Account-based marketing (ABM) refers to a B2B marketing approach where sales and marketing collaborate and target a specific set of accounts to create personalized buying experiences. ABM helps companies focus on the highest possible return on investment (ROI) for their marketing efforts, instead of deploying a more broad-based marketing approach that may produce leads but not necessarily qualified, high-value leads.

To put it more simply, ABM allows you to direct marketing resources to a specific set of target accounts that have a higher chance of driving revenue. It does this by treating high-value accounts as if they were individual markets in and of themselves. When combined with personalizing the buyer’s journey and customizing communications, content, and campaigns to these accounts, company’s see  greater ROI and customer loyalty.

ABM now accounts for 28% of total user marketing budgets, and 77% of ABM users achieve 10% or greater ROI. The following looks at four general problems in marketing and how ABM techniques can help solve them.

Problem: Getting “personal” with potential buyers

Solution: In the automation space, products are often developed with specific verticals in mind. For example, an IP69K-rated machine vision light suits washdown environments in areas such as food and beverage inspection due to its ability to withstand exposure to water and corrosive materials. However, an automobile manufacturer likely has little to no need for a washdown-proof camera. Marketing washdown lights and content to a nonrelevant customer undermines the trust that “getting personal” with potential buyers can generate.

In ABM, content personalization techniques help target specific audiences, allowing B2B companies to personalize the potential buyer’s experience with specific content and calls to action and then track that prospect’s engagement using analytics for existing customers and reverse IP lookup services for new prospects. Armed with personal knowledge of the customers, companies can offer real-time messaging and information necessary to convert the prospect to sale.

Problem: Struggling to convert leads into customers

Solution: Quality beats quantity when it comes to leads. In fact, poor leads can gum up sales operations, negatively impacting profitability. Instead of casting too wide a net with marketing outreach and waiting until the leads are into the sales funnel to qualify them, ABM techniques target a specific set of key accounts with custom campaigns that include personalized content and delivery mechanisms (e.g., events, e-gifting). ABM generates leads that are already qualified, putting companies in a much better position to form relationships and ultimately increase revenue.

Problem: Lack of results from content

Solution: Even within monolithic blocks of customers (e.g., dairy processors versus electronics manufacturers), a successful ABM campaign needs to perfectly match not just the content to the customers’ needs but also to where the customer is in the buying journey. For example, an agriculture company beginning to explore the use of automated drone monitoring of crop health may need a broad paper that discusses the different sensing technologies used for this purpose, including the company’s specific offerings. In automobile manufacturing, the potential prospect may know the general uses of machine vision very well but need convincing that a specific supplier’s deep learning solution is the best approach. In this second case, a customer testimonial or industry case study may have more reach than a general technology paper.

Content should be personalized—including their place in the buying journey—and offer insights and solutions into how someone can do their job better. ABM techniques personalize content based on the audience’s funnel stage, previous behavior, and vertical industry to improve engagement metrics and ultimately, ROI.

Problem: Difficult to show a clear ROI

Solution: Instead of marketing to a large audience hoping to bring all flavors of clients and sorting the leads by quality at the end, ABM starts by identifying potentially great clients and uses a custom, targeted approach to each account.

Some questions you may ask yourself about ABM include: Was my content personalized enough to increase lead generation or more meaningful audience engagement as measured by other engagement metrics? Did my ABM program generate new leads or further qualify existing leads? How successful was the list build for one end-user industry versus another, and what does that reveal about the company’s knowledge of target customers? Did ABM help generate new revenue, and if so, at what cost per lead compared to other marketing efforts? If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, ultimately your ABM program helped drive better ROI for your business.

But if you answered no, or just would like to learn more about how Tech B2B Marketing helps its client improve ROI through ABM, send us an e-mail at [email protected] or call at 904-246-8958.