An increasing number of B2B marketers are embracing Account Based Marketing (ABM) as part of their overall marketing efforts and strategy.
What is ABM
ABM, also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing. An organisation will communicate with individual prospects or customer accounts as market of one - personalising the marketing approach to the industry they are in or the activity they are participating in. It is aiming marketing efforts at a more well-defined area and treating your best clients in a much more personal way. Focussing on not only the lead, but the account as a whole.
Why ABM is a good approach
Imagine you only had one prospect to market to - how would you approach this? You would find out as much data as you could manage so you could tailor your marketing campaign accordingly - that’s what ABM is. This approach to marketing is much more personable, and will leave your prospects and clients feeling as if you really know and understand what they’re trying to do, all the while achieving exactly what you and your marketing team have set out to do.
ABM is also a great way of breaking down the walls between sales and marketing teams. If you’re having issues within your business where either sales and marketing don’t communicate - ABM could be the answer you’re looking for. ABM is about being focussed on the client’s needs and using effective marketing tactics to encourage conversations with key stakeholders. This is the place where marketing and sales align - brought together by a common understanding of what success will look like.
How ABM can go wrong
ABM is still a relatively new concept - filling the gap of one-to-one marketing seen in B2C for B2B marketers. At the top of the heap is a small group who can attribute ABM revenue increases of 25%, but then there are those still finding their feet who say ABM has either had a negative impact on their ROI. In the middle are the marketers who say they think Account Based Marketing has had a favourable effect - but they haven’t figured out how to measure it yet.
The main issue would be using the data you have collected incorrectly or poorly. ABM isn’t purely about customer acquisition - the practice is also rooted in adding value and upselling to existing clients (by learning more about the accounts) and improving your ability to prospect to new clients. This can all fall at the first hurdle by wrongly targeting potential clients and mis-identifying prospects. Using data intelligently is key, and until you can measure success and master data capture, ABM can still cause more harm than good.