Account-based marketing (ABM) is a focused approach in marketing that is usually reserved for B2B marketing tactics. Unlike most marketing strategies, ABM does not focus on generating the most leads for a campaign. Instead, it identifies high-value accounts and creates a strategy around them to convert the best fit into clients. ABM is one of the few tactics that combine marketing and sales expertise to boost conversion rates. You can easily hit your sales quota and exceed it by using ABM in your strategy.
In just a few years, the trends have shifted from mass marketing to a more personalized approach. Hence, many companies have used the strategy to some degree in their marketing campaigns. ITSMA ABM certification officially coined the term account based marketing in 2004. However, it was the demand for increased ROI by B2B companies that drove the framework to popularity. Now, it is one of the most successful marketing strategies in the world.
What are the types of Account-Based Marketing?
We reserve this type of account based marketing for the high-value accounts that bring in the most revenue. One-to-one ABM is resource and capital-intensive since it takes months to years to form a strategy. Therefore, target one to five accounts and strengthen relations with them. Hence, we calculate ROI in years from this type of account based marketing. How do you select the accounts? You select them based on unique, identifiable needs. In one-to-one marketing, you aim to upsell and cross-sell products with these accounts. You need a firm grasp on customer needs to succeed, hence your research should be product relevant with hyper-targeted messaging that will convert customers. This is a good option for businesses with a big budget who already have high-value clients and the resources to execute this strategy.
This type of marketing factors in second-tiered accounts. Hence, this strategy is not as resource and capital-intensive as the first one. Which makes it a good option for companies that have a flexible budget and who could expand their marketing team as required. While this type of account based marketing targets five to ten accounts, you can still craft highly targeted messages for them. You select accounts based on similar challenges, needs, and goals. While this is not an intensive type of marketing, you still need to analyze your customer base deeply to identify your ideal clients.
This is the third, and the last tier in account based marketing. Similar to one-to-one and one-to-few, this marketing type groups accounts based on needs and goals. The difference comes in the number of accounts grouped. One-to-many type groups hundreds and even thousands of accounts based on demographics. Most companies use CRM (customer relationship management) software to aid in the grouping. Additionally, you can use marketing automation tools to send targeted messages en masse to specific groups. Smaller companies and startups can use these marketing tactics to personalize their campaigns without expending too many resources and capital.
How can you use Account Based Marketing in SaaS?
1. Show a clearer ROI
Since you are prioritizing accounts that generate value, instead of generating leads, you consequently improve your ROI. Additionally, you are grouping accounts based on needs and goals, therefore; you are personalizing all your marketing content. Plus, personalized content has a better chance of converting because it connects with your audiences. Additionally, employing ABM improves your ROI since it is developed to acquire and retain high-value leads.
2. Focused marketing efforts
When you use traditional marketing strategies, you are extending your capital to cover lead generation and conversion. Most of these leads generated do not make it to the next stage in the sales funnel. Hence, at the end of the funnel, there are very few leads that convert. In account based marketing, you identify high-value accounts first and work towards converting them. This results in laser-focused marketing efforts. Hence, you can make the most of your resources since your marketers are focusing all resources on a few targeted accounts. Moreover, you end up optimally using your marketing capital as you are analyzing a set number of accounts instead of lead generation.
3. Boost engagement with customers
There are two advantages of identifying high-value accounts that fit your ideal target audience. One, they are most likely to adopt your product since you are personalizing your marketing communication. Two, they generate high revenue when they buy from you. Which makes them the best customers. Hence, by targeting limited leads, you boost engagement with high-value marketing content. Plus, you can dive deeper into their behaviors and preferences with a narrow client to better inform your marketing decision.
4. Ease in identifying metrics and goals
In ABM, you have a few customers to track through their customer journey. While it is a narrow audience, the data you get from this is deeper. Hence, it is easier to record and analyze your metrics across several platforms due to the small size of the audience. Additionally, the data you collect will be detailed as mentioned before. You can use this detailed data to fine-tune your strategy and refine your approach the next time.
5. Effective marketing and sales team alignment
ABM is closer to sales strategies than other types of marketing. For example, the sales team deals with high-value convertible clients. In ABM, the marketing team identifies clients that are a tight fit to their target demographics and are most likely to convert. Therefore, it is easier to pull the marketing and sales team on the same page regarding conversions. The marketing and sales team has the same strategy to target leads and close the deal. Hence, they work in tandem to maximize sales.