Account Based Marketing (ABM) has taken on an increasingly important role for industrial marketers to help generate revenue and increase ROI.
ABM puts marketing and sales teams on the same page working together to target best-fit accounts, personalize the buying experience, turn prospects into customers, and strengthen long-term relationships.
Companies seeking high-value customers might find that a targeted ABM strategy serves them better than casting a wide marketing net or in addition to it. Primary ABM tactics companies are using include identifying individual contacts, creating custom content, researching accounts, and measuring results.
Here are six reasons why ABM should be on your marketing radar:
1. Higher Revenue and Performance
As reported in the 2021 ABM Benchmark Study by Demandbase, the average annual contract value for account-based deals was 33 percent higher on average than for non-ABM deals. In addition, 87 percent of account-based marketers say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments, according to a survey conducted by the B2B services marketing firm ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance.
ABM deals tend to involve more stakeholders at the customer organization, which often leads to higher revenue per order. Purchasing is often a collaborative effort, with influence from engineers, management, operations, purchasing and more. Budget authority resides throughout the organization—not just with senior managers.
2. Fewer Wasted Resources
ABM is not a numbers game in the way that many marketing programs might feel. You’re not blanketing the market with expensive campaigns or wasting your time, energy, and resources on companies that aren’t a good fit.
Instead, with ABM, you use your budget strategically and perform research to identify and target companies that most closely fit your ideal customer profile.
3. Better Efficiency through Sales and Marketing Alignment
ABM requires that sales and marketing departments work together, which can increase efficiency and even team morale. Selling and marketing expertise both are needed to be successful at ABM. The two teams work together to identify accounts, devise targeting and personalization strategies, create customized content, and close deals.
The Demandbase survey reported that 65 percent of B2B companies said that both marketing and sales are equally responsible for the new customer acquisition ABM strategy. Fifty-three percent said marketing, sales, and customer success are equally responsible for their account-based customer expansion strategy.
Sales and marketing alignment helps everyone focus on the same goals, stick to an agreed-upon budget, and understand the specific roles of each internal stakeholder. Customers will benefit from a vendor whose sales and marketing teams are aligned and can deliver a consistent, positive experience.
4. Easier to Demonstrate ROI
When you target specific accounts, your marketing and sales effort is easier to track and the results of your efforts easier to measure. Either you penetrate, gain a foothold, and expand the relationship—or you don’t. In either case, you’ll know what you’ve spent on a specific account.
Common metrics for an ABM effort might be the number of ad views/email clicks/site visits by the target organization, new prospects identified, content distributed, time spent, and wins. Not only is ROI easier to measure, 97 percent of marketers achieved higher ROI with ABM than with any other marketing initiatives, according to Alterra Group (as reported by Marketo).
5. Better Content Engagement
ABM requires you to create personalized and customized content for specific people, organizations, job functions, and responsibilities. When your audience feels you understand their needs and you are speaking directly to them, you have a much greater opportunity to engage and satisfy them.
This doesn’t mean you have to create all-new content for every account you target. You may be able to use a template for popular pieces of content that you customize and personalize based on your knowledge of the target customer.
6. More Entrenched with Customers
An occasionally overlooked benefit of ABM is that once you penetrate an account, you can expand your presence and influence, possibly cross-selling and upselling in other departments. This helps you become more entrenched with your customer and more essential to them, which can create a true sense of partnership as you continue to learn and grow together.
You’ll also have multiple contacts so that if one person leaves the customer organization, you won’t lose your foothold. The same is true for your customer: if someone serving the account in your organization leaves, you will have others that are known to your customer to take their place.