In years gone by, using marketing automation to generate leads was simple. Contacts enter the pipeline, automated emails generate leads for you and they then turn into revenue. However, that just isn’t cutting it anymore so you need to think about making a change to the way you’re doing things. And that’s why you should definitely consider an account-based marketing strategy.
There are a number reasons for the downfall of traditional lead generation; more stakeholders are involved in purchasing decisions, prospects are less inclined to fill out forms for gated content, they’re sick of getting automated emails and quite frankly, I don’t blame them. Companies are finding it increasingly hard to build a pipeline with marketing automation tools alone, so what can you do instead?
Personalisation is now the key, prospects are more likely to respond to a warmer outreach than a cold call, and the more personal the touch, the better. So don’t get left behind and switch to an account-based marketing approach.
What Does an Account-Based Marketing Strategy Involve?
An account-based marketing strategy takes the traditional sales funnel and flips it on its head. Traditional marketing targets as many prospects as possible, as focused on brand awareness as creating sales opportunities. However, account-based marketing lets your marketing team lock onto specific targeted accounts; quality over quantity, if you will. Think of it as moving from casting a net to spear fishing.
Firstly you identify a select number of target accounts based on the approach you’re taking. You might decide to use a 1:1 ABM strategy, this could mean targeting as few as 5 key accounts. Or perhaps you’re employing a either a one-to-few, or one-to-many approach – reaching out to between 10 and 40 accounts, or 40 to 150 accounts respectively.
Whichever tactic you use, your account-based marketing strategy should involve identifying your key target accounts and allocating the right marketing resources to each of those accounts based on their potential value to your business. Then you should find all of the decision makers and influencers that would be involved in a buying decision at each account, and reach out to them using a variety of channels with messaging and personalisations bespoke to each account and contact.
But the question is why should you do the above? How does it benefit you and your business? Our 4 reasons why an an account-based marketing strategy should be on your radar are below.
1. Ensure Your Message Doesn’t Get Lost in the Crowd
One of the problems with using traditional marketing automation for lead generation was standing out amongst the noise. ABM is a great method for putting some personality into your messaging. Regardless of industry, there’s always competition; prospects are bombarded with products and services, so yours needs to stand out! Prospects can get hundreds of emails a day, so they’re hardly going to pay attention to an automated one, but a personalised video that speaks directly to them? That’s a different story.
Reach out to your prospect in personalised ways: emails, videos messages, hand-written postcards for example. Intelligent Demand found that 40% of prospects who considered content to be tailored to them would be more likely buy from that company. By using personalisation, you show your prospects that they matter to you, that you’ve learnt about their company, and that you’re worth doing business with.
2. Bring Your Sales and Marketing Teams Closer Together
It’s imperative that you align your marketing and sales teams if you want account-based marketing to succeed. If they’re on the same page, you increase productivity, as the opportunities marketing are generating are all relevant to sales, because they fit the ICP. According to Hubspot, misalignment between sales and marketing wastes $1 trillion worth of marketing spend each year. Less time spent with the wrong prospects, means a better ROI on your marketing investment. Companies generate 208% more revenue from their marketing spend when their sales and marketing teams work closely together (HG Data).
3. Strengthen Your Existing and Future Client Relationships
So how does ABM affect prospects and customers? 84% of marketers said ABM had a significant impact on retaining and expanding existing client relationships. In taking a more personal approach, not only are you more likely to reach your prospects, but you’re more likely to create a business relationship with them. Furthermore, if you approach existing customers with the same care and attention as prospects, this will lead to stronger relationships and they’ll become advocates. Advocacy is the stage of ABM where your customers become fans of your company. Through the use of testimonials and customer stories, you can use your current customers to help gain other customers.
4. Stay Ahead of Your Competitors
Marketing is evolving, your competitors are adapting and you need to adapt too, in order to survive.
72% of companies plan to increase what they spend on ABM and in 2017, funding for ABM increased by 23.5%. Your competitors are likely to be part of the 72%, but may well also fall into the 23.5% – if they do, then they’re leaving you behind. If a prospect is contacted by both your company and a competitor of yours who has implemented an ABM strategy, more often than not you’re going to lose out, as companies using ABM campaigns for their marketing achieve 10% higher win rates.
ABM requires a commitment, but the benefits of implementing it are clear to see. After a year of using ABM, 60% of people reported a 10% revenue increase, 19% saw a rise of 30% and up and 43% of people using ABM for 3+ years reported that it was impacting their entire funnel. So don’t hang about, get brainstorming your account based marketing strategy, so you can start saving time and improving your marketing ROI!
A great way to start with ABM is by aligning your sales and marketing teams more closely. You can read more on how to do that by checking out our other blog, ‘Smarketing: Solving Your Sales and Marketing Divide’.
If you have any questions about where to start with an account-based marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch! For further reading on ABM check out our blog, What is ABM?!