Account-based marketing (ABM) is not a new strategy, and you’ve most likely heard of it before. But in recent years, ABM has seen a huge rise in popularity. Account-based marketing spend is expected to increase by 41% in 2019, according to the 2019 Account Based Benchmark Report by Topo.
New technologies have enabled marketers to gain fresh, unique insights into their audiences, and these insights have helped them create highly targeted campaigns that have a greater chance of engagement. But this rise has left customers expecting more from brands, too.
The more customers have excellent experiences in their interactions with B2C organizations, the more they expect the same standard when working with B2B companies. This means ABM is no longer a competitive differentiator for customer engagement—it’s now essential for meeting customer expectations.
So, what exactly is ABM? And how can it enhance your overall customer experience strategy?
ABM is the necessary foundation for all customer engagement
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy, not a technology. It’s a customer experience-centric approach that requires revenue teams like sales and marketing to collaborate on best-fit account opportunities and engage specific buying groups inside those accounts with relevant experiences to generate more revenue faster and easier than before.
Unlike traditional inbound marketing models, where marketers try to engage with the largest number of potential buyers, ABM puts an account filter on existing marketing automation efforts, forcing marketers to shift their mindset to also focus on a targeted set of accounts in lock-step with sales. The key word in that statement is “also.”
ABM is not meant to replace traditional lead generation efforts, but rather to enhance them by augmenting lead-based tactics and marketing automation programs to treat people that are tied to target accounts differently than other leads that are not part of a target account.
Using strategic and coordinated campaigns personalized to these accounts, ABM allows marketers to engage contacts with account-based experiences in a unified motion with sales throughout the entire customer lifecycle—from acquisition and nurture to upsell and cross-sell.
And there are significant benefits to using ABM, including:
- Greater marketing ROI
- More personalized campaigns
- Increased marketing revenue
- Increased pipeline and deal velocity
- More efficient sales and marketing alignment
Maximize your revenue potential by unifying your ABM approach with your existing lead-based omnichannel marketing strategy
In order to truly maximize the full potential of ABM, it needs to be unified with your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Using disconnected ABM point solutions for individual campaigns in separate channels can lead to disjointed customer experiences, duplicative data sources, and misaligned sales and marketing teams. It’s also a highly inefficient and time-consuming process to measure the combined results and ROI from separated tools and channels that don’t talk to each other.
But with an ABM solution that natively supports, marketing automation, ABM and lead-based efforts across all marketing channels—whether it’s web, email, paid media, mobile, social—sales and marketing can take a true unified and scalable customer-first approach to coordinating account-based experiences.
This approach enables two-way visibility between sales and marketing activities as engagement is happening, ensuring the content you and sales provide is relevant based on the latest state of the customer’s relationship. This also ensures that every engagement opportunity builds off the last engagement opportunity.
In addition to providing a more seamless customer experience, a unified approach makes it easier to measure combined efforts from sales and marketing activities, improving your ability to prove ROI through accurate attribution reporting.
Use AI to make your unified ABM strategy more accurate and efficient. AI will provide additional account insights, ensuring a data-driven strategy that boosts ABM performance even further because you can make better decisions with more accurate data on your buyers.
When you integrate AI and machine learning into your marketing strategy, you can quickly generate greater insights, such as into which accounts are likely to engage and convert the soonest, which accounts should be considered target accounts based on fit and intent data, and what content will resonate the best with specific personas and buying groups AI for ABM also helps bring your sales and marketing teams closer together because the AI-based insights help validate which accounts they should focus together on first.
Using a shared account strategy, the two teams can use large volumes of data to define ideal account profiles and then select the accounts in your database that match these profiles based on 3rd party fit and intent data, and your first party marketing engagement data.
By doing this, you’ll waste less time, effort and resources on accounts that are unlikely to engage with your content, and your sales team will avoid missing out on accounts that have the highest propensity to buy.
AI can also improve your customers’ experience. With the insights gained from defining ideal profiles, such as fit and intent data, marketers have a clearer view of what content is relevant to certain accounts. And by leveraging highly targeted content with a touch of personalization, leads will feel more like unique customers, which could accelerate their purchasing decisions, especially when followed up by a salesperson that knows all the marketing activity that has already been experienced.
The result? Maximizing every opportunity with customers and greater revenue potential.
Effortless ABM, huge results
Many businesses see ABM as a major challenge. But in reality, with the unified solution platform, it can be easier to execute.
When organizations move away from the confusing mess of disconnected ABM point solutions that create disjointed customer experiences, they can see huge results. In fact, 86% of marketers report that their ABM win rate is better than only relying on traditional go-to-market strategies, according to the 2019 Account Based Benchmark Report by Topo.
With an ABM solution that enables sales and marketing to automate and coordinate relevant account-based experiences across all your customer engagement channels—and at every stage of the customer lifecycle—you can take a truly customer-first strategy to ABM.
And with the power and efficiency of AI integrated with your platform, you can kickstart your ABM strategy faster and more accurately than ever before by targeting the right accounts with the right content based on the right data.