Recent studies reveal that 73% of marketers plan to increase their account-based marketing (ABM) budgets this year. They’re obviously seeing clear benefits. Since this is the case, should you be considering account-based marketing for your business?
Before we dive in and look at those benefits in more detail, here’s a quick recap of what we mean by the term ‘account-based marketing’. According to HubSpot it is:
“Account-based marketing is a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales collaborate to create personalised buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts.” - Hubspot
ABM, unlike traditional inbound marketing, seeks to identify and interact with actual decision-makers within specific companies. By focusing efforts on these prospects (accounts), and interacting with them at all touchpoints (with relevant content and programs), potential customers are progressed along the path to purchase. You can read our blog post What is Account-Based Marketing here.
The 4 key Benefits Of Account-Based Marketing
1. ABM requires sales and marketing to fully align
It’s fair to say that there’s often a certain amount of ‘friction’ between sales and marketing teams. In an ABM scenario however, things have to change. The two teams must work in harmony – entailing a new cross-collaboration that can only benefit an organisation. We discuss this in detail in our Step By Step Guide To Account-Based Marketing article in detail.
To run an effective ABM campaign sales and marketing have to be on the same page in terms of goals and strategy. Both teams need to work to mutually-agreed budgets – and understand their roles in terms of identifying and nurturing prospects.Only by working closely and transparently together can they deliver relevant communications consistently to end users.
An example of good collaboration
As marketing identifies the best leads high up the sales funnel these are sent to sales. The sales teams can then save up to 50% of time previously spent on unproductive prospecting.
Given that leads are more qualified to start with, sales agents will also find they’re 67% better at closing deals after synchronising their activities with the marketing team; leading to a higher return on investment, and boosting the bottom line.
2. ABM makes it easier to get to grips with the data and metrics
As with direct marketing ABM is a precise, targeted and accurate process – far more so than with general outbound marketing. Using a customized ABM technology stack (e.g a content management system,analytics solution, email automation tool etc.) it’s easy to track progress and capture the metrics that matter.
These metrics don’t just relate to conversions and lead generations – but account-specific information including impressions, engagement levels and brand sentiment.
Because ABM involves dealing with a smaller set of carefully targeted accounts, marketers find it easier to draw conclusions ( as opposed to comparing a vast set of metrics from a generic marketing campaign). With clearer goals set for specific accounts it’s quicker and easier to see if efforts are paying off – and in particular which accounts are rewarding you with high ROIs.
“These metrics allow you to zero in on and convert the best-fit accounts for your business”
3. ABM gives a higher return and out performs all other marketing investment
Research by ITSMA reveals that 87% of marketers measuring ROI (Return on Investment) say that ABM out performs all other marketing investments. By focusing on one target account and putting your resources there, you’re not wasting money on anything other than moving a prospect further down the path to action.
For example, rather than spending £50,000 on a generic branding campaign your aim will be to create smaller, specific campaigns towards engaging key decision makers.
This generally leads to a shorter sales cycle. As you’re marketing to your most attractive target accounts you’re eliminating unqualified prospects early on. By focusing on the accounts most likely to convert this saves time and lowers risk.
4. ABM is highly personal
A study by McKinsey found that personalisation reduces acquisition costs by as much as 50%.
And ABM is all about personalisation.
Rather than interrupting your target audience with irrelevant messages, ABM campaigns provide users with highly relevant information that’s customised specifically to them.
"Personalisation of content and engagement is no longer a "nice to have" it is expected by your buyers.
- Dan Tyre, Director at HubSpot
Because your content is aligned with your target audience, that audience is more likely to engage with you. People appreciate a personal touch – it makes them feel valued and gives them the sense that you understand their problems and, therefore, quite possibly have the solution to them.
ABM is not only a valuable lead-generating strategy but works well with other demand generation and inbound marketing campaigns to add increased layers of personalisation. This means even more opportunities to start valuable sales conversations.
Just as the ad men of the 1950’s famously wined and dined their key clients (accounts) to keep them engaged, account-based marketing strives to build and maintain relationships with customers.
As you can see the benefits of Account-based marketing in the digital age are numerous, but the main advantage is the data – there to help you identify, nurture and keep the attention of the right people at the right time.
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