a man shaking someone else's hand account based success

How To Become Successful In Account-Based Marketing

More B2B companies are shifting towards account-based marketing nowadays. In 2020, only 15% of marketers relied on account-based marketing (ABM), but the statistics ballooned to 70% a year later. This drastic development is not something you see every day.

The shift to ABM can be challenging, but the number of companies opting for this choice is continuously growing. Same goes for B2B sales and marketing teams.

According to some, account-based marketing makes it easier for corporate entities to get down and personal with customers. The new setup is less formal, which helps corporate entities interact freely with individuals and gain their feedback on important matters.

Another reason for the sudden shift to account-based marketing is that businesses prioritize brand awareness to increase their likelihood of striking deals. Consequently, the benefits of account based marketing can affect the entire sales cycle in a positive way.

If you still have second thoughts about whether account-based marketing is for you and your company, keep scrolling to learn more.

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What is Account-Based Marketing?

woman with a tablet in hands fist pumping smiling and two me in the background working on account based marketingAccount-based marketing, also popularly known as key account marketing, is a marketing approach whereby customer-centric teams like sales and marketing collaborate to satisfy and capture a particular account and its key decision-makers.

Increased chances for income generation for your marketing, customer success, and sales teams are advantages of account-based strategies.

Unlike any other digital marketing strategy, ABM is not all-sweeping. Instead, it runs marketing programs for pre-selected target accounts with which the company wishes to establish connections.

Somehow, ABM reverts how the traditional marketing funnel work. Instead of exploring every nook and cranny of the market, the account-based marketing approach snipes individuals or entities interested in your products and services.

Like other B2B marketing campaigns, ABM efforts can still be costly and uncertain. Although you will set your eyes on some targets, there is no 100% guarantee of success.

Nonetheless, many celebrate ABM for the innovations it contributed to many of the most successful businesses today.

Watch the following video to learn more about Account-Based strategies:

What are the Roles of the Sales and Marketing Teams?

many hands huddling together for account based marketing

Sales and marketing teams fulfill crucial roles in account-based selling, as well marketing campaigns. If both teams work well together, they may deliver outstanding results, which would significantly benefit companies seeking to put their products and services out there.

Here are three of the leading roles that sales and marketing departments fulfill during ABM campaigns:

line drawing of a target1. Search Target Accounts

The cooperation of sales and marketing team members is integral in locating the company’s target accounts. They work together in studying available metrics to discover which among the consumers in a given industry are likely interested in the company’s offerings. Their investigation should be thorough and data-based.

Sales and marketing team members may repeatedly refine a target list to ensure that consumers that they will endorse are more likely to make a purchase. This way, it will be easier for the company to conduct campaigns.

Also, since the list underwent a thorough study, it will be easier to predict how consumers will react to market changes, making it easier for cross-selling efforts.

lined rawing of a group of people with a cross in the middle2. Engage with Target Accounts

After narrowing the target accounts list, it is time for the sales and marketing department to engage with them. Companies often engage with consumers through phone calls and physical interactions at kiosks. At this point, the sales and marketing departments aim to create a lasting impression on the consumers.

Nowadays, companies invite some people from their target account lists to launch parties to advertise upcoming products and services publicly.

Besides maintaining a smooth sales process, the sales and marketing departments will also try to render impeccable customer service. It is an attempt to show that the company has other outstanding features besides having excellent products and services.

line drawing of two hands shaking3. Secure Deals with Target Accounts

After searching and engaging, it is time for the sales and marketing departments to secure deals. The first two steps are mere preparatory steps to an ultimate goal: make sales.

Most of the time, target accounts are not individual consumers. They could be clusters of consumers headed by particular entities. It is uncommon that the biggest challenge for the sales and marketing departments is getting on good terms with the sales and marketing teams of other companies.

But other than sales, there are other deals that sales and marketing departments can do. For some companies, creating partnerships with other entities is as good as selling products and services.

15 Proven Tips to Succeed in Using an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

woman with glasses sitting in front of computer doing account based marketing

Anyone could implement components of an account-based marketing strategy, but there is no guarantee that they can succeed. This endeavor requires hard work and dedication.

If you are interested in learning the benefits of account based marketing, and how to facilitate an effective ABM strategy, feel free to study these tips:

line drawing of a resume and a pencil1. Be meticulous when identifying target accounts

Companies should be keen on identifying target accounts. Ideally, target accounts are potential customers who may support you through product purchases, service engagements, and other modes of earning. Know your targets by consulting the sales team after they conduct research on this matter.

The sales team should look into relevant data to find the best candidates for the key accounts. Besides external information, it is better to study existing customer data because they contain indicators that help estimate possible reactions from the targets.

Note: Keep the sales process data-driven. Any miscalculations done at this stage may cause irreversible mistakes in the future.

line drawing of squares above a computer2. Use social data to identify the needs of target accounts

Social data refers to the publicly available information, often shared via social media by users, that pertains to the geographical location, languages spoken, and other media shared by users on their pages. This data is critical for the success of an ABM strategy because it provides specifications on how companies should interact with key accounts.

In addition, social data help define a more in-depth consumer profile because online interactions can provide subtle but significant factors that reflect their purchasing preferences. For example, social media comments on deforestation could hint that a user prefers shops to be environmentally conscious. Consequently, this reality allows account-based marketing to develop personalized messaging regardless of the featured products and services.

line drawing of three people in circles connected in community3. Know the communities of your targeted accounts

Besides the key customers, companies should also study social groups’ behavior. Sometimes, a consumer may not be expressive with their preferences, so it can be trickier to decide what marketing strategy works best to entice them to make a purchase. Therefore, key decision-makers should also investigate other people they interact with regularly.

If a consumer does not often spend on personal luxury, perhaps they are the type that splurges on others. This simple assessment already proves that consumers may act differently depending on their environment as well as the kind of support they need.

line drawing of a hand and a lightbulb hover over it4. Generate offers according to target account levels

It is inconclusive, but a person’s account level sometimes determines their buying behaviors. Therefore, ABM campaigns should be thorough with account targeting because this stage alone can already change the course of their marketing and sales cycle.

Notably, changes in buying behavior are more visible when consumers rank higher in account level.

For C-suite accounts, experts recommend applying a more tailored marketing strategy. Some even suggest investing in a one-on-one ABM strategy because the decisions and behavior of specific high-value accounts can create a definitive impact on the existing demand and behavior of a specific industry.

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line drawing of a speedometer with the word KPI in it5. Use relevant KPIs to measure results

Several factors help measure the success of account-based marketing. Keep track of the following:

Account engagement:

This metric may pertain to ad clicks and open e-mail rates. These KPIs are significant in creating personalized content because they easily reflect objective preferences.

Return on investment (ROI):

Most successful ABM generates high ROIs. It is one of the most crucial KPIs because it directly reflects sales and profits. Make sure to always keep track of the ROI of your sales tools.

Contract value:

Contract value does not only determine the profitability of an ABM strategy today but also over time. A higher contract value can be more important than a higher closing rate.

line drawing of a paper and arrows showing it turning6. Regularly update your target account lists

Determining an accurate account list is good, but the real challenge is keeping such a list as accurate as possible over time. Unfortunately for marketers, account lists can be fickle and tend to change at any given moment. Stakeholders should observe how the account lists shift to implement appropriate strategy adjustments.

The inability to adjust account lists may render an ABM strategy inflexible. Changes can happen at any time because the market is constantly dynamic, and the needs of consumers shift all the time.

line drawing of a hand holding a smartphone with speech bubbles coming out of it7. Generate content your target accounts need

Content based marketing and personalized campaigns are the heart of account-based marketing. Ad campaigns that appeal to a specific market will eventually increase engagement and sales. But besides looking at what consumers want, marketers should be more crucial with their targets’ needs.

Offering a “need” can be more compelling. Discovering this factor can make a previously successful campaign a greater hit. Likewise, presenting content most relevant to the needs of target accounts could create a more lasting impression.

line drawing of of different channels like video email speech connecting in a present8. Choose marketing channels carefully

Currently, there are four major marketing channels: paid, free, digital, and traditional. Each channel has unique effects on specific audiences and presents different levels of accessibility. Right now, the most recognizable marketing channel is the digital marketing channel.

Of the four, paid marketing channels can be the most influential because of the tools and features they possess. However, since many companies cannot invest large sums in marketing, some opt for free marketing channels. However, campaigns can be successful while spending less.

Specific companies utilize multiple channels at once to provide the best quality customer journey to target accounts.

line drawing of of a bar graph with an arrow pointing upwards and coming out of the screen9. Segment large-scale reports

Some companies release large-scale reports to provide informational value to consumers while featuring their accomplishments over time. This form of marketing develops a company’s prestige and brand value. However, the presentation of data should be digestible.

Not all consumers can understand and appreciate marketing jargon. Instead, it is better to introduce infographics and shorter inputs in the reports to make the content more appealing to the general public.

line drawing of a play video screen10. Utilize videos in your account-based marketing tactics

81% of marketers opine that video campaign materials, such as video for sales, directly and positively affected their sales results.

Since humans are audio-visual, it is understandable for videos to become powerful campaign materials to use in ABM account strategies. However, it is also noteworthy that the quality of modern video production appears more compelling and realistic. As technology progresses, marketing campaigns gain more entertainment value, making them more impactful to most viewers.

line drawing of a speech bubble with quotations11. Promote testimonials from existing customers

Testimonials also help make advertisements feel personal and relatable. Consumers remain skeptical about a product or service until they see someone try them and acquired satisfying results. For that reason, advertisers should invest in creating campaigns that make testimonials as believable as possible.

It should not be difficult to draw realistic reactions from satisfied customers. After all, they already approve of the product or service and are interested in trying more. The remaining challenge now would be translating how the repeat customers feel into a campaign and presenting it in the most compelling way possible.

line drawing of a hand holding a gift12. Send thoughtful gifts to high-value target accounts

Giving gifts to highly-valued customers is one of the oldest ways of personalized campaigns. However, since it can be too costly to send valuable gifts to every customer, limiting this tactic to high-value target accounts is practical.

Why? When they enjoy and appreciate the gifts you have sent, they will most likely recognize the gesture publicly. Targets with the highest value accounts often hold vast influence in their respective industries. Their interactions with your gifts would raise awareness and curiosity in others that witness them.

line drawing of a screen with the gear for settings logo13. Customize digital marketing tools’ settings

If you want an easy and refined way to promote account-based marketing, resort to digital marketing. Most digital marketing options are programmed to be user-friendly and custom-fit to satisfy the needs of particular niches. However, no matter how “custom-fitted” a digital marketing tool is, you can still tinker with its settings to make the program work according to your unique specifications.

The only downside to creating a new setting with digital marketing tools is that it may cost more. Most programs offer added customization options as a premium on top of their regular services.

line drawing of a person inside a bullseye with an arrow14. Capture specific accounts through retargeting

Retargeting is a specialized marketing campaign for repeat customers and users who browse the company’s eCommerce site repeatedly. It is a pragmatic approach because you zero in on specific accounts that qualify as “low-hanging fruits.”

Compared to other users, these individual accounts are more likely to spend more on the company because of their previous pleasant experiences or high curiosity. So that retargeting can be more potent, some companies draft specialized offers to entice potential customers to take a dip and spend their money.

line drawing of two people high fiving15. Strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing teams

The sales and marketing teams are two of the most fundamental departments in account-based marketing. After all, they are the ones who create and distribute the ad campaigns. The stronger the synergy they develop, the more they can achieve common goals with better proficiency.

Along with strengthening their social relationships, companies should also invest in the career development of both teams. The individual growth of sales and marketing team members will contribute to the overall strength of their collaboration.

6 Companies with the Best Account-Based Marketing Strategies

image of a man sitting working on his laptop

One of the easiest ways to learn about account-based marketing strategies is by observing how successful companies do it. In comparison, reading account-based marketing examples in textbooks may not offer in-depth details.

The companies listed below made account-based advertising and other related marketing efforts work for them. Keep on reading to learn their secrets.

1. Auth0

auth0 logoAuth0 is a Washington-based management platform rendering authentication and authorization services. It promotes simplified customer data security features through a token-based authentication protocol that generates temporary encrypted security tokens upon user verification. Its successful ABM strategy helped the company generate an additional $3 million in the pipeline.

Auth0 partnered with an account engagement platform to gather insights on the best ways to approach its target accounts. Before using account-based marketing tools, Auth0 admits not knowing which accounts to focus on, so most of their tactics were inaccurate. Now, the company realized that what works for them is adjusting marketing efforts according to sales territories.

2. O2

02 logoO2 is a UK-based telecommunication service provider that has been in the industry since 2016. It took advantage of a unique account-based marketing strategy to get ahead of competitors in the industry. It adopted a unique ABM strategy to boost its credibility in the market. The company made an extra effort to coordinate with more than 2,000 key employees who work for its target companies.

Because of its hands-on approach, O2 managed to retrieve personalized reports, which provided great detail regarding their targets’ needs. Later, O2 developed strong relations with its target companies and attained a high conversion rate in return.

3. Dialpad

dialpad logoDialpad is an AI-powered communications platform that offers a unified space for team members to conduct phone calls, video meetings, SMS/MMS, and team messaging. It became a successful brand for global teams through specialized account-based marketing tactics. One of its priorities was to ensure that the marketing and sales teams harmoniously worked together.

Although the marketing and sales department are under a tight collaboration, both stay at their respective lanes. The marketing teams focused on content distribution, while the sales teams made more efforts for content production. In the end, the teams had extensive discussions regarding target accounts and devised solutions to promote their initiatives.

4. Salsify

salsify logoSalsify is a New York-based commerce experience management platform that allows users to manage product data they want to advertise in any chosen marketing channel. Salsify also attests that the success of an account-based marketing strategy depends on the strength of marketing and sales team collaborations.

Salsify’s sales and marketing departments performed different functions but worked toward common goals. To illustrate, the marketing team searched social media to gather leads and interact with potential clients, while the sales teams sent targeted ads through various channels to enforce their campaigns. This dynamic collaboration was successful and exceeded Salsify’s conversion targets.

5. Live Ramp

liveramp logoLiveRamp is a California-based SaaS company providing a data connectivity platform specializing in data onboarding. What sets this company apart from others is its thoroughness in selecting a target audience. Live Ramp bolstered its campaigns by ensuring that its distribution funnels effectively build the brand’s identity, especially within the digital space.

After studying growth trends and their interactions with target accounts, Live Ramp created a profile for their target accounts. Then, the company used the profiles as a guide in developing more effective campaigns. Lastly, Live Ramp aligned its marketing and sales teams to execute a more cohesive plan for achieving company goals.

6. Snowflake

snowflake logoSnowflake is an American cloud-based data platform. It offers a multi-cluster shared data architecture that allows users to collaborate, consolidate data, and engage in meaningful interactions without fear of cybersecurity threats. Many commend Snowflake’s account-based marketing framework for being tailor-fitted according to the needs of its target audience.

Snowflake became one of the most prominent marketing companies today because it understood that campaigns should remain diverse to maximize conversion. Also, Snowflake emphasized the cruciality of brand credibility because it entices customers into engaging with the company. Following Snowflake’s example, companies can attract any customer base simply by offering a personalized content experience.

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Final Thoughts

man looking at the camera smiling sitting in front of his computer in a deskAccount-based marketing takes a lot of effort to learn and keep up with. However, recent statistics and reports reveal that the ABM strategy promises progressive results. After learning the above-listed tips on how to succeed with account-based marketing, you should acquire skills and knowledge on implementing a successful ABM program.

When you try each of the tips mentioned above, remember to mix and match. Some of the recommendations could work for you, but there are others that may seem inappropriate to use for account-based marketing.

Since there are no absolute rules in account-based marketing, keep trying until you find the ABM strategies that best your circumstances.

 

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