When the average consumer sees as many as 10,000 ads in a single day, how can companies have any assurance their message is registering with their target audience?
Many companies are turning to account-based marketing (ABM) as a break from mass-marketing, which can drain resources and result in an ambiguous ROI. In fact, 60% of companies plan to launch an ABM campaign in the next year in hopes of replicating impressive results from peers and competitors.
Why your company needs ABM
Eighty-four percent of companies surveyed by ITSMA said ABM achieved a higher return on investment than other types of marketing. For this reason, 78% of B2B executives said ABM is very important to their marketing strategy.
Generalized marketing tactics still have a time and place, but these aren’t the tactics that will nab high-value clients. ABM, on the other hand, places the key organizations and people that fuel them at the center of their outreach.
The approach centers on the idea that people and businesses respond best to hyper-targeted marketing approaches. With this in mind, ABM aligns marketing and sales teams to focus on multiple prospects through a company-structured approach.
But who are these elusive prospects, exactly? ABM identifies the seven people who are typically involved in the decision-making process of enterprise-level deals and delivers them hyper-targeted content to move them through the sales funnel. By focusing on those who call the shots, ABM delivers results.
The realities of ABM
It’s important to note that an effective ABM strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Implementation requires rigorous planning and coordination that many companies are not accustomed to. But when implemented correctly, ABM can change the game for your company.
So, what does this all mean in practice for your team? Our latest white paper, From Strategy to Launch: 10 Steps to Drive Results with B2B ABM, details five key truths about ABM that all marketers should understand:
#1: Prospect relations and clear goals define success
The path to high-value results is no longer selling as much to as many people as possible. Instead, reimagine success as the development of meaningful relationships with multiple people at targeted accounts.
Monitor your new definition of success through modular goals, such as measurable satisfaction rates from a core set of valuable clients. Overarching goals should always be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. To stay on track of larger goals, set smaller benchmark goals, such as unique website visitors or number of leads generated in a week, to help generate momentum.
#2: Marketing and sales teams must be united
It’s essential that marketing and sales be on the same page when running an ABM campaign. Keep the harmony between teams through measurable goals, strategic planning and ongoing communication.
Teach teams to communicate “with” one another rather than “at” to avoid tensions over roles or responsibilities, and set aside time to discuss roles to ensure continuity between teams. Not only is this vital for ABM, but B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 27% faster three-year profit growth.
#3: Strategic content is key
Cultivate the potential of content by taking the time to understand your company and target audience.
Conduct a content audit of all existing online material to help you craft a compelling narrative that fulfills strategic purposes based off where your company began — and where you want to go.
Once you understand your narrative, use content to directly speak to prospects in the form of personalized calls-to-action, which convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action
#4: Websites are more than a one-time investment
As much as 67% of the B2B buyer’s journey is done digitally, so a sloppy foundation can be detrimental to your success. When developed correctly, a new webpage will pay for itself in no time.
Build your ABM foundation with a landing page that functions like an elevator pitch — a critical consideration as 55% of users spend less than 15 seconds on the average website. Since time isn’t on your side, hook prospects with personalized content based on factors like their IP address and UTM codes. It may be time-consuming, but given 74% of consumers feel frustrated when content is not personalized, it’s an investment worth making.
#5: Effective implementation takes time
Remember, ABM requires a shift in mindset to execute effectively. Give your team the time they need to adjust.
Guide your team through the transition by assigning an internal champion, or someone well-respected within the group who will openly endorse the change and assist with implementation in other areas of your company.
Rushed ABM can also lead to messy implementation and increased risk of a costly failure. Mitigate this possibility by completing a pilot to tweak issues before further expansion of ABM.
If you put in the required dedication, ABM delivers results. The process of implementation can be intimidating, so start slow and identify the core elements of effective ABM. Once you understand what constitutes good ABM, use your insights to launch the right campaign for your team and target prospects.
To learn how you can implement a successful ABM program at your company, download From Strategy to Launch: 10 Steps to Drive Results with B2B ABM here.