How to do Account Based Marketing

Discover how to execute an effective ABM strategy that targets and engages your most valuable business customers with precision, turning every interaction into an opportunity for growth.

Ezzedine Cherif
2024-05-06

ABM is more than a trendy phrase—it's a transformative strategy that refines how you connect with your highest-value accounts.

Imagine it as high-stakes matchmaking in the corporate realm, meticulously tailoring every interaction to engage a select group of enterprise customers.

This method goes beyond traditional marketing approaches; it’s about precision-targeting what you offer to meet the specific needs of your dream clients.

In this blog, we'll explore how to execute an effective ABM strategy, from pinpointing your target accounts to deploying personalized Account Based Marketing campaigns that resonate directly with their objectives and pain points.

Ready to enhance your marketing efforts? Let’s ensure your key accounts experience the unique focus they deserve, making each feel like they’re the sole focus of your attention.

What is an account based marketing strategy?

So, what exactly is an account based marketing strategy? Let's break it down in simple terms.

ABM is a focused approach in business to business marketing, where your marketing and sales teams align closely.

The goal? To identify and target high value accounts with personalized marketing tactics.

This isn't just about sending out mass emails or broad advertising.

It's about understanding the specific needs and challenges of each target account,

crafting personalized content and campaigns that speak directly to the decision makers within those companies.

Think of Account Based Marketing as an exclusive club where every marketing effort is customized for each member, aiming to create consistent customer experiences and deepen business relationships.

It’s a powerful way to drive revenue growth and ensure your marketing and sales are not just efficient but strikingly effective.

How is account-based marketing different from lead generation?

Lead generation is all about breadth. It casts a wide net, aiming to gather as many leads as possible.

It’s like fishing with a big net, hoping to catch whatever you can.

ABM, however, is more like fishing with a spear. You target high-value accounts with precision, focusing intensely on specific accounts that you’ve identified as ideal matches for your services.

While lead generation is quantity-driven, Account Based marketing is all about quality. It aligns sales and marketing efforts to create personalized campaigns that resonate deeply with key stakeholders and decision-makers in each target company.

The goal? To build strong, lasting relationships with each targeted account, rather than merely increasing lead numbers.

This targeted approach ensures marketing efforts are not just effective but also efficient, driving higher revenue growth with a tailored strategy that meets the unique needs of each account.

Benefits of Account Based Marketing

First off, an ABM strategy aligns your sales and marketing teams like never before.

By focusing collectively on target accounts that are most likely to convert, efforts become more streamlined and synergistic.

This unity boosts efficiency across your marketing and sales strategies, leading to more personalized engagement with key decision-makers.

ABM also drives higher ROI compared to other marketing strategies.

By tailoring messages and campaigns directly to the needs and challenges of specific accounts, you can expect more significant impact and quicker conversion rates.

Not to mention, an ABM strategy helps in building stronger, more meaningful relationships with high-value customers. It’s not just about closing a sale; it’s about fostering partnerships that can expand business opportunities.

Overall, ABM allows for more strategic use of resources, ensuring that every marketing dollar is spent on nurturing the most profitable leads and customers.

Examples of an ABM strategy in action

Let's explore some account based marketing examples together:

1. SAP’s Customized Multichannel Campaigns

Industry: Technology

Strategy: In a stellar display of account based marketing, SAP targeted key enterprise accounts with a customized approach. They leveraged personalized content across multiple marketing channels, including social media, direct mail, and personalized landing pages, focusing on industries like manufacturing and healthcare.

Outcome: This ABM strategy led to a dramatic increase in engagement, with SAP seeing a 200% boost in mobile interactions and generating over $27 million in new business opportunities. This approach not only deepened relationships with high-value accounts but also underscored the effectiveness of aligning sales and marketing teams.

MarketingSherpa Summit | Session: SAP-2

2. Thomson Reuters’ Account-Specific Insights and Content

Industry: Financial Services

Strategy: Thomson Reuters tapped into the power of account based marketing by creating content tailored to the specific regulatory needs of their financial institution accounts. Their marketing team distributed personalized content, such as white papers and industry reports, through personalized email campaigns and exclusive seminars.

Outcome: The result was a 95% increase in account-specific engagement, highlighting how targeted marketing efforts can enhance customer relationships and attract new clients. Their focus on delivering relevant content directly addressing the challenges faced by their target accounts proved highly effective.

Features | Thomson Reuters

3. Caterpillar’s Hands-On Customer Experience Events

Industry: Manufacturing

Strategy: Caterpillar executed an ABM campaign that involved inviting key accounts to experience their equipment firsthand (inbound marketing). These personalized events allowed stakeholders to interact directly with their products and engineers, offering a unique opportunity to engage and receive direct feedback.

Outcome: This approach strengthened Caterpillar’s relationships with its high-value customers, leading to increased loyalty and subsequent sales. The personalized ABM campaigns not only built trust but also significantly impacted their sales cycle, enhancing their reputation as a customer-centric company.

Caterpillar – Marketing Communication News

Account-based marketing strategy framework

Step 1. Identify the Target Accounts

Starting your ABM campaign begins with pinpointing who your ideal customers are. This critical first step ensures your marketing efforts zero in on the enterprises most likely to benefit from your offerings.

Define your ideal customer profile by analyzing data from your past high-value accounts. This analysis should include industry, company size, revenue potential, and specific business needs that align with your solutions.

Utilizing advanced data analytics helps to further refine your list of target accounts, ensuring that your account based marketing efforts are both strategic and effective.

Step 2. Research and Map Accounts

Once your target accounts are identified, the next step is to gather deep insights about these businesses. This stage is about understanding not just the company but the ecosystem it operates within.

Conduct thorough research to grasp the business challenges faced by these accounts, industry trends affecting their operations, and the key stakeholders who make purchasing decisions.

Mapping out the decision-makers and influencers within each account is crucial. This knowledge allows personalized interactions that can significantly influence the sales process.

Step 3. Develop Targeted Content

Content is king in any marketing strategy, but in ABM, it's about precision and personalization. Developing content that addresses the specific challenges and business goals of each target account is what sets ABM apart from traditional marketing.

Craft compelling case studies, white papers, and blog posts that speak directly to the pain points and industry specifics of each high-value target account.

This approach not only attracts target accounts but also positions your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

Step 4. Choose the Right Channels

Determining the most effective channels to reach your target audience is crucial. Your channel strategy should focus on where your key accounts are most active and receptive.

For many B2B companies, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for direct engagement with potential customers. Personalized email campaigns, industry-specific events, and targeted direct mail are also effective in ensuring your message reaches the right people.

Integrating these channels seamlessly into your marketing efforts helps maintain a consistent, engaging, and professional presence that resonates with key stakeholders.

By expanding on these initial steps, your ABM strategy will be well-positioned to engage deeply with high-value accounts, providing them with relevant content through the most effective channels, and setting the stage for a successful sales engagement.

Step 5. Execute Targeted Campaigns

With a solid foundation of targeted content and chosen channels, it's time to launch your ABM campaigns. Execution should be precise—tailored messages sent through the optimal channels at the right time.

Coordinate your marketing and sales teams to ensure that each interaction is personalized and adds value to the conversation. Marketing automation tools can help schedule and manage these campaigns efficiently, keeping track of interactions and responses.

Step 6. Engage Across Multiple Touchpoints

Consistency is key in ABM. Engage your target accounts through various touchpoints to build a comprehensive and cohesive experience. From personalized emails to customized webinars and one-on-one meetings, each interaction should reinforce your understanding of the account's needs and your commitment to addressing them.

This multi-touchpoint strategy ensures that your brand remains top of mind among decision-makers and influencers within the target companies, fostering trust and credibility.

Step 7. Evaluate and Optimize

Measuring the impact of your ABM efforts is essential for understanding what's working and what needs adjustment. Use analytics to track engagement, conversion rates, and overall campaign effectiveness.

Feedback from your sales teams can also provide valuable insights into how well the campaigns are resonating with targets. Based on this data, refine your tactics, adjust your content, and possibly even revisit your target account selection.

Step 8. Align Sales and Marketing

Successful ABM relies on seamless alignment between your sales and marketing teams. Regular communication and shared objectives are crucial. Ensure both teams are on the same page with what accounts are being targeted, the strategies in place, and the roles each team member plays in executing those strategies.

This alignment not only streamlines the workflow but also enhances the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns, leading to better conversion rates and customer relationships.

Step 9. Scale and Expand

As your initial ABM campaigns begin to yield results, look for opportunities to scale and expand your efforts. This might mean adding more target accounts, extending into new markets, or adopting new ABM technologies to enhance your capabilities.

Scaling your ABM program should be a strategic decision, based on successful outcomes and lessons learned from earlier phases. With each step, your approach should become more refined, enabling more sophisticated and impactful engagement with future high-value accounts.

By methodically following these steps and continuously refining your approach, your business is well-equipped to build meaningful relationships with key accounts through personalized, strategic marketing efforts that drive significant business growth.

How to scale ABM with AI

Account-based marketing just got a whole lot smarter with AI. Now, the power of artificial intelligence let you refine your ABM strategies and target high-value accounts with precision.

Implementing AI helps streamline the identification of key accounts and personalizes your outreachat a scale previously unattainable. This isn’t just about saving time—it’s about enhancing accuracy and relevance, ensuring your efforts are focused where they can generate the most impact.

This method is your blueprint to build a robust, AI-powered ABM strategy.

Adapt it, optimize it, and watch as your engagement rates soar.

Ready to take your ABM to the next level? See how OneShot.ai can supercharge your campaigns, helping you to efficiently scale your personalized marketing efforts across all your key accounts.

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