It is not business as usual.
This is where Account-Based Marketing (ABM) enters the picture. With ABM you are focusing on very specific target accounts in a market. Most of your marketing energies are focused on those accounts, which if targeted right, can deliver the results you are looking for.
In 2019, companies assigned 29% of their marketing budgets to ABM, and there is no doubt that this figure will go up in 2020.
Marketing budgets are going down in a world that is witnessing an economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. Companies offering marketing consulting services are being forced to let their staff go, make do with a very thin team, and work with clients who are cutting down on their marketing spend; but despite all this, they still need to deliver positive marketing outcomes.
Sounds like quite a lot of challenges there!
ABM is the strategic answer to these challenges because it ensures you focus efforts on valuable accounts and stop sending time on low-value accounts. Think of these accounts as individual markets.
Let’s look at an example.
Say you have a product for the financial sector, which is vast and ever-growing. ABM demands that you drill down further and identify the companies that are an exact match for your product sales. But this is not the end of it. Within these companies, you must identify the key decision-makers who will take a call on buying the product you want to sell. These personalize the marketing message keeping these accounts in mind.
The decision-makers are your target account; these could be - CEOs, CTOs, Team Leads, etc.
You now need to tailor all your marketing communications and campaigns to these specific accounts. The objective is to craft messaging that resonates with these accounts. What you are essentially doing is defining your prospects with a razor-sharp focus on their sales-worthiness and potential inclination to convert. This will now give you the confidence to invest a major chunk of your marketing spend on these accounts.
Decision-makers have a penchant for cutting through the clutter, so why not do it for them? Cut through all the marketing noise they are hearing through a hyper-personalized marketing campaign. This will ensure, it is your messaging that comes up tops. Your campaign must prove to them that you are well-aware of their requirements, and you understand perfectly the kind of solution they are looking for. This helps address the challenges faced by them.
In order to understand their needs better and to craft perfectly personalized marketing messages, you need to get to know them better. This can be done through social media, following their accounts, chatting with them, reading their posts, published articles, and also thoroughly analyzing and evaluating their company presence.
Once you have done your research, your email automation comes into play. Create emails that put all your research to good use and start sending them to ‘the accounts’ at regular intervals. Each email must be extremely personalized so that it is very clear that you have a comprehensive idea of what the target needs and can fulfill their expectations.
You can make use of marketing automation tools for this purpose.
Here’s our take on MarTech stack, which will give you a better perspective.
The focus of ABM is not only personalized marketing. It is about creating and implementing a personalized buyer journey. So, you are not just winning a target account, but also delivering an experience that will delight them, and that too consistently.
In a post-COVID-19 scenario, you should acquire long-term customer loyalty and this can only happen if you maintain a high level of consistency in your customer experiences. This can be done if the sense of delight lasts over a long period. A customer will love to remain your customer if you are able to continuously deliver a sense of delight, by delivering on their intrinsic needs and expectations.
This is easier to do so through ABM because you have already identified their unique needs, personal preferences, goals and budget. Overall, you are crafting an experience with them that is wholly personal.
And your target account knows this.
Ideal Marketing Resource Allocation
Companies increased their ABM budgets by 41% in 2019. So, clearly treading on the ABM marketing path is the right step in the right direction. The biggest advantage of ABM is that it allows you to allocate budget to marketing activities that will deliver the most ROI. This is what you need in a scenario wherein your marketing budget is limited. The focus of ABM is on identifying accounts that have the best chance of converting into customers and focussing all attention on them. This results in shorter sales cycles without wastage of resources. This is a win-win for everyone including the target account.
If this doesn’t convince you to invest in ABM, here is a statistic that should –
Repurpose Your Inbound Messaging
Before you say, “But, I will have to start from scratch to personalize my campaigns!”, allow us to make things a little clearer.
No, you do not have to start from scratch.
You can repurpose your existing inbound messaging and create personalized content at scale. All you need to do is - take a closer look at the content you have already created and identify the content that you can personalize easily and more effectively.
Take the case of a whitepaper you have created on a specific domain-centric challenge. If you think a series of tweaks can help you repurpose the whitepaper and personalize it to suit the needs of a particular account, go ahead and do it.
But, don’t just depend on repurposing content. Fresh content is also critical for your ABM efforts. Not all content can be repurposed, and if you are serious about ABM, why not go the whole hog and create content that is fresh and extremely well-personalized?
COVID-19 has upended the plans of most marketing consulting services companies. If you are an inbound agency, you must have realized by now, that things are difficult. But, don’t worry! ABM has got your back.