Strategy

Everything you need to know about account-based marketing

What makes ABM strategies so effective, and what does your team need to implement one? Two Motum B2B marketing strategists discuss By Kevin Goodger Mar 03, 2020

What exactly is account-based marketing or ABM? In a nutshell, ABM is targeted marketing that uses personalized campaigns and messaging to effectively reach a small, specific audience.

“The analogy I like to use is that you're fishing with a spear when you're using ABM, and you're fishing with a net in traditional marketing,” explains Steve Lendt, Motum B2B’s Director of Engagement and Analytics.

After researching and identifying which accounts you wish to target, you can begin developing personalized campaigns and content to address their specific needs and goals.

“You determine who your main target accounts are, and then make sure they feel like VIPs. You personalize a lot of content for them,” says Abhilash Mohanty, Marketing Technology Manager at Motum B2B.

Why does it work so well?

Put simply, your audience is more likely to engage with messaging tailored to them and their unique needs. By personalizing content, you demonstrate an understanding of who they are and an interest in addressing their specific challenges.

ABM is also cost-effective, thanks to the different spending tactics employed. Instead of spending a large amount of money to attract many prospects that you’ll then spend even more money to convert, you’ve already identified which prospects you want to pursue. Then you can allocate your budget to create the perfect messaging, resulting in shorter sales cycles and fewer wasted resources.

What kind of returns can you expect to get from an ABM strategy? That depends on how well you’ve targeted, campaign costs and if you managed to engage the audience. When executed well, the ROI is typically quite high.

“The return is going to be there, but it really does depend on whether or not you stick the landing,” says Steve.

When NOT to use ABM

While ABM campaigns can certainly produce great results, there are times when it doesn’t make sense. First and foremost, ABM is generally not used for B2C companies, as the target market is simply too large.

“If you are in a business where you can't really identify who your target accounts are, then ABM is not the right approach,” says Abhilash.

It also wouldn’t make sense to use ABM as a strategy to grow brand awareness or perception.

“If you're just looking to get talked about, ABM isn’t the right approach. The messaging will be too locked down in too specific of a way,” says Steve.

Teamwork makes the ABM dream work

ABM is a great strategy, but to work effectively, it needs to be executed under a unified vision by the sales and marketing team.

“One of the biggest requirements for ABM is for sales and marketing teams to identify the target accounts and the right way to approach them,” says Abhilash.

The sales team will have more in-depth knowledge of what accounts can be targeted effectively, while the marketing team will know how best to engage them.

For an ABM strategy to be truly effective, all teams need to play a role. The content and editorial teams create content that adds value and addresses pain points, while the web team works to deliver a strong user experience.

“It's a collaboration because you've got to cross departments many times over,” Steve points out.

What does the future look like for ABM?

Third-party research firms, email targeting, custom landing pages and personalized websites are all tools used by marketing strategists to identify and engage prospects. We can thank technology for the rapid growth of ABM, and it will have an even greater role in the future.

According to Abhilash, “AI (artificial intelligence) is definitely the next big thing for ABM” because it allows for more precise targeting and intel.

That said, advanced software and AI can be a double-edged sword, because the tech is so new that few people know how to take advantage of it.

“I think the biggest challenge with ABM is there'll be so much great technology to leverage, but too few people will have the skill sets and experience to use it,” says Steve.

Can Motum B2B do ABM?

We’re glad you asked! The team at Motum B2B is well-equipped to strategize, plan and implement ABM strategies.

“We don't just do the planning; we do the execution of it too. That's different from a lot of other agencies. They can do the consulting, but then they have to outsource any of the implementation to a third party or vendor,” says Steve.

“We are the right space for ABM. We have the right equipment, we have the right resources and we have the right skill sets,” adds Abhilash.

Do you need a new marketing strategy to get the results you’re looking for? Get in touch with one of our Marketing Strategists, and let them show you what they can do for you.