend far less time converting data to relevant buyer interactions, thus expediting the ABM workflow.
Secondly, it is also crucial to have clearly defined ideal customer segments that outline the key qualities of a prospective buyer.
This is a prerequisite for brands to deliver suitable assets and personalized communications to decision-makers with vastly different goals and concerns.
Prioritize potential target accounts
Thirdly, prioritizing accounts with a high probability of successful conversion can help minimize inefficient resource usage. The solution, therefore, is a robust audience scoring mechanism that gives brands the clarity and direction on where to divert their limited resources and attention.
Maximize touch points
ABM involves persuading individual decision-makers and influencers to accept the vendor’s products and/or services. It is crucial that vendors maximize the potential of every touchpoint to deliver a convincing case for their unique value proposition.
By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, brands can strengthen their ABM efforts with segment-of-one customer tracking, trigger personalized follow-up communications at suitable touch points, and nurture these individuals to conversion in an individualized manner.
Attribute ABM performance
Finally, ROI is the most crucial goal of every marketing effort and the most important bottleneck for marketers. Brands need to leverage post-cookie technologies to assess and pinpoint the ROI of every individual account across interactions and campaigns.
Be empowered with an integrated CDP
The new audience journey in B2B businesses has shifted from a primarily face-to-face endeavor to one that is increasingly digital and omnichannel in nature. This has laid a very fertile soil for B2B account marketing—a marketing approach that thrives on personalized targeting—to thrive.
Ready to supercharge your B2B marketing efforts? Talk to our experts about how Resulticks can empower you.
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