Learn how to identify and reach high-value customers with the most effective account-based marketing (ABM) tactics and software.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that focuses on high-value accounts in a market or business. ABM strategies focus on creating personalized buying experiences for better customer acquisition, relationship-building, and business growth.
ABM helps your business work and communicate with high-value accounts as if they’re individual markets. By doing this — along with personalizing the buyer’s journey and tailoring all communications, content, and campaigns to those specific accounts — you’ll see greater ROI and a boost in customer loyalty.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits of account-based marketing and how to create an ABM strategy. But first, let’s review its relationship with another important strategy: inbound marketing.
Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing
Batman and Robin. LeBron and D-Wade. Peanut butter and jelly. Arguably some of the strongest partnerships ever to exist 💪. These dynamic duos are forces to be reckoned with.
Similarly, when paired, account-based marketing and inbound marketing have the power to make waves (the good ones) for your business.
You might be wondering, “How exactly does this partnership work?”
Well, we just reviewed the definition of account-based marketing — as you learned, ABM is a highly targeted strategy.
Meanwhile, inbound marketing is more foundational — this methodology and growth strategy allows you to attract customers through the creation of valuable content, SEO, and a delightful customer experience.
Rather than interrupting your target audience and customers (as you would with outbound marketing), inbound marketing allows you to give your audience the information they want when they want it.
Inbound lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy by allowing for highly targeted and efficient resource allocation of high-value accounts. Here are a few more reasons to employ both ABM and inbound marketing strategies at your company:
- Inbound marketing helps you attract target accounts and then ABM accelerates the flywheel so you can win and delight those accounts with a remarkable customer experience.
- Inbound marketing lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy — ABM builds off of inbound by allowing for targeted and efficient resource allocation of high-value accounts.
- With this combined approach, you attract a broader group of prospects than you would while using just one method.
- Your content has a two-for-one value — you can create and use content that serves both an ABM and inbound strategy (such as adding a personalized case study for a target account that you also share on your website).
- Software — such as HubSpot’s account-based marketing tool — exists to make it easy to implement ABM and inbound strategies in a complementary way.
There are many benefits associated with account-based marketing. We’ve compiled this list of results that positively impact all types of businesses.
1. Keep marketing and sales aligned.
Cross-team collaboration and improved communication across any organization are beneficial to growth. In account-based marketing, this transparency and alignment will confirm that your marketing and sales teams are focused on the same goals, stick to the mutually agreed-upon budget, and understand the specific roles of each internal stakeholder.
This alignment helps make sure all communications, interactions, and content are consistent for the accounts you work with. Meaning, no matter how long an account works with your company, your team members can pick up where others left off at any point without question — this creates a seamless and delightful customer experience.
2. Maximizes your business’s relevance among high-value accounts.
Account-based marketing requires you to personalize everything (such as content, product information, communications, and campaigns) for each account you invest your resources in. Through this personalization and customization, your relevance among these accounts is maximized.
That’s because your content and interactions are tailored in a way that shows them how your specific products, services, and other offerings are what they need to solve their challenges. Meaning, ABM allows you to angle your business in a way that makes it the most relevant and ideal choice for your target accounts.
3. Delivers consistent customer experiences.
For your ABM strategy to be remarkable, you must create a long-term sense of delight among your accounts. Each account should feel as though they’re your business’s market of one. Tackle this by offering consistent customer experiences.
ABM is a strategy that requires major alignment between Sales and Marketing — so home in on that when working to deliver those consistent experiences. Confirm all team members are aware of where an account is in the buyer’s journey — then, deliver personalized and prompt communication, campaigns, product information, and pricing details.
4. Measures your return on investment.
With account-based marketing, you can easily measure return on investment (ROI) for each account you invest your resources and time in. This is beneficial because you can confirm whether certain accounts you invested in were ideal for your business.
Then, you can nurture and delight those accounts long-term to keep them, as well as recognize and target similar accounts in the future. If your ROI proves the ABM tactics you used worked, use that data to propel your strategy forward.
5. Streamlines the sales cycle.
Depending on your business, industry, and resources, the sales cycle typically looks something like this:
1) Prospect → 2) Connect → 3) Research → 4) Present → 5) Close → 6) Delight
With account-based marketing, this cycle is streamlined — by focusing your efforts on specific high-value target accounts, you save time and resources — meaning, you’ll have more time to focus on the stages of the cycle that positively impact your bottom line:
1) Identify Target Accounts → 2) Present to Target Accounts → 3) Close Target Accounts → 4) Delight Accounts
ABM streamlines your sales cycle by helping you stay efficient. Rather than experimenting with different tactics to prospect and qualify a large pool of leads, ABM confirms the accounts you target are the right ones for your business and vice versa. The sales cycle is also streamlined by your marketing and sales alignment as well as the consistent and personalized customer experiences you offer.
6. Expands your business through account relationships.
The saying “quality over quantity” applies to account-based marketing. The process requires you to invest significant time and resources in engaging and delighting a group of carefully chosen, high-value accounts, versus trying to quickly close deals with less-qualified leads who may not be the best fit for your company in the long run.
By taking the time to build these trusting relationships with accounts, you’ll expand business by keeping those valuable customers longer. And considering it costs more to obtain customers than retain them, this will positively impact your bottom line.
Additionally, as a result of personalized, thoughtful, and consistent customer experiences, accounts will become loyal to your business over time — and loyal customers become your best marketers, promoters, and brand advocates. In other words, your accounts will help you expand your business among their networks (for example partners or customers) through referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, testimonials, and more.