How to Implement Account-Based Marketing for Real Results

Inbound Marketing, Website
How to Implement Account-Based Marketing for Real Results

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) defined.

By this point, you’ve probably heard of ABM. It’s widely considered one of the lead marketing strategies in today’s business world. But just because it has significant hype surrounding it, doesn’t mean everyone actually understands it—or how to apply it to their business.

Account-based marketing refers to a marketing and sales strategy that focuses on pursuing a list of your most desired accounts, rather than casting a wide net over a large group of prospective customers. Your goal shifts slightly from getting more leads, to getting the right leads. 

By basing your marketing message on the specific needs and characteristics of a given account, you’re offering a personalized campaign designed to hook that target customer. 

Why is this such a successful strategy? Because everyone likes to feel seen. Marketing is most effective when you can get into the minds of your consumers and understand how to reach them. But first, you need to understand why.    

The true benefits of a more targeted approach

One of the biggest benefits of account-based marketing is sales and marketing alignment. ABM works best when your marketing team and sales organizations work together to identify target accounts, create personalized campaigns, and convert those accounts from leads to life-long customers. 

ABM also allows for shorter sale cycles. The sales process can be agonizingly time-consuming when your message needs to slowly make its way up the chain to the primary decision-maker. With ABM, however, your prospects are carefully nurtured, the primary decision-makers are pinpointed, and decisions are made more quickly. 

This also leads you towards a clearer ROI. Because your approach is precise and measurable, 85% of marketers report a higher return than any other marketing approach. That is a benefit worth fighting for. 

How to implement ABM and get real results

1. Pinpoint your target audience.

Step one is to figure out who your target audience is. This is the most important step, because without clear and concise direction, your marketing strategy will fail. 

You’re going to want to find high-value accounts. These are the accounts that have the potential to bring in the most revenue to your company. It could also be your dream client: someone you’ve had your eye on for a while, and would love to work with.

2. Understand their pain points.

So, you’ve made a list of your target accounts, but you need to find their pain points. What is their current problem? What are they seeking? And how can you help? All questions you can ask yourself before you design your marketing message for them. 

Map out each stage of the buyer’s journey and review your data. Social media can be a great tool here to check out what your customers' problems might be and communicate them with your sales team.

3. Do your research.

You need to know what makes your target audience tick. This is your time to develop creative assets that will truly resonate with your targeted accounts, so you need to do some digging.

Twitter conversation

Social media is an incredible tool in today’s world. Take to Twitter, research the companies’ trends and pinpoint their primary decision-makers. Seek out the interests and behaviors of those individuals and get to know them in a deeper way.

4. Get personal with customized ads.

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to customize the experience. Fine-tune your messaging and partner with your sales team to create an offer that grabs your audience’s attention. 

For example, the company GumGum knew they wanted to land T-Mobile as a client. Through some social media research, they knew the CEO of T-Mobile was a huge Marvel fan. Check out the comic-themed ad they created just for him, involving “T-Man & Gums The Girl Wonder.” Needless to say—they landed the account.  

5. Align sales and marketing with your ABM approach.

If sales and marketing can’t work together, your ABM campaign won’t work like it should. Each team’s goals should align with one another, and their roles should be defined clearly. 

For example, your marketing team should get key insights on each account from the sales department before developing content for your key prospects. This ensures that your leads are strong, and the content is even stronger. 

Five examples of account-based marketing

1. Direct mail

In a virtual world, tangible mail can really stand out. One company went as far as sending a piñata to their target customer, filled with candy, printed positive reviews, and testimonials.

Rainbow unicorn pinata

2. Events

In-person events are a great way to persuade big decision-makers outside the office. Incorporate personalized invitations, a VIP dinner or getaway, and a personalized follow-up after the event. 

3. Webinars

In-person events too much? Webinars can be a timely and effective alternative. Create unique webinar content creatively specifically with your target audience in mind. 

Listening to a webinar on a laptop

4. Paid advertising 

While this can be used in any area of marketing, you can take advantage of features from large social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, that allow you to target specific companies’ personas through ads. 

5. Email campaigns 

Despite the overload of email campaigns people are receiving nowadays, this is still an extremely effective tool. Craft tailored email messages to your target accounts and avoid blanket templates.  

Account based marketing, when done right, reaps a big reward.

Here at Vye, we know that getting to know your consumer goes a long way. Not only in cultivating true relationships, but in establishing respect and reputation in the industry.

Need help creating a one-on-one marketing strategy and taking on a consumer-facing approach? We’re good at that.

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