What is Account Based Marketing (ABM) ?
Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.
How ABM is different from Traditional Marketing?
Traditional B2B marketing and sales funnel tracks the various stages to drive revenue into the company.
From beginning to end, prospects will move from these predictable stages in the funnel
- Awareness: ( Start Board – Everyone is target) In the Awareness stage, marketers pour leads into the top of the funnel to identify all prospects who want to learn about your product or service.
- Interest : (Spend More Time , Energy and Money) – If a lead enter into interest stage, it become Marketing Qualified leads and then this lead pass on to sales team. Now salespersons engage in calls and emails to engage Sales Accepted leads ( SAL).
- Consideration: (Call.. Email.. Call.. Email) : In B2B purchases, the decision is rarely goes into hands of one person/ single decision maker. That’s why even after Sales Qualified leads (SQL), it is always an battle to close the deals.
- Purchase : The final stage of traditional B2B marketing and sales funnel ends with a decision.
Drawback of Traditional Funnel :
- Leads Focused: As in B2B purchases involves multiple decision makers, it is important to focus on accounts rather than leads.
- Quantity : Marketing team is completely focused on the quantity/volume of leads rather than Quality.
- Linear Path is assumed for all customer’s journeys: Traditional B2B marketing funnel look like a logical steps in progression which is not always the case in customer journey.
- Time , Energy & Money Spent : The biggest problem with traditional funnel is only a small portion of leads from awareness (top of funnel) makes all way into Purchase (bottom of funnel)
Bottom Line : Its not about catching a lot of fishes with a net, but its about catching a big whale. ABM is focused on catching that big fish with a spear ( a more targeted approach)
“Don’t Count the People you Reach; Reach the People that Count.” – David Ogilvy
How ABM Solves the Problem
In contrast to Traditional marketing funnel which focuses on batch and blasting process . ABM focuses on providing more personalized engagements with the targeted accounts.
The traditional leads based sales and marketing funnel has been turned into cone by using Account Based Marketing.
Flipping the Funnel
The tip of cone is initial lead . This lead becomes your contact and contacts turn out into account. There are four stages of this ABM marketing cone : Identify, Expand, Engage, Advocate. These four stages of account based marketing can be apply using specific technologies and tools.
- Identify :The first step of ABM is to identify best-fit accounts. There are four ways of identifying the accounts from basic to strategic ones:
a) Self – Select : A simpler approach is to identify the vertical industries the sales and marketing teams are already targeting.
b) Basic Data : A simple definition of Ideal Company profile (ICP)
c) Advance ICP Data : It includes techno graphics, intent, engagement etc.
d) Predictive analytic: Includes sophisticated predictive scoring and modeling.This set of criteria aligns with your ideal customer profile. After you have determined that this contact meets your ideal customer profile, you begin the process of turning the contact into a full account. Find data providers, predictive technologies, account intelligence, and more. All of these partners will provide the data directly into your CRM. Below are some tools which will help you select and prioritize the right accounts as well as segment accounts to better target your marketing efforts.
- Expand :There’s always more than one person involved in a B2B purchase decision. This stage is why ABM exists: to expand your reach to more contacts in your target accounts. These tools provide deeper access and coverage within an account by enriching contact data, providing an account-based structure for leads and contacts, or allowing engagement campaigns to reach more stakeholders. Many tools that expand reach also are used to identify or engage accounts.
After selecting accounts and expanding reach in those accounts, marketers must engage individuals within accounts across the entire buyer and customer journey. These tools are best-in-class ABM engagement tools that cover email, digital advertising, direct mail, content, video, and web personalization.
- Advocate :The final stage of account-based marketing is advocate. This is when your accounts are customers. Your new goal is to turn your customers into raving fans of your business. This is the creation of customer advocates. Customer word-of-mouth marketing through referrals, reviews, and talking to their peers is the most organic and impactful type of marketing.Go beyond the typical B2B buyer’s journey to create an outstanding customer experience. Post-sale customer engagement is vital to maximizing the value of your existing accounts. These solutions turn your customers into advocates of your brand, driving product engagement, customer success, referrals, testimonials, user community, and customer-created content
- Measurement :Measurement allow marketers to gauge the success of your ABM programs using metrics and reporting. Account-based marketing benefits from strong analytics and attribution tools. Understand which programs, campaigns, channels, messages, and content most effectively influenced deals.