Account based marketing (ABM) is a targeted marketing strategy that focuses on key accounts directly. ABM takes a one-to-one approach to marketing as opposed to a more common one-to-many method.
Once specific accounts are identified, meaningful prospects, shareholders and decision-makers are identified and thoroughly researched. A specific marketing plan is then implemented with these exact people in mind. It’s a personalised marketing approach taken that step further.
By treating high-value accounts as if they’re their own market, you have a chance to communicate with them directly. When everything in the sales flow is tailored to them, it makes logical sense that you have a significantly higher chance of landing the account than you would with a broad marketing approach. ABM can also be effectively utilised for client retention and growth.
But don’t just take our word for it, there are a lot of statistics to back this logic up:
- 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of +50% (SiriusDecisions)
- 208% increase in revenue witnessed by companies using ABM (MarketingProfs)
- 60% of companies report at least a 10% increase in revenue in year one of their ABM programme (Demandbase)
- 171% increase in average annual contract value after implementing Account-based Marketing, according to the ABM Leadership Alliance
- 85% of marketers said that ABM significantly benefited them in retaining and expanding their existing client relationships
- 70% increase in the number of opportunities created via ABM (Gartner)
- 82% of B2B marketers said ABM greatly improves sales and marketing alignment (LinkedIn)
- 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach (ITSMA)
These numbers certainly sell the appeal of ABM, but is account-based marketing the right fit for you? Despite rising in popularity recently, ABM isn’t an ideal tactic for every single business.
ABM is generally recognised to best suit bigger companies with more complex products or services that are operating in the B2B sector.
There are some who also believe that ABM works best for B2B companies that sell to large accounts or specific size accounts in one particular industry. On the other hand, there are others who think that you can utilise ABM tactics in any size of B2B organisations as long as the focus is still high-value accounts.
Fundamentally, ABM allows you to identify the big or medium-sized accounts that you want to win, and create a personalised marketing and sales plan around these accounts in order to win them. This generally takes more time than a typical marketing approach and requires more resources.
If your organisation is on the smaller side, you don’t automatically need to rule out ABM but you do need to ensure it makes sense for your sales cycle. If your business relies on short term targets then ABM probably won’t be the right strategy for you. This is because it’s a long term approach focused on high-quality personalised content as opposed to a hard-hitting one-off sales method.
Something else to consider when debating if ABM will work for your company is the high-quality content required. If you have limited time and resources then realistically you won’t be able to create the level of content which is essential for an effective ABM strategy. If you can’t commit to an account-based approach, Inbound Marketing might be more suitable as it requires less content marketing.
If you decide that you want to try ABM, the next step is deciding what type of ABM strategy to pursue. There are three main types of ABM which are: Strategic ABM, ABM Lite and Programmatic ABM. You might find it makes sense to use just one approach or a mix depending on your business and the resources you have available.
At EnquiryLab we help complex technology businesses grow profitably using Inbound and Account-Based marketing strategies. We work as an extension to your marketing and sales teams ensuring that you meet the targets you set. If this sounds like something we can help you with then please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or 01327 368378.