ABM Best Practices According to Research

Posted by Jackie Gonzalez on 3/7/17 2:43 PM

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For a lot of B2B businesses, account-based marketing represents an effective way to target and win the customers that are most valuable to you. 84% of the businesses that do account-based marketing and measure how well it works cite a higher ROI from ABM than from the other types of marketing conducted.

It’s clearly a valuable approach to take, but as with all marketing initiatives, you have to approach ABM carefully to drive results. Whether you’re already doing ABM, or considering giving it a try at your organization, these are the tactics you should implement to get the best results from your efforts.

Personalize Your Content and Messaging

Personalized marketing is getting results for marketers in general, and it’s a key part of doing ABM well. If you’re going to do the work of identifying specific businesses to target in your marketing, you should take the extra step of learning as much about the business and its needs as possible before you craft the messages you send their way. An enterprise tech business will respond well to different messaging than an SMB manufacturing company and your marketing should thoughtfully address the unique concerns of each.

That’s not easy to do, but it can be extremely effective if you pull it off. And over time, your data will help you better understand which types of marketing materials and topics perform best with different personas you target so you can tailor your results more successfully.

Create Campaigns Targeting Specific Accounts

Creating entire campaign around a particular prospect may sound like a lot of work, but it’s another one of the tactics marketers said paid off the most. And as with personalization, it makes intuitive sense that it would work.

B2B marketing often involves a long decision-making process with lots of touch points and different stakeholders weighing in. No matter how awesome and relevant one piece of marketing is, it won’t make the mark you need it to if it doesn’t work in tandem with the larger whole to move your prospect along the pipeline.

For high-value sales, putting the time and work in to craft a campaign that hits all the sweet spots for your high priority prospects continually through the whole purchasing process is worth it.

Research and Target Specific Contacts For Accounts

One of the complicated factors B2B marketers have to address in their campaigns is the fact that most purchasing decisions made by a company are team decisions. You don’t need to convince one person to buy, you need to convince a whole committee of people across a number of buying centers. 

For ABM to really land, you shouldn’t just tailor your marketing campaign based on the company you’re targeting, you should research individual contacts at the company and craft messaging relevant to their particular position and concerns. The CEO should be exposed to different ads and content than the Marketing Manager, for example.

Do your best to figure out who works at the company in the positions most likely to be involved in the purchasing decision, learn what you can about each of them, and focus your marketing on them.

Identify Your Current Valuable Customers

One of the biggest opportunities to get more out of ABM is with accounts you already have loads of knowledge about. ABM is partially about drawing in new leads and customers, but it can also help you to improve your relationships with current customers and start making more from the accounts you already have.

Using ABM to identify and better leverage your most valuable customers was actually the second most effective tactic according to the survey. And it’s a tactic you already have a head start on. You already know a lot about who your customers are and what they respond to, and you’ve already done a good amount of the work of convincing them to trust your company. Keeping them in your marketing sights after they become customers simply makes sense, and can pay off big.

ABM works because it enables your company to make more direct, personal connections to the people you’re trying to sell to. All of these best practices come back around to that. You have to work hard to understand who your prospects are so you can speak directly to their needs and concerns. If you can pull that off, higher profits and better customer relationships will follow.

If your company is currently doing ABM or thinking about getting started with it, our upcoming webinar on Marketing Planning and Performance in an ABM World will cover the foundational information needed to build a successful ABM program. Join us to learn more.

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Topics: Hive9, ABM, Best Practices

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