Account-Based Marketing: Your Complete Guide to ABM Strategy

Brodie Schroeder

Just because someone can shop online rather than head to a store, it doesn’t mean that good customer experience isn’t important. Customers want to feel special no matter how they choose to shop.

Unfortunately, while 80% of businesses feel they’re delivering great experiences, only 8% of customers agree with them.

But there’s a way to change all that. Account-based marketing (ABM) lets businesses treat each customer like they’re their own market.

But what is ABM and how do you create an ABM strategy? We want to help you succeed in 2020 and beyond.

Keep reading to learn how to create a winning ABM marketing strategy.

What Account-Based Marketing Is

ABM marketing is when a marketing team creates content, campaigns, and events that are dedicated to targeting high-value accounts or prospects and implementing strategies that appeal to their specific needs and personas.

In other words, it’s marketing that focuses on an entire company rather than an individual or industry, whether they’re existing or a prospective. It’s a marketing strategy that’s most beneficial to business-to-business (B2B) companies.

The Benefits of Having an ABM Strategy

There are many reasons why B2B companies create an account-based strategy. One reason is that it’s much easier to spot the ROI (return on investment).

By marketing to buyers, especially when you already have an established relationship with them, it’s a lot easier to credit your marketing campaign as being successful.

An ABM strategy lets you know exactly where your marketing dollars go and how much money you’ll bring in at the end of that campaign. Since the business knows how much money is going out and how much money it’s bringing in, it’s easier for them to allocate more resources to the campaign.

It’s Personalized to Your Target Market

In 2019, 72% of people engaged with marketing messages that were customized specifically to their interests. 80% are more likely to purchase a service or product from a company who provides personalized experiences.

Catering to a large audience makes it harder for potential buyers to feel their individual needs are being addressed or met. With ABM you won’t target a large audience, but you can personalize messages and content to an intimate group.

ABM also helps you to strengthen relationships with current customers. This creates brand loyalty which can lead to long-lasting relationships.

ABM Saves Time

You’ll spend less time and fewer resources on projects that have no clear value. Instead, you can develop strategies that help ensure stability even during slower periods.

ABM also lets your sales team eliminate cold leads while accumulating qualified leads. The more time your sales team has to focus on qualified leads, the shorter the time period between initial contact and a closed sale.

How to Create a Winning ABM Strategy

There are several steps your sales and marketing team needs to take in order to create an effective ABM marketing strategy.

Identify Your Strategic Accounts

Companies are like individuals. We all have our own individual personas.

ABM targets the entire organization rather than one individual. You can determine which companies are worth targeting using the following criteria:

  • Company size
  • Location
  • Annual revenue
  • Profit margin
  • Upsell opportunities

Those accounts that currently yield or have the potential to yield the highest and longest-term profits is what you want to target. You’ll need to do both qualitative and quantitative research to accurately identify these traits.

Dive Deep Into Research

Next, it’s time to turn to your sales team. Once you’ve identified the common traits of the organizations you want to pursue, you’ll need to find the companies that match and then figure out who their key stakeholders are.

You’ll also want to understand how decisions are made at these companies. The more you understand who they are and how they think, the easier it is to develop strategies that will get and keep their attention.

Some easy ways to learn more is to speak with those in your own organization with an established relationship with these companies. You can also learn a lot on social networks.

Create Personalized Content and Messages

Using the information you’ve collected, it’s time to create content that directly speaks to both organizations and their stakeholders. Address their specific pain points and show them how you can solve their problems using both compelling content and attention-grabbing imagery.

To do this successfully, your sales, marketing, and design teams should work together so that the right message is communicating whether it’s within an image or the written word.

Determine the Best Way to Deliver Your Content

It’s a waste of time, resources, and money if your campaigns aren’t being directed to the right places. Figure out where stakeholders spend their time online.

And you should also find out what their state of mind is when they’re on various social media platforms. Facebook doesn’t have the same tone or energy as LinkedIn and you need to develop separate strategies for each platform.

And speaking of Facebook and LinkedIn, both platforms are great because you can target both specific organizations and the titles within those organizations. This way, you can double the chances that you’ll reach your intended audience and capture their attention.

Measure Your Results

Once you’ve launched your campaign, it’s time to start measuring the results. It’s hard to prove your ROI if you don’t know how to interpret the numbers.

You should also measure your results as soon as you launch your campaign. This will help you quickly identify which campaigns are and aren’t working. This way, you can immediately tweak those campaigns that aren’t having the success you hoped for.

Ask Questions to Help You Measure Results

To measure your results properly, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • Are there any changes in the way the targeted accounts are engaging with our brand and content?
  • Have we been growing our list of known stakeholders within the targeted account?
  • How much revenue are we generating from our target accounts?

You’ll have to use various tools to help you evaluate your marketing ROI.

Learn More About How We Can Help

Implementing an ABM strategy takes time, effort, and know-how. It’s not always easy for companies to figure out the right steps immediately.

We have the tools and systems to help you achieve greater success. Click here to learn more about what we do.


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