What is Account Based Marketing and Where Do I Start?


B2B sales are often complex, with longer sales cycles, and usually, involve more than one decision-maker. In fact, purchase decisions at larger, enterprise companies can involve as many as 17 decision makers! That’s probably why there’s been a sudden push to answer the question, “what is Account Based Marketing (ABM)?” If you’re in the marketing world, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, according to eMarketer, 41% of marketers plan to increase spend on ABM.

What is Account Based Marketing?

Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.

ABM takes the B2B marketing and sales tactics proven to work and then focuses on selling to businesses by targeting company accounts instead of just individual leads. Check out our recent blog to learn everything you need to know about account based marketing and get detailed answers to all your questions!

ABM is a lot like fishing…?

If you’re a person who learns visually (or a fisherman, like me), Engagio explains ABM in a fun, effective way. It says, “Traditional demand generation is fishing with a net. Account Based Marketing is fishing with a spear.” If you’re unfamiliar with the sport, we use nets when fishing for smaller bait fish. We get more of them to use as bait, in the hopes to catch the big kahuna. When spearfishing, anglers already have their sights set on their trophy fish. They save their spear for the big catch, the ideal fish. It takes precision, strategy, and yes – some patience. And so does Account-Based Marketing.

How ABM Works

ABM is a dynamic marketing strategy. And if done correctly, the payoff is great. But just executing an ABM campaign takes a lot of time and resources, and still, no results are guaranteed. There is a 6-step process marketers generally follow for Account Based Marketing initiatives, which we will cover in detail in the second blog of this series. For now, know that each step in this process is key to executing ABM campaigns. However, all 6 steps can (and should) be made more advanced as your ABM strategy continues to evolve. Here’s a little preview of the 6 steps we’ll outline in our follow-up blog:

  1. Select Your Accounts
  2. Discover Contacts and Map to Target Accounts
  3. Develop Account Insights
  4. Generate Account-Relevant Content
  5. Deliver Account-Specific Interactions
  6. Orchestrate Account-Focused Plays

Benefits of Using an Account Based Marketing Strategy

Our goal as marketers is to always deliver relevant, specific content to our target audiences. Account Based Marketing directly supports that concept. By using an ABM strategy, you shift from marketing to individuals to communicating with a larger group of buyers within each account. And understanding that those groups of influencers probably have similar problems to solve, business needs, and collective goals to meet.

Therefore, the key benefit of an ABM strategy is it proves to be more effective because your content is speaking directly to a larger, influential group. You’re using language they relate to based on their company and industry while offering a powerful solution. (Hint: your company is the solution) And, with commitment, your team can do all of this at scale.

Measurable benefits of using ABM

Bigger Wins

The deals closed from targeted accounts is about 40% higher in dollar value for mid-market accounts and 35% higher for enterprise accounts.

Increased Close Rates

In one study, close rates were reported as 285% higher for targeted enterprise accounts. The close rate for mid-market accounts was 165% higher when using ABM.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

ABM requires sales and marketing to work together to launch successful campaigns. Therefore, 70% of ABM users report that those departments are mostly or completely aligned.

Better ROI

An astounding 97% of marketers who tried ABM report a higher ROI compared to other marketing activities.

Improved Customer Experience

84% of ABM marketers report that customer relationships improved and lead to either retaining or expanding existing accounts. 65% of marketers also say that ABM provided significant benefits to attract new customers. None of this is a surprise: our job as marketers is to help people find information and solve problems. Takes that up a notch (or 10) using ABM.

Next Steps to Start Executing Account Based Marketing

We covered a lot of information, but we’re just getting started! ABM is complex, in order to be successful, it will take time, resources, and commitment from multiple departments. But the payoff is great, and when you break it down, the task isn’t that much more daunting than other powerful marketing campaigns.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can benefit from ABM and our recommendations, give us a shout. We’d be happy to talk!

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DemandZEN specializes in Account-Based Demand Generation and solving the challenges around finding, engaging and converting target accounts into real opportunities for B2B Technology and Services companies.

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