Getting Started with ABM

Tailor Your Marketing Strategy to Those Accounts That Really Count / Your Target Market/Audience

Introduction

According to research conducted by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, 87% of marketers using Account-Based Marketing or ABM say the approach delivers a greater return on investment or ROI than all other types of marketing initiatives.

So what is Account-Based Marketing and why is it so effective? ABM is a targeted and collaborative approach to identifying a select group of accounts that you want to sell to. The key to this approach is to focus on the quality versus the quantity of these target accounts. Although sales teams have always practiced this targeted approach on an individual basis, ABM has become a much more comprehensive company strategy that encompasses sales, marketing, and executive leadership buy-in. The benefits of a successful ABM approach include strategic alignment within your organization, more engagement with your target accounts, and of course a greater return on investment!

So, where to start?

Firstly, it’s essential to build your ABM leadership team. This means appointing an ABM champion from your sales, marketing, and operations teams. By working with each team separately, you can establish their needs and pain points so you can align on goals and start building your strategy. Some key challenges you will want to gauge are whether your sales teams are currently attracting those most strategic accounts and engaging them with relevant content, whether you are converting the right accounts, and whether you are accurately measuring the impact on your business objectives. It will be important to schedule a regular meeting cadence with these teams to ensure clear lines of communication.

Next, you will want to get alignment on those key accounts that matter most to your organization so you can start developing your target list. When developing your target list, consider its size, the development of customer personas, and the marketing resources that need to be allocated. It’s always a good idea to start small and build up over time. Within the first 60 days of development, you can start to consider how to incorporate segmentation into your targeted account list. This can be done by establishing business objectives for each target account.

Personalization is key

Marketing automation platforms can prove to be very beneficial in building personalized and targeted marketing campaigns geared towards your target audience. By customizing assets using variable data, you are able to create personalized messaging and content that speaks directly to your audience.

Set a baseline and measure, measure, measure!

By setting a baseline for your ABM strategy, you will be able to consistently measure its success and ensure executive leadership buy-in. Benchmark metrics should include average deal size, sales velocity, and close rate. You will want to continuously measure these metrics against your business objectives to track progress. By consistently running reports, you will quickly establish what is working well and what is not. From there, you can use this data to identify your areas of focus and set objectives for each area of focus identified.

Conclusion

Getting started with ABM is a great way to achieve alignment within your organization so you can focus on marketing to those prospects that really count. Whether or not your marketing automation platform already has ABM modules built-in, an experienced marketing automation executive can help guide you through your ABM initiative.

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Heather Staalduinen