Account-based marketing, or ABM, is becoming the strategy of choice among B2B marketers. According to LinkedIn, more than half are using ABM in their current business operations. More than 80 percent plan to boost their budget for it over the next year.
So why all the fuss about ABM? Why does it matter if B2B companies integrate it — or not?
Let’s explore the concept first, and then dive deeper into the benefits and impacts.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
In essence, account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that focuses marketing efforts directly on one key account at a time. Instead of the traditional, one-to-many approach, ABM applies a one-to-one strategy to reach and appeal to high-value accounts or prospects.
If you’ve ever spent time on personalized marketing, then you have an idea of what account-based marketing looks like — only this is on a whole other level of personalization.
Why ABM Is Used in B2B Marketing
Considering the level of personalization used in account-based marketing, it makes sense that it’s useful to marketers in this space. It can take months — anywhere from four to seven months or longer — to complete a B2B sale to a new customer. ABM helps marketing go the distance with experiences created specifically for potential customers or accounts, as well as the challenges being faced.
ABM also aligns sales and marketing teams. In the past, these groups worked in silos, but this strategy allows them to accomplish their goals simultaneously — benefitting both teams as well as the entire organization.
Perhaps most importantly, account-based marketing is highly effective. According to Altera Group, 97 percent of marketers reported that ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing campaigns. In another study, 87 percent said it outperforms every other marketing investment.
Yet, as successful as ABM has been for some organizations, it’s not for every company. Typically, this strategy is only implemented in enterprise-level sales organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Why? Because this approach is time-consuming and requires a ton of resources to manage such personalized campaigns.
When your B2B accounts can deliver high value or high revenue, however, account-based marketing can help you win those accounts – and even win larger deals in the process.
Why Account-Based Marketing Matters for B2B
The impact to sales and marketing from these large, important accounts is significant. According to TOPO and ABM Leadership Alliance, companies saw a 171 percent increase to their average contract value ($195,294 vs. $71,941) after instituting ABM. In a separate study, 91 percent of marketers said their ABM accounts had a bigger deal size, with a quarter of respondents reporting deal sizes at least 50 percent larger.
For B2B companies looking to expand, account-based marketing is a game changer. It not only enables them to reach the right gatekeepers and decision makers on the account, but also empowers them to speak directly to the pain points the account is experiencing. It reaches out to net-new customers with precision, nurtures potential customers with critical communications, and it can all be automated — a boost to efficiency and efficacy within B2B sales and marketing teams.
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