"Everyone should think about ABM"
This is what Daniel said on The ABM Voice Podcast:
Okay, let's be honest
Today’s B2B marketing and business world is not the same as it was 10 years ago.
Marketers are smart but clients are smarter
Marketers are fast but clients are impatient
But But But....
There’s one thing that marketers have done really well and that is...
Account Based Marketing
Account-Based Marketing (ABM), a powerful strategy that has emerged as the epitome of marketing excellence.
Armed with authoritative insights, compelling statistics, and visionary quotes, I'll be your master guide to help you explore why you should take ABM seriously & when not to use it at all.
Before we dig in, let’s understand which weapon to use when:
When ABM works best & when Demand Gen wins
While Demand Generation is one of the oldest marketing methods, ABM is one of the newest.
Let me help you understand what works when:
Demand Gen is a great approach if you’re making a sale where:
- A commodity software product/service
- Annual value is less than $2000
- Time to buy is less than 2-3 weeks
- One person can make a decision
- Usually paid via credit card
- More leads = great work
Contrast this with a scenario where
- Your software/service is complex
- Annual value is $5000 or more
- Time to make a buy decision is 3-12 months
- Decision is usually made by a buying committee (3-5 people from across teams)
- Paid via Invoice
- Some key accounts are high priority
And that’s where ABM comes in..
ABM vs DemandGen - the differences
1. Targeting: “Less is More” in ABM
“ABM is all about: Load, Aim, Shoot”
- Arun Gopalaswami
From all the years that I have been doing ABM, I am confident that ABM empowers us to direct our marketing efforts toward high-value accounts that hold the greatest potential for revenue growth.
ABM’s account centric approach will help you achieve laser-like focus, ensuring that your marketing initiatives resonate with the right audience at the right time.
This ensures that our marketing is relevant and timely, and that our sales team is focused on the right opportunities.
Here are some statistics and real data that support the importance of precision targeting:
- A study by SiriusDecisions found that companies that use ABM generate 50% more revenue from their top accounts than companies that don't use ABM.
- Another study by Demandbase found that companies that use ABM see a 100% increase in the number of closed deals from their target accounts.
Here are some examples of companies that have used ABM to achieve success:
- Adobe used ABM to target a specific set of accounts that were most likely to adopt its new cloud-based marketing software.
- As a result, Adobe saw a 300% increase in the number of closed deals from those accounts.
- Salesforce used ABM to target a specific set of accounts that were most likely to be interested in its CRM software.
- As a result, Salesforce saw a 200% increase in the number of closed deals from those accounts.
What we’ve learnt from our customers in the past 4 years is that account selection is a key step if you’ve to win at ABM.
I wrote how to approach this in detail here
Demand Gen approach to picking accounts:
While ABM focuses on targeting one, demand gen focuses on targeting everyone.
In a Demand gen marketing campaign, the goal is not to reach a particular audience but to reach the maximum number of people in that audience set.
It’s not very difficult to understand that the best way to approach anyone is by making them feel comfortable and known.
If you want to achieve success with ABM, you need to focus on precision targeting.
Identify your target accounts, and then tailor your marketing and sales efforts specifically to those accounts.
This will ensure that your marketing is relevant and timely, and that your sales team is focused on the right opportunities.
Okay, so before you start with another benefit, hear this.
2. Personalization: “Mandatory if you’re doing ABM”
"When you talk to everyone, you're talking to no one."
- Meredith Hill
The power of personalization is one thing that lies at the core of ABM's success.
One of the studies I was reading revealed that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences (Epsilon).
So what you are doing with personalization is to show your prospects that you understand them and that you're not just trying to sell them something.
This is essential to build trust.
Here are some statistics and real data that support the importance of personalization:
- A study by Experian found that personalized marketing campaigns generate 6x more revenue than non-personalized campaigns.
- A study by Salesforce found that companies that use personalization see a 10% increase in sales.
Here are some examples of B2B companies that have used personalization to achieve success with ABM:
- A software company sends a personalized email to a prospect who has visited its website. The email highlights the features of the software that are most relevant to the prospect's business.
- A marketing agency creates a custom content piece for a client that addresses the client's specific pain points.
When you personalize your content and experiences, you show your prospects that you understand them and that you're not just trying to sell them something.
But what would DemandGen do in a similar situation?
DemandGen does not focus on personalization to the extent like ABM.
There’s also a reason for this and that is that the motive of a DemandGen campaign is not as laser focussed as that of an ABM campaign.
So what you must take away from all this is, tailor your content and experiences to the specific needs of your target accounts?
This will help you engage your prospects and move them closer to a sale.
Read one more before you get moving:
Curious about kickstarting ABM? Listen to Jim on our ABM Voice Podcast
3. Working alongside with Sales
"Sales and marketing alignment is not a goal; it is a prerequisite."
- Matt Heinz
Trust me, alignment is much more important in ABM than it is in a car.
This is something that I have noticed, when your marketing and sales are aligned, it gives an unimaginable boost to your company’s success.
This is because the marketing needs to know what should be the sales point as on date and the sales must be aware about what is working and playing a role in delivering leads or deals.
Research shows that companies with aligned sales and marketing functions enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates and achieve 38% higher sales win rates (MarketingProfs).
ABM fosters a shared vision, encouraging both teams to work hand-in-hand toward common objectives.
When sales and marketing are aligned, they can work together to create a unified strategy that targets the right accounts and delivers the right message at the right time.
This can lead to a significant increase in closed deals and revenue.
Some examples of companies that have achieved success with ABM and sales and marketing alignment:
- Salesforce used ABM and sales and marketing alignment to target a specific set of accounts that were most likely to be interested in its CRM software. As a result, Salesforce saw a 200% increase in the number of closed deals from those accounts.
- Oracle used ABM and sales and marketing alignment to target a specific set of accounts that were most likely to be interested in its cloud-based enterprise software. As a result, Oracle saw a 150% increase in the number of closed deals from those accounts.
If you want to achieve success with ABM, you need to focus on sales and marketing alignment. Bring your sales and marketing teams together to create a unified strategy and set of goals.
Any idea what happens in Demand Gen?
Well, there’s almost no alignment between marketing and sales.
Both the teams work independently in their own way.
This creates a different type of system where teams just focus on delivering individual results which may not align with the final goal.
Hence, get the alignment checked and fixed in your cars and campaigns.
This will help you ensure that your marketing and sales efforts are working together in a coordinated way to achieve your desired results.
4. ROI (ABM wins when big $$ are on the line)
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service fits them and sells itself."
- Peter Drucker
Let’s be clear on one thing- as a marketer or an investor, there’s one thing that we all agree with- ROI is the priority. Right?
About 87% of marketers stating that ABM outperforms other marketing initiatives (ITSMA).
By concentrating efforts on key accounts and nurturing strong relationships, ABM consistently delivers higher returns on investment, elevating marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator.
As already mentioned, Salesforce used ABM to target a specific set of accounts that were most likely to be interested in its CRM software.
As a result, Salesforce saw a 200% increase in the number of closed deals from those accounts.
Now if we consider the same thing in a Demand Gen scenario,
it would seem very inefficient.
Because, there’s not a fixed process to calculate the success of an effort.
Apart from that, It’s actually difficult to achieve a targeted accomplishment when you don’t have a fixed target to reach.
5. Data (Used differently in ABM)
"In God we trust; all others must bring data."
- W. Edwards Deming
I was talking to my tech team and our CTO said “Data is the lifeblood of ABM”. As casually as he said, it hit me as truly too.
Without data, you can't target the right accounts, create the right messages, or measure your results.
That's why ABM relies on data-driven insights to inform every decision.
Here are some ways that data can be used to power ABM success:
- Identifying target accounts: Data can be used to identify target accounts that are most likely to buy from you. This can be done by looking at factors such as company size, industry, and website traffic.
- Creating personalized messages: Data can be used to create personalized messages that address the specific needs of your target accounts. This can be done by looking at factors such as their pain points, interests, and decision-making process.
- Measuring results: Data can be used to measure the results of your ABM campaigns. This can help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your strategy.
Without data, you're flying blind like those DemandGen campaigns run- they try flying in all directions.
But with data, you can target the right accounts, create the right messages, and measure your results. This will help you achieve your ABM goals and grow your business.
Lemme throw a truth bomb here:
6. Expansion (Build Influence in key customer accounts)
"The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy."
- Dharmesh Shah
Customer advocacy is the fruit of personalized care.
When you take the time to understand your customers' needs and deliver on those needs, they become your biggest fans.
These fans will sing your praises to their friends, colleagues, and on social media.
This can lead to a significant increase in brand awareness and leads.
Here are some ways to cultivate customer advocacy:
- Personalize your interactions with customers. Take the time to learn their names, their businesses, and their needs. This will show them that you care about them as individuals, not just as potential customers.
- Deliver on your promises. If you say you're going to do something, do it. This will build trust and credibility with your customers.
- Go the extra mile. Do something unexpected and above and beyond for your customers. This will show them that you're committed to their satisfaction.
When you have a loyal customer base of advocates, you don't need to spend as much money on advertising.
Your advocates will do the marketing for you, spreading the word about your brand and driving new business.
And we have one more home run here.
It’s for the company that uses ABM and gets great results.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a proven strategy for growing your business.
It's more effective, efficient, measurable, and relationship-building than traditional marketing and sales strategies. (when the conditions are right like I said above)
ABM is a strategic approach to marketing and sales that focuses on building deeper relationships with specific, high-value accounts.
By targeting the right accounts with the right message at the right time, ABM helps you achieve significant results.
Here are some of the key benefits of ABM:
- Precision targeting: ABM allows you to target the specific accounts that are most likely to buy from you. This can lead to a significant increase in closed deals and revenue.
- Personalization: ABM allows you to personalize your marketing and sales efforts to the specific needs of your target accounts. This can help you engage your prospects and move them closer to a sale.
- Sales and marketing alignment: ABM can help to align sales and marketing teams so that they are working together towards a common goal. This can lead to a more efficient and effective use of resources.
- ROI amplification: ABM can deliver significant returns on investment (ROI). In fact, a study by ITSMA found that 87% of marketers stated that ABM outperforms other marketing initiatives.
- Data-driven insights: ABM relies on data-driven insights to inform every decision. This can help you target the right accounts, create the right messages, and measure your results.
- Customer advocacy: ABM can help you cultivate a loyal customer base of advocates. These advocates will sing your praises to their friends, colleagues, and on social media. This can lead to a significant increase in brand awareness and leads.
If you're ready to take your marketing and sales to the next level, then ABM is the strategy for you. Start using ABM today and see the difference it can make for your business!
And here's one last home run for the company that uses ABM and gets great results:
They're so good at ABM, they could hit a home run with a blindfold on!
I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have any questions about ABM, please feel free to ping me here.
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