How is Account-Based Marketing Different from Other Marketing Approaches?
April 13, 2021 •Mason Cosby
As you look at the wide array of ways to do marketing, you have probably stumbled on the concept of account-based marketing. With so many different marketing methods, you aren’t sure what the real difference between any of them is and what will actually work for you.
To remedy some of the confusion around account-based marketing (and marketing approaches in general), here are the main reasons that make account-based marketing different.
Account-Based Marketing is Exclusive to B2B
Many marketing approaches can work well in both the B2B and B2C spaces. Cold calling in the B2B space is the equivalent to door-to-door sales in the B2C space.
Account-based marketing requires the mental shift from marketing to an industry to marketing to a particular company. Your marketing goes from a “one-to-many” approach to a “one-to-one” approach.
If you attempted to create an account-based marketing approach in the B2C space, it simply wouldn’t work nearly as effectively. Most B2C companies wouldn’t attain the return on investment if they created marketing campaigns personalized to each individual that could purchase their products.
Account-based marketing works incredibly effectively in the B2B space because the B2B space tends to have more long-term business deals, a higher cost for products and services, or both.
If you are in the B2C space, we would recommend taking more of an inbound marketing approach.
Account-Based Marketing Require a List of Real Target Companies
With many marketing approaches, you want to start with an ideal customer profile. Your customer profile identifies the traits of the companies and people you would most want to work with. The ideal customer profile is still essential in account-based marketing, but ABM takes it one step further.
For ABM to work, you need a list of actual companies you are targeting. As a result, there is a lot more research required to start with ABM. The benefit to starting with a real list is you know when you schedule a call with one of the companies on the list, your entire company has agreed you want to work with them. You know it’s a solid opportunity and that your offer will fit their organization well.
Now all your sales team has to do is communicate to the potential client the value you can bring them. Luckily, your entire team has also identified the value you bring, and that’s why they made the list.
By starting with a list of real companies you want to work with, you eliminate a lot of the guesswork that comes from the sales process and help the process to become a customer become a lot smoother.
Account-Based Marketing Requires More Data and Technology
To create your list of target companies based on your ideal customer profile, you will need a lot of data. Your ideal customer profile will likely include information like industry, annual revenue, number of employees, and specific job title.
To translate your ideal customer profile into a list of target accounts, you will need to have the appropriate data to assess if someone should be included as a best-fit potential customer. You then need the relevant information to start reaching these customers with specific messages.
This data is accessible through technology partners like ZoomInfo, SalesIntel, and Terminus. Once you have access to accurate and actionable information, you now have a reliable list to start executing incredibly effective account-based marketing.
If you need help developing your marketing technology stack, we’d love to help. We have established partnerships with the best marketing technology companies and would be happy to help point you in the right direction based on your needs. Please schedule a call today.
Account-Based Marketing is Highly Personalized
It’s about more than having a great list with accurate information to reach out to prospects for account-based marketing. If you use the same generic sales scripts with a prospect you stumble across as you do with a target account, the customer won’t feel like you want to work with them specifically.
That’s why effective ABM must implement highly personalized marketing. You want to make the target accounts feel like your offer was specifically designed to meet their needs. With the nature of B2B companies, it honestly probably was. You just need to ensure that you are speaking directly to the target account’s needs in the way you communicate.
Use their company name and the contacts name as frequently as is appropriate to demonstrate it’s not just a boilerplate email. Incorporate anecdotes from previous conversations to show that a real person is touching your communication.
The whole purpose of ABM is to create a marketing experience that feels One-to-One and mirrors the building of a relationship. There are numerous tactics you can use to get there, but as long as you are prioritizing the building of a relationship by creating an incredibly personalized experience for your target accounts, you are on the right track.
Account-Based Marketing gets the Entire Company Involved
You may have started to recognize this as you have read this article, but account-based marketing requires more than just your marketing department. Effective account-based marketing requires an entire organizational shift.
Imagine how you would feel as a customer if you had received an incredibly personalized marketing and sales experience, only to suddenly get treated like a stranger the second you signed the dotted line. With ABM, the personalized experience continues as your company starts to convert these target accounts into customers.
Having a company-wide Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) makes creating a unified customer experience immensely easier. When you have one source of truth for how your customers have interacted with your company from beginning to end, the customer never feels like they have been passed off to someone that isn’t in the loop. Your employees have access to the entire customer’s history and can cater conversations to serve that customer better.
If you don’t currently have a CRM for your company, we highly recommend HubSpot.
Account-Based Marketing Focuses on Revenue instead of Leads
With many marketing approaches, the single most important goal for marketing is to generate new leads. So marketing starts to generate leads simply to meet their quota and check their box.
Here’s the problem. Sometimes those leads aren’t any good.
Then, management increases the quota needed for new leads to compensate for all the bad leads, which then presses marketing to start passing even worse leads to sales to meet their lead quota. And the cycle goes on forever until sales pretty much stop trusting marketing to generate leads at all, and then everyone just hates each other.
Don’t let everyone hate each other. Hating each other isn’t good for company morale.
When you transition to account-based marketing, there aren’t leads anymore. You know who you are trying to close. Now the goal of marketing aligns with the goal of sales.
Now marketing spends its time working to attract and nurture your target accounts into becoming ready to speak to sales. Sales then focus on actually closing those accounts that have been nurtured by marketing.
Sales and marketing then discuss how to best serve potential customers in the sales pipeline to create a fast sales cycle and larger deals.
- Marketing and sales actually like each other.
- Customers have a better experience.
- Revenue increases.
- Everyone wins.
So What Now?
To be perfectly clear, account-based marketing isn’t for everyone. Even if your company is a fit for account-based marketing, they simply might not be ready.
As you have seen, account-based marketing is a major transition in the way you think about running your business. You go from trying to cast a wide net to spearfishing.
There is a high likelihood you could receive some internal pushback when you propose the concept or as you start to implement it.
Additionally, there might be some need for transition in your technology to implement ABM effectively. The ever-updating world of marketing technology is challenging to navigate. The technology sales rep will tell you that their product is definitely the best fit for you, and sometimes you just need an objective party to help you navigate the transition.
If you are looking to start transitioning to account-based marketing, we would love to have a conversation to help you transition smoothly. We have helped numerous companies like yours completely transition from disconnected random acts of marketing to a completely unified front for serving their customers. Feel free to schedule a call to learn more about how we can help your business.
- Account-Based Marketing
- Company Culture
- Content Marketing
- Customer Experience
- Customer Personas
- Digital Marketing
- Email Marketing
- growth marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Marketing Technology
- Mojo News
- Professional Development
- ROE Powers ROI
- Sales Enablement
- Social Media
- Website Development