The ultimate account-based marketing guide

Planning a marketing strategy

If you’ve heard the term “account-based marketing” or “ABM” and have been wondering if it’s something you should try, then this is the primer for you. This account based marketing guide is going to be a deep dive into all the ins and outs of what ABM is, how it works, and how to get started doing it yourself.

What is account-based marketing?

Account-based marketing tailors your marketing efforts to target specific accounts, rather than large, broad groups. Essentially, you look at your clientele and instead of digging into demographics, you select specific companies — or even individuals. This means creating significantly more customized campaigns so you can speak more directly with the exact people or companies you’re targeting.

To get a clearer picture, look at this diagram of how account-based marketing works:

Diagram account-based marketing

It’s an inverse of the more traditional sales funnel that has you casting a wide net and narrowing your scope as you move through the process. Instead, you choose your specially selected targets and then ramp up and expand from there.

This process is also known as the “land and expand” method. This means you focus on landing a client (or looking at a relationship with a client you’ve already landed) and nurturing that relationship to encourage more sales (expand) down the line. This could be more sales with that specific relationship or expanding out to make use of your client’s network, driving more business for yourself.

Who is account based marketing for?

It may seem like the account-based marketing approach is only for big businesses looking to land major corporations as clients, but that’s not true. ABM practices can be adopted by just about anyone, as long as you know how to apply them. The only thing you might need to do before you can start is a small amount of research.

You’ll want to have a good understanding of your answers to the following questions:

Once you have a thorough understanding of these key pieces of information, you’re ready to move forward!

The goals of account-based marketing

The goal of account-based marketing is simple: to increase your revenue and build strong client relationships. That may seem obvious, but it just goes to illustrate why ABM shouldn’t intimidate you: its main goals are the same as just about any other marketing technique!

More specifically, though, you can also use ABM to increase the data you have about specific customers, nurture and strengthen existing relationships, and even set yourself apart from some of the competition. In short, it’s an important piece to a healthy and robust marketing strategy.

What are the benefits of account-based marketing?

1. Increased loyalty across your customer base

One of the biggest benefits of an account-based marketing campaign is that it can not just lead to sales, but increased loyalty among your consumers. How? Personalization! You can’t run an effective ABM campaign without tailoring it to your target audience, and content that’s better suited to match that audience’s needs performs better.

You don’t want to go too far, of course — when marketing is too personalized it can backfire. But that should be pretty easy to avoid here! After all, we’re not trying to market to people by knowing everything about their lives. The way you should be tailoring your campaign is by focusing on specific problems your audience is having and how your products can solve them.

2. Cost-effectiveness and efficiency

While it’s possible that mass marketing efforts can be cheaper than ABM, and are certainly less time intensive, they aren’t as effective. Sure, you could send your marketing efforts to everyone in your city, but a bunch of that effort will be wasted on people you already know aren’t interested in your product.

By focusing your efforts on a specific set of customers or potential customers, you can increase your efficiency without necessarily increasing your cost. Even if you spend more on an ABM campaign, you’re far more likely to see a lower CPA (cost per acquisition).

That means the extra time it can take to put together this kind of marketing strategy may end up paying for itself!

3. Clearer path to ROI

Figuring out your ROI can be a little tricky depending on your marketing practices. But one of the unsung perks of account based marketing is just how simple it becomes to see your ROI. It’s a simple practice of calculating your money-out vs. money-in.

Because you’re looking at your accounts as single, marketing entities, it becomes much clearer to see exactly how much you spent on messaging. In turn, it’s equally simple to see exactly how much you made. Now that you understand the benefits of account based marketing, you can dive into why microsites are an integral part of ABM strategy.

How to get started with account-based marketing

Ready to keep that ABM train rolling? We’ve got a few simple steps on how you can get started on launching your own (maybe even your first) account based marketing campaign.

1. Research, research, and more research

An easy place to start with your research is to start drilling down into exactly who is visiting your website. Choose a visitor identification program to help you determine how long certain visitors are staying on your page and where they’re coming from.

You can also turn to the tools you’re already using such as your email list and CRM software. Start compiling this info with what you’ve gathered from visitor ID trackers and you’ll be well on your way to understanding not just who you’re talking to, but which of those people seem receptive to the message.

2. Organize your list of prospects

Once you know who’s visiting your site, it’s time to break them down into categories ranked from most likely to buy to least. Now you can organize a true plan of attack by going after those who rank the highest in your research. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste time by focusing blindly on those who might be coming to your site in error!

3. Start creating content

This step is the heaviest lift, but should ultimately be the most fruitful. Now that you’ve got a rich and detailed portrait of the potential customer you want to talk to, you need to start talking. That means determining what problems they might be facing and how your product specifically can help. You don’t have to worry about speaking “to the masses”; just focus on your target.

A great way to do that is to create landing pages and microsites that seek to answer questions these prospective customers might have. If you can provide genuinely helpful information these people find useful, you’re probably not far off from watching the cash roll in.

Get your account-based marketing strategy off the ground with Zoomforth

As a leader in microsite creation and hosting, Zoomforth offers the tools you need to get your ABM content off the ground. Create, build, publish, and track the success of your ABM microsites with our easy-to-use platform. With real-time analytics, your sales data is right at your fingertips. As if that wasn’t enough, Zoomforth microsites are incredibly easy to build and maintain thanks to drag-and-drop tools and a user-friendly interface. So don’t wait — request a demo today!

Photo by Firmbee on Unsplash

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