According to Philip Kotler, ‘The Father of Modern Marketing’, it costs 5 to 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Account Based Marketing is the closest you can come to selling to your existing customers. You already have a relationship with an individual (or individuals), or you may have already worked for a different division/business unit.
That’s why Account Based Marketing produces results for both Sales & Marketing.
Account Based Marketing is a relatively new concept to many B2B marketers. Unlike traditional B2B Marketing and Lead Generation, Account Based Marketing involves concentrating sales and marketing resources on a very defined set of target accounts. Each account is targeted separately with a personalised campaign that is designed to resonate with the key decision makers in the targeted business.
As all marketing marketing messages and communications are crafted to address the needs of the specific account, many marketers have achieved a higher success rate with Account Based Marketing.
97% of surveyed B2B Marketers said ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing initiatives [The Altera Group, 2018]
It’s therefore not surprising that there has been a 21% increase in the number of companies that have a full account-based marketing program in place in the last year.
Despite this increase in B2B companies adopting Account Based Marketing Strategies, many still lag behind. This can often be put down to a resistance from high-level executives to invest in new marketing strategies, particularly those that they do not know a lot about.
However, the fact remains the same: Account based marketing works. Here is all you need to know to get it across the line at your next marketing meeting.
Account Based Marketing in Action
Account Based Marketing expert Christopher Engman best explains how the strategy can be applied to great success in a recent article shared on LinkedIn. Engman practices Account Based Marketing daily and is continuously learning about how to best apply the strategy to close mega deals for businesses.
In the article, he used the example of IBM trying to win KLM as a client. He explained that in order to close a deal with KLM, there are many employees involved from many different departments: people designing the trips, the IT department, and some C-level executives. With Account Based Marketing, all of these stakeholders can be targeted with articles, videos, and ads of IBM, that are completely relevant to the initiative IBM is discussing with KLM. As such, Account Based Marketing can be thought of as a kind of ‘lobbying’
Account Based Marketing Supports a Strong Alignment Between Sales and Marketing
Both the sales and marketing departments in an organisation are vital to closing these big deals. All too often, these two intertwined departments struggle to find common ground due to the different perception of their roles within the organisation. However, the entire success of an Account Based Marketing campaign hinges on the ability of these two departments to work together.
With an Account Based Marketing strategy, marketers are focused on winning an entire account rather than generating individual leads for sales to close, so arguments over lead quantity and lead quality are non-existent. Sales and Marketing teams are working together as a single unit towards a common goal. This is perhaps the biggest obstacle to most companies thinking of engaging in Account Based Marketing, as only 60% of businesses say they’re “somewhat” or “tightly” aligned with sales.
Resources are Optimised with Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing minimises wasted resources as it is extremely targeted. With such a narrow focus, Account Based Marketers put all of their effort and resources into targeting the company’s key accounts that will drive the most revenue. This allows them to optimise their most valuable resources: staff time and money.
While the strategy maximises the efficiency of marketing and sales resources, it also helps build the communication channels to create a united sales and marketing organisation. This can benefit the business as a whole, as organisations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less aligned companies see a 7% decline in growth [Forrester Research, 2015].
Account Based Marketing Creates Better Customer Experiences
With Account Based Marketing, all messaging and communications with prospect clients are personalised to specific accounts to ensure the campaigns resonate with these target audiences. All marketers know that personalised marketing strategies lead to increased engagement, for example, we all personalise email introductions with a name rather than simply saying ‘Dear Customer’. Account-based marketing takes personalisation to the next level by developing content specifically for key decision makers that addresses their problems and needs at their point in the buyer journey. In order to successfully get the attention of the decision maker, and move them further along the buyer journey, content should be in-depth and highly researched.
By focusing on delivering content that is completely customer centric and adds value to the reader, Account Based Marketing creates an extremely positive experience for the customer.
Account Based Marketing Increases ROI
A 2014 ITSMA survey revealed that “nearly all B2B solution providers that measure account-based marketing (ABM) ROI find that ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.”
As a B2B marketer, we’ve all come across the situation where we’ve had to justify our budget to clients or C Level executives. However, putting resources into Account Based Marketing should be a no brainer. You are targeting already established companies to win accounts that have great potential now and into the future instead of wasting time and resources on gaining and managing multiple small accounts.
Furthermore, tracking your ROI is much easier with Account Based Marketing as there are fewer points of investment and a controlled and easy-to-track sales funnel. It’s much simpler for marketers to see which strategies are working, and which clients are responding, and providing the greatest return.
The following infographic provides some interesting statistics and information on Account Based Marketing [Source].
For more information on Account Based Marketing, and help to win big clients for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the B2B Expert Marketing Consultants at the Lead Agency.