What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing, or ABM as it’s also called, is a B2B marketing strategy that targets key businesses through a variety of channels. It’s similar to marketing in that you’ll go after specific audiences, but instead of focusing on the many, you’ll put your personalized, strategic marketing efforts into fewer, larger ticket accounts.
When account-based marketing is done well, it positively impacts your bottom line. To reach your goals, your sales and marketing team must work collaboratively, localizing the beneficial accounts that will have the greatest ROI.
If your manufacturing company is targeting those Fortune 500s, having an ABM strategy in place will allow you to more effectively be seen and heard by your target audience.
Why Should Manufacturers Consider Using Account-Based Marketing?
Knowing what account-based marketing is isn’t a compelling enough reason to consider implementing it. You’ll want to know what benefits you’ll reap before opting with ABM for your manufacturing company.
The benefits of account-based marketing:
- Easily obtainable ROI: ABMs priority is ROI. Because you will be targeting and personalizing your messaging across your platforms, you’ll benefit with a clear ROI.
- Less risk: With account-based marketing, your sales and marketing team have a clearer path for scaling their efforts. Not only that, but your teams won’t waste time with ineffective marketing programs.
- More humanized: Having a highly targeted audience means your messaging can be more personalized. No matter what type of marketing you do, your audience appreciates and responds better to relevant messaging that sounds like it’s coming from a trusted friend. With ABM, you’ll clear the biggest hurdle, which is actually making that connection with your audience.
- KPIs and goals: Looking at your analytics will show you the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Because ABM enables you to have a more streamlined list of clients, the results are easier to read. You’ll know what’s working, and what efforts need improvement.
- Sales and marketing aligned: When your sales and marketing teams are working collaboratively, they’re on the same page. When this alignment happens, you’ve got an unbeatable bunch working towards the same initiatives.
When you have your targeting, engagement, and measurements in place, your marketing and sales team will sky-rocket towards success.
How Do You Determine the Right ABM Targets?
Account-based marketing sounds great, but how do you determine the key accounts to target?
Your sales and marketing teams must be able to determine how viable a prospective client is to determine how much of their resources need to be utilized. Which means, you need to prioritize your targets.
There are a few key factors to consider when going after potential clients; ask yourself these questions:
- Does the company show credibility in their niche?
- Is there potential for a larger deal?
- Will your teams be able to sell across multiple divisions?
- Will the purchasing process be long and drawn out?
But, how do you know what client is worth going after? What type of client is your ideal client? For this, you should create a buyer persona. Think of this as a piece of fiction, what an author would do when creating a character for a novel. Only, the “hero” of your story is an organization, not a damsel in distress or her knight in shining armor.
To determine who is your ideal client, look at:
- The target’s industry
- The business’s size whether by employee count or annual revenue
- How profitable the business is
- Where it’s located
- The company structure
- The budget
- Is it a good fit
Is ABM Right for Your Manufacturing Company?
You have a tried and true marketing effort being carried out within your organization. But, you’re interested in whether account-based marketing is right for your company. It’s smart to dip your toes in first before diving in.
Your Sales Cycle
To determine if ABM is right for your company, you must first assess the length of your sales cycle. One of the major benefits to account-based marketing is that it can shorten that prolonged sale cycle through your targeted messaging influencing the right decision maker. However, if your sales cycle is a quick one, then you may not have any need for account-based marketing.
Your Content Library
Account-based marketing leverages high quality, curated content. And we’re not talking email campaigns, where you wait for responses and send follow-ups.
With ABM, you’re combining the forces of both your inbound and outbound efforts to effectively reach your prospects on every platform they use, from search engines to email. If your company has a robust library of content you’re able to pull from, and you’re able to strategize based on content gaps, as well, then ABM is right for your company.
When looking at account-based marketing, one of the biggest factors to weigh is the number of stakeholders you can target. The larger the deal, when more than one stakeholder has skin in the game, is often when it’s a good idea to consider account-based management. One reason is because you’ll be able to target all of those decision-makers at once, so your content is being seen by the exact people you need to see it.
Using Your Contacts To Find ABM AccountsThere’s no better place to start finding new accounts than through the contacts you’ve already made. Sure, it can sound greasy to hit up the people in your network, but this is one of the reasons we have networks to begin with.
- You already have a marketing-to-sales pipeline established. It’s time to take a look at those contacts. What conversations have already been initiated? Are there any good candidates within your pipeline worth opening up a deeper conversation with?
- What about those deals your teams have already closed? Look into those, you may be able to up-sell, cross-sell, or add more value to what they’re already working with.
- Hop on your social platforms. Most likely, you’ll want to go directly to LinkedIn, that’s where many excellent B2B opportunities can be found.
- Someday, when we are able to congregate in person again, trade shows, events, and conferences will once again provide value. When you’re in person, you can leverage conversations.
Checklist: 12 Tips to Develop Your First ABM Plan
Account-based marketing is an excellent way to target very specific high-value prospects and work in tandem with your already established marketing tactics. Use these tips to help develop your first account-based marketing plan.
- Identify your targets and hone in on the right messaging and content to capture their interest.
- As you develop campaign materials and promotions, consider adding a mix of paid and organic support including:
- Targeted display ads
- Personalized emails
- Targeted email signature banners
- Paid social advertising
- Relevant content, events, or webinars
- Direct mail
- Create a prospect-specific offer designed for your target audience.
- Free demo
- Free x-amount of seats
- Free trial
- Develop an industry-specific whitepaper or ebook for download that is designed for leads.
- Consider the importance of personalized landing pages displaying customized images and offers.
- Create a vendor contact list noting roles and responsibilities for each name.
- Use customer lookalike modeling based on your current customers.
- Be social on social media (especially LinkedIn) by following and engaging with your target accounts.
- Highlight and tag your target accounts within your content.
- Create social media ads that are personalized and targeted towards your ideal audience.
- Send branded yet creative gifts or promotional materials to your target customers.
- Host a live stream event, webinar or podcast and invite your target audience.
In the end, marketing of any kind is about developing connections. Without that human element, it can be difficult to rise above the competition and online chaos. If your manufacturing company is facing challenges in the sales cycle, growth, and engagement, then now is the time to try account-based marketing.
Questions? Just let us know!