In this hyper-competitive market, making your brand stand out is challenging. Customers today expect a high level of personalization and attention to detail. They want to feel seen and heard, and general marketing and sales techniques are no longer cutting it.
Through account-based marketing, you can provide bespoke, account-focused marketing to each customer, ensuring every interaction is tailored to their needs, leaving a lasting impression.
Today, let’s dive into and break down the benefits of individualized account-based marketing and how you can use this to achieve ever-greater results.
What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing, or “ABM,” is a focused marketing strategy emphasizing personalization and unique marketing approaches for your most valued clients or accounts. For example, your ABM strategy might call for:
- Personalized marketing messages, like emails or account reminders
- Attaching a single salesperson or account manager to each account so they can develop human relationships with those clients
- Offering bespoke products, services, and discounts based on each account/customer’s tastes and needs
ABM contrasts with more generalized marketing, focusing on mass audience appeal and broad-scale marketing efforts.
Both approaches have their place. For example, mass marketing could be a better option in the earlier days of your brand's lifespan when you focus on brand awareness and building an audience from scratch.
But after you have a few key clients and rely on those accounts for most of your income, it’s a good idea to pivot your marketing strategy. ABM is a great way to ensure your most important clients feel appreciated and will hopefully stick with your brand through thick and thin.
The Benefits of ABM for Your Brand
Account-based marketing is personalized marketing on an account-wide scale. When leveraged correctly, ABM can provide numerous advantages.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
Personalization is king in modern marketing, and for a good reason. Customers who experience personalized marketing feel seen when directly spoken to by the brands they support. These days, clients in all industries demand personalization from the get-go.
Even something as straightforward as a bespoke marketing email — complete with the customer's name, a reference to a previous conversation or discussion, and a recommendation — can make a good impression on a customer compared to a generalized email sent to dozens of people at the same time, which does not have the same impact.
Leveraging personalization in your communications is the minimum you can do to keep your clients happy. If you fail to personalize your marketing materials, it could be enough to leave a bad taste in your customers' mouths.
Develop New Solutions for Clients
When you practice account-based marketing, your relationship with your clients/partners may lead to innovations, stronger partnerships, and significant developments in the industry. Those developments may lead to a positive feedback loop. You’ll devise new ways to satisfy your clients, so they’ll keep partnering with your brand. For example, one study from 2018 indicated that 57% of ABM practitioners saw valuable co-innovations with their account holders.
Bottom line: the more you personalize your marketing, the more loyal your customers will likely be. They’ll feel like true partners or patrons of your organization, not just numbers on your screens.
ABM helps you better comprehend your target audience and what satisfies them. By focusing on your target audience’s needs and pain points, you’ll identify more ways to solve their problems with your product or service. If your business derives most of its revenue from a handful of key accounts, a deep understanding of these accounts is vital for the health of your organization.
The more you market directly to those clients, the better you’ll be able to:
- Recommend profitable products to those clients in the future
- Handle potential mishaps or miscommunications with grace
- Anticipate those clients’ needs before they mention them
All of these contribute to a healthy, loyal customer base you can count on time and again. With ABM, your customers will not only return for repeat purchases more frequently. You’ll understand those customers more comprehensively than before. This, in turn, will allow you to improve the experiences and services you provide continually.
Think of it as a positive feedback loop. ABM gives you actionable data on your target customers and key accounts, which you then use to bolster their loyalty further, ensuring that the cycle continues.
How to Leverage ABM for Maximum Benefit
These advantages will only be noticeable if you leverage account-based marketing correctly. Fortunately, you can use four main strategies to practice ABM smartly and effectively.
Identify Target Accounts
First, identify your CRM software's target or most important accounts. Integrating account-based marketing platforms into your CRM software and overall tech stack may be a good idea. That way, you can use all of your tools in conjunction with each other to determine the following:
- Who your ABM strategy should be focusing on (e.g., the account that's the most profitable for your brand)
- Which customer should you further develop relationships with
- Which customer do you need to gather more data on to provide better experiences
The better you know who to target, the better your sales and marketing teams can bring in stellar clients for your brand.
Merge Sales and Marketing for Unified Strategies
What about after you figure out your target accounts? Then it’s time to look inward and ensure all your team members work well together.
Your sales and marketing teams should spend time aligning their goals to develop a unified marketing strategy.
For account-based marketing, sales and marketing must create long-lasting, beneficial relationships with key account holders and clients. Bringing your sales and marketing teams together for account-based marketing strategies means that:
- Your marketing team will know to focus on bespoke marketing materials that speak to unique customer pain points
- Your marketing team will also deliver personalized marketing materials straight to client inboxes
- Your sales team will know what the marketing team has promised, preventing miscommunications and disappointments on the part of your clients (e.g., the marketing team promised a specific discount that a salesperson isn’t aware of at the time of a call)
- Your sales team can also report back to the marketing department, explaining what worked and what didn’t, enabling further iteration and optimization of your account-based marketing strategy
All in all, this mutually beneficial relationship will have significant benefits for your brand going forward.
Build and Retain Strong Relationships
Above all else, successful account-based marketing is contingent on building and retaining strong relationships over time. Your sales staff and marketing managers must know that the focus is on securing key clients and then continuing to provide those clients with stellar service from start to finish. The more your clients feel tailored to, the more likely they are to stay with your brand and continue to spend money.
This may take a little trial and error, and every account will have its unique relationship. But that’s not a problem, provided you integrate CRM software with your other tech stack tools. Good CRM software will help you keep track of each client relationship and manage critical information to satisfy those clients.
On top of leveraging CRM, assign a specific team member to each primary account and allow them to develop a rapport with the customer and build that relationship in a human, authentic way. This will result in a much better customer relationship in the long term.
Your sales and marketing team members will deliver better, more emotionally resonating experiences with each customer. That should result in more consistent customer relationships over the years (and more consistent income for your business).
Continually Measure and Iterate
Lastly, remember that your ABM strategy relies on good data to be effective. Therefore, you should expect to constantly measure and collect data on your target clients and audience members, then iterate your marketing approaches based on that data. Some metrics you should measure and track include:
- Bounce rate on your website landing pages
- Email open rate
- Past purchases
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Churn rate
- Average order value (AOV)
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and the metrics you track depend on your organization's goals.
Regular iteration and adjustment of your marketing strategies are crucial to keeping up with changing consumer tastes and desires, especially if your business is in a fast-paced and constantly evolving niche. Don’t shy away from switching things up if your current ABM approach could be more successful.
In the end, account-based marketing could be just what your brand needs to succeed and stand out from the competition. With ABM, your most important clients will see the dedication you bring to the table and become more loyal to your brand than ever.
Account-based marketing must show that your brand is modernized and attentive to its customer base, especially since your competitors will undoubtedly be practicing ABM.
When practiced smartly and effectively, account-based marketing will lead to more satisfied clients, better customer relationships, and higher revenue. Start using ABM in your marketing strategy today!