Account based marketing (ABM) is quickly gaining traction among today’s top marketers. It’s an effective strategy that’s all about strategically targeting and engaging high-value accounts, rather than individual leads, which can lead to significant value creation over time.
In this guide, we walk you through the ins and outs of ABM. By harnessing the power of ABM alongside Postal's innovative solutions, you can boost the efficiency of your marketing team and create more meaningful connections with your customers. Let’s dive in!
What is Account Based Marketing?
ABM is a strategic approach in B2B marketing focused targeting high-value accounts rather than a broad audience. The alignment of marketing and sales teams to focus on key accounts is vital here, as they work together to optimize marketing efforts to engage specific accounts and stakeholders. This targeted approach involves personalized messaging and marketing campaigns focused on addressing the pain points and needs of decision-makers within these accounts. ABM tactics include leveraging CRM data, social media outreach, and email campaigns to create relevant content for each target account. By focusing on the buyer’s journey of selected accounts, ABM aims to streamline the sales cycle, enhance account engagement, and increase conversion rates, ultimately driving revenue potential for B2B companies.
Benefits of Account Based Marketing
There are plenty of benefits that businesses enjoy after adopting ABM. Here are some of the top ones:
Enhanced Alignment Between Sales and Marketing Teams: ABM fosters closer collaboration, ensuring marketing efforts are directly aligned with sales goals.
Increased Conversion Rates: By focusing on high-value accounts, ABM leads to higher conversion rates compared to traditional marketing strategies.
Personalized Marketing Campaigns: ABM allows for tailored messaging that resonates with key decision-makers in target accounts.
Optimized Use of Marketing Resources: Concentrating on specific accounts ensures marketing resources are utilized more effectively.
Better Customer Experience and Engagement: Personalization in ABM enhances the overall customer experience, leading to stronger account engagement.
Streamlined Sales Process: ABM helps in focusing the sales cycle on qualified leads, making the sales process more efficient.
Improved Measurement and Metrics: With ABM, tracking ROI and other key metrics becomes more precise, as efforts are concentrated on a smaller, more defined set of accounts.
Effective Use of CRM and Marketing Automation Tools: ABM integrates seamlessly with CRM and marketing automation platforms, leveraging data for targeted outreach and follow-up strategies.
CTA: “Ready to Elevate Your ABM Game and Boost Your ROI with Postal? → “Show me how”
14 Effective Account Based Marketing Strategies
1. Target Account Selection
In ABM, the selection of target accounts is a critical initial step. This process involves identifying high-value accounts that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP), ensuring they have the potential to deliver the highest return on investment. Sales and marketing teams collaborate to analyze CRM data and insights, focusing on key factors like company size, industry relevance, and revenue potential. The goal is to pinpoint accounts with the greatest likelihood of conversion and successful sales outcomes. By leveraging marketing automation tools, ABM programs can effectively segment and prioritize accounts, using criteria such as past purchase history, engagement metrics, and behavioral indicators. This strategic selection is essential for optimizing marketing efforts and resources, as it enables marketing campaigns and outreach initiatives to be highly targeted and personalized. Incorporating intent data and LinkedIn insights further refines target account selection.
2. Personalized Marketing Campaigns
Personalized marketing campaigns are a cornerstone of ABM, focusing on creating content that caters to the unique needs and preferences of each target account. This tailoring process requires a deep understanding of the target account's industry, business model, pain points, and key decision-makers' preferences. By leveraging CRM data and insights from marketing automation tools, marketing teams can craft customized email campaigns, engaging social media content, and informative webinars that resonate specifically with each target account. This personalized approach in B2B marketing ensures that marketing efforts are not just relevant, but also highly engaging, leading to increased conversion rates and a more streamlined sales process. Personalized marketing campaigns are more than just addressing the company by name; they involve a strategic blend of relevant content, targeted messaging, and insightful engagement that addresses the specific challenges and goals of each high-value account, thereby enhancing the overall buyer’s journey.
3. Strategic Gifting and Direct Mail
In ABM, strategic gifting and direct mail are used to create lasting impressions with key decision-makers within target accounts. This personalized approach is designed to resonate with the specific interests or business needs of high-value accounts. When selecting gifts or crafting direct mail, it's crucial to consider the recipient’s corporate culture, personal preferences, and the overall business relationship. This aspect of ABM strategy goes beyond conventional marketing tactics by offering a tangible, memorable experience that can significantly enhance account engagement and strengthen relationships. These thoughtful gestures, integrated with other ABM tactics like social media outreach and personalized email campaigns, can significantly impact the sales cycle, driving conversion rates and reinforcing marketing efforts. Careful selection and customization of gifting and direct mail ensure that each gesture is meaningful and aligned with the target account's profile, contributing to a successful ABM campaign and fostering long-term business relationships.
CTA: “Ready to Elevate Your ABM Game and Boost Your ROI with Postal? → “Show me how”
4. Sales and Marketing Alignment
Sales and marketing alignment is a critical element in the success of an ABM strategy. This collaborative approach ensures that both teams are working towards common goals, focusing on target accounts that have been identified as high-value. Effective alignment involves regular communication and sharing of insights, which helps in tailoring marketing campaigns and sales outreach to the specific needs and preferences of key accounts. By leveraging CRM data and marketing automation tools, both teams can gain a comprehensive understanding of target accounts, facilitating a more efficient sales process and more impactful marketing efforts. This synergy between sales and marketing leads to a more targeted approach in engaging decision-makers, optimizing touchpoints throughout the buyer’s journey, and improving overall conversion rates. The alignment also ensures that marketing campaigns are not just creative but also strategically focused on generating leads and driving revenue.
5. Account-Specific Content Creation
Account-specific content creation in ABM is about developing content that uniquely addresses the challenges and opportunities faced by each target account. This involves a deep dive into understanding the business landscape, pain points, and goals of these high-value accounts. Customized content, whether it’s in the form of detailed case studies, industry-specific white papers, or personalized webinars, helps in resonating with the specific needs of each account. This approach not only enhances the relevance of your marketing efforts but also positions your brand as a thought leader attuned to the unique aspects of your target audience. By leveraging CRM data and insights, marketing teams can ensure that every piece of content, whether shared through email campaigns, social media, or direct mail, is tailored to the distinct profile of each key account, thereby optimizing engagement and increasing the potential for successful conversion in the B2B marketing landscape.
6. Omnichannel Engagement
Omnichannel engagement in ABM requires integrating multiple channels to interact with target accounts, creating a unified and seamless customer experience. This strategy involves reaching out to key accounts through various touchpoints like email marketing, social media platforms, direct mail, and personalized landing pages. The aim is to present a consistent brand message across all channels, thereby enhancing the engagement and experience of the target accounts. Effective omnichannel engagement leverages the strengths of each channel to ensure a cohesive message that resonates with the decision-makers within these accounts. By using data from CRM systems and marketing automation tools, businesses can deliver timely and relevant content, ensuring that each interaction adds value and advances the buyer's journey. This comprehensive approach helps in building trust and credibility with high-value accounts, leading to improved account engagement, shorter sales cycles, and higher conversion rates.
7. Leveraging Marketing Automation
Leveraging marketing automation in ABM is crucial for efficiently scaling efforts and ensuring personalized interactions with each account. Marketing automation tools are instrumental in managing complex ABM campaigns by automating repetitive tasks, thereby allowing marketing teams to focus on strategy and content creation. These tools facilitate the delivery of targeted messages at the right time, enhancing the relevance and impact of outreach initiatives. By integrating with CRM systems, marketing automation enables a deeper understanding of target accounts, tracking engagement metrics and optimizing strategies based on data-driven insights. This approach both streamlines the workflow and ensures that all interactions are tailored to the specific needs and interests of key decision-makers. For B2B companies, the use of marketing automation in ABM campaigns translates to more effective lead generation, and ultimately, a higher ROI on marketing efforts.
8. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics in ABM is a game-changer, enabling B2B companies to anticipate the future needs and behaviors of their target accounts. This approach uses data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. By understanding these patterns, marketing and sales teams can proactively tailor their strategies to align with the potential needs and decision-making paths of key accounts. This foresight leads to a more efficient use of resources and more impactful engagement strategies. Predictive analytics enhances the ABM approach by allowing companies to not only react to current needs but also to anticipate and address future challenges and opportunities, thereby increasing the relevance of their outreach and improving the overall chances of conversion.
9. ABM Metrics and KPI Tracking
Tracking metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of ABM campaigns. It involves setting specific, measurable goals related to engagement, conversion rates, and ROI to gauge the success of ABM efforts. By analyzing these metrics, B2B marketers can gain insights into the performance of their campaigns, allowing them to make data-driven decisions to optimize their strategies. Key metrics often tracked include account engagement levels, the number of qualified leads, pipeline growth, and revenue generated from target accounts. This approach ensures that the ABM strategy is aligned with business goals and provides actionable insights that can be used to refine and enhance future marketing efforts, ultimately leading to more effective lead generation and sales processes.
10. Social Selling and LinkedIn Targeting
Social selling and LinkedIn targeting are integral components of a modern ABM strategy. LinkedIn, as a prominent B2B social media platform, offers unique opportunities for engaging directly with key decision-makers in target accounts. Through personalized outreach, content sharing, and active participation in relevant discussions, sales reps can build meaningful relationships with potential clients. By leveraging LinkedIn's advanced targeting features, companies can deliver tailored content and messaging to specific personas, increasing the relevance and impact of their outreach. Social selling on LinkedIn involves not just selling products or services but also establishing credibility and trust by sharing valuable insights and addressing the specific pain points of the target audience. This approach helps in nurturing leads and moving them further along the sales funnel, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the ABM campaign.
11. Customer Advocacy Programs
Customer advocacy programs are an integral part of an effective ABM strategy. Encouraging satisfied customers to advocate for your brand can significantly amplify trust and credibility among potential accounts. These programs leverage the power of word-of-mouth through customer networks and testimonials, effectively using authentic experiences to attract new high-value accounts. In ABM, leveraging customer advocacy involves showcasing success stories and case studies in marketing campaigns, which resonates well with target accounts, especially when shared on platforms like LinkedIn and through targeted email campaigns. This approach not only highlights your product's value but also builds a community of loyal customers who can influence their peers, furthering lead generation and conversion efforts within the targeted B2B marketing space.
12. Event Marketing and Sponsorships
Event marketing and sponsorships are key components of a robust ABM strategy, particularly for B2B companies. By participating in or sponsoring events attended by representatives from target accounts, businesses create opportunities for direct, face-to-face engagement. These events can range from industry conferences to webinars, offering platforms to showcase products and thought leadership. This approach not only increases brand visibility but also allows for personalized interactions with key decision-makers and stakeholders of high-value accounts. Event marketing and sponsorships are powerful tools for building relationships, understanding customer pain points, and tailoring your marketing efforts to address the specific needs of your target audience. They also provide valuable insights for sales teams, helping to streamline the sales process and enhancing the overall effectiveness of the ABM campaign.
13. Retargeting Strategies
Retargeting strategies in ABM are crucial for maintaining visibility and engagement with key decision-makers who have previously interacted with your brand but haven’t converted yet. Implementing retargeting campaigns involves using digital marketing techniques to remind these potential customers of your products or services, keeping your brand top-of-mind. This approach utilizes intent data and engagement metrics from CRM and marketing automation tools to deliver relevant content and ads across various online platforms, including social media and search engines. Effective retargeting ensures that your brand message reaches the right accounts at the right time, reinforcing previous interactions and nurturing leads further down the sales funnel. It's a strategic way to increase conversion rates and optimize marketing efforts by continually engaging with high-value accounts that have shown initial interest.
14. Continuous Learning and Adaptation
Continuous learning and adaptation are critical for the ongoing success of ABM campaigns. Regularly reviewing and analyzing the results of your ABM efforts allows for a deeper understanding of what strategies are working and what needs improvement. This process involves examining key metrics and KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of different tactics, including personalized marketing campaigns, social selling, and event participation. Learning from both successes and failures is essential in refining your ABM strategy, ensuring that it evolves in alignment with market trends and the changing needs of your target accounts. Continuously adapting your approach, based on data-driven insights, helps in optimizing the sales cycle, improving alignment between marketing and sales teams, and ultimately enhancing the overall performance of your ABM campaigns.
Elevate Your ABM Game with Postal
Postal's platform streamlines your ABM strategy by offering personalized gifting and direct mail options that resonate deeply with key accounts and decision-makers. By integrating with your CRM, Postal ensures your marketing and sales teams are perfectly aligned, enhancing the efficacy of your outreach and follow-up strategies. It simplifies the targeting of high-value accounts, making your marketing campaigns and sales process more efficient and effective. With Postal, you can expect to see a significant improvement in engagement metrics, lead generation, and ultimately, conversion rates.
CTA: “Ready to Elevate Your ABM Game and Boost Your ROI with Postal? → “Show me how”
Lauren Alt-Kishpaugh is the VP of Marketing at Postal, the leading Global Offline Marketing Engagement Platform that creates memorable moments for organizations to generate leads, increase sales velocity, and retain happy customers. Prior to Postal, Lauren worked across various marketing functions including marketing operations, campaign management, and acquisition at hyper-growth software companies like Outreach, ThousandEyes, and Solv Health. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, Jon, and her dog, Maple.