A Simple Guide to ABM Marketing

  ●   September 7, 2022 | Business
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September 7, 2022 | Business

ABM is a popular buzzword that is often thrown around in marketing meetings. However, ABM marketing is not always implemented or actioned in the most effective way. With more than 70% of marketers using ABM, it is quickly becoming a must-have strategy in the B2B world. This makes it more important than ever to get it right. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ABM or simply don’t know where to start, this article will cover…

What is ABM?

To start with below is a definition of what ABM is at a top-level:

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy in which a supplier targets a select group of accounts that represent significantly higher expansion or growth opportunities. ABM offers tailored marketing and sales support to prospects, as opposed to a more generic marketing campaign with a broader reach.

When developing an ABM strategy, it typically involves three main steps. These have been listed below and will be discussed further throughout the article:

Step 1: Determine your account selection criteria

Step 2: Coordinate across your sales and marketing teams

Step 3. Channel & tech utilisations

Leveraging ABM, businesses are able to yield a wide range of benefits that help generate better ROIs, improve job satisfaction and provide an overall better customer experience. Let’s expand on these benefits further…

Benefits of ABM

Before we explore the steps to implementing an ABM strategy,  let’s explore why your business should use it. ABM has been proven to take CRM marketing strategies to the next level with a range of benefits coming as a result of its implementation. Below are some of the key benefits of ABM:

Internal alignment

By identifying how to target the defined set of accounts at a business level, you can ensure all teams are aligned and heading towards the same goal. You will be able to coordinate content, marketing channels and sales efforts to ensure an always-on approach to those accounts that have the potential to deliver most value.

Improved lead quality

A common issue that comes with general marketing is the lack of effective targeting. By only reaching those who are likely to be interested in your product or service, you will have a higher chance of converting the deal. This will lead to an overall increase in efficiency and engagement with the likelihood of low-quality, irrelevant leads dropping.

Increased ROI & retention

Expanding on the previous point, as a result of higher quality leads, the business will also likely see a higher ROI and retention rate. This is a result of providing a service or product to those who will directly benefit, and will therefore likely continue to engage with you.

In summary, the business directly benefits from a job satisfaction point of view with sales teams and BDRs having to waste less time dealing with unqualified leads, and also generating additional ROI by surfacing better quality leads.

How to develop an ABM strategy

Here are three simple steps to developing an effective ABM strategy: 

1. Account Selection Criteria

First, you will need to define your selection criteria. When deciding who to target from a buyer persona or company persona perspective, your criteria should include data points from four primary categories:

  • Demographics: Industry, location, number of employees.
  • Decision drivers: Motivations, values, requirements.
  • Infrastructure: Technologies and resources utilised by the organisation.
  • Life cycle: Development stage and maturity of those you are targeting.

Semetrical recommends utilising historical data and business goals to determine which information should be used for these categories. This stage is critical as it will determine the content and communication methods that will be used to engage with the specific audience.

2. Team Coordination

ABM is heavily reliant on bringing marketing and sales together. By working more closely together, there will be a clear and consistent delivery of what your company is trying to offer prospective businesses. As part of this, it will be important to dictate at what points in the user journey marketing are responsible for, and what points fall into the sales remit.

A top-line flow of how this relationship could work between HubSpot & Salesforce has been detailed below in a flowchart. It outlines how data would be added to the respective platforms and managed through a nurturing process.

From the chart, the key areas to discuss are; the blue line between HubSpot Deals and Salesforce opportunities as well as the Lead Scoring operation within HubSpot. These criteria will determine how the contact/company is allocated and subsequently engaged with.

3. Channel & tech utilisations

When discussing ABM, sales and marketing have to work together to ensure an effective process. As ‘The Marketing Rule of 7’ states – a prospect needs to hear your message at least 7 times before they’ll

take action. Therefore, we need to consider more comprehensive marketing concepts to ensure your brand is visible and active in the industry you are targeting.

For inbound marketing, we have a few options available when it comes to channel marketing in an ABM structure and this can be broken down into 3 categories:

Target Demand

Although you may have a list of companies that are a good fit for the business, approaching these could be considered quite a cold approach. Based on this, considering other approaches to engage them could be beneficial.

  • Account-focused social selling via LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be personal and engaging which can support the email outreach.
  • Target contacts can be tagged in LinkedIn Sales Navigator in full alignment with your business’s ABM lists.
  • LinkedIn Ads campaigns targeting companies that align with your target account lists, using lead gen forms, video (where possible) and sponsored content.

Active Demand

After prospects have shown an initial level of buying intent, the strategy would be to run account-specific content, which can be used to make them feel unique and like they are the only ones you are talking about. This would include:

  • Producing relevant content to be shared with them based on their pain points, which can be exceptionally powerful when used in a range of mediums.
  • We would recommend thinking about content assets that are relatively formulaic but can be personalised with unique data for each target account relevant to Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs). This could include guides, reports or calculator outputs.

Engaged Demand

At this stage, prospects have shown a strong buying intent. This is where incorporating the nurturing campaigns can be the most beneficial. 

  • Segmenting by persona and stage to give prospects relevant and actionable insights will ensure we engage with them in the best way possible.
  • Offering a BOFO (bottom of the funnel offer) that is interactive and as personalised as possible.

Maintaining the HubSpot and Salesforce example, these aspects would sit between the platforms and will need to be planned with platform capabilities in mind. For example, automation and calculations will likely sit within HubSpot to make use of HubSpot insights and the lead scoring properties.

If you want to learn more about how an ABM strategy could work for your business, get in touch with our CRM experts for more information.

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