At our October 18 Morning Brew, BMA Colorado was pleased to host Rob Bean and Nick Bettis from our Gold Partner, Refactored. The duo gave an overview of what Account Based Marketing (ABM) is and shared a case study from Infinity QS, a client that is using ABM to grow revenue and more closely align sales and marketing.
What is Account Based Marketing?
According to TechTarget, Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy that focuses sales and marketing resources on targeted accounts within a specific market. It can help to more closely align sales and marketing to generate the right types of leads for the sales team.
How is Account Based Marketing different from traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing is a broad-based approach to marketing. ABM on the other hand:
Focuses resources on a defined set of named accounts
Customize sales programs and marketing messages to meet the needs of buyers and influencers at each targeted account
ABM is rooted in a good, well-defined strategy plus good content to support it. Since ABM involves quite a bit of automation, it allows sales reps to focus on the key strategic accounts that have the most buying potential and highest ROI.
What are the different types of Account Based Marketing?
Bean and Bettis defined three levels of ABM:
Programmatic ABM is the broadest level. It is highly automated, more scalable, not as personalized, and has a lower ROI than higher levels of ABM. It is limited only by the number of accounts a company has information on. A company might target hundreds of accounts with programmatic ABM. This approach might include tactics such as industry-based website customization, automated email nurture programs, and calls-to-action such as webcasts and online demos. Infinity QS, for example, serves the food and beverage industry and targets this niche with programmatic ABM.
ABM Lite is the next step after programmatic ABM. A company usually is targeting fewer accounts than with programmatic ABM, and knows more about the accounts it is targeting, including their pain points. ABM Lite is largely automated, offers moderate personalization, and is somewhat scalable, with potential for more direct interaction with targeted accounts. This approach might include website customization and email nurture programs based on customer pain points, teleprospecting, dimensional direct mail, and calls-to-action such as regional events. Because the company knows more about customer pain points, messages can be customized more closely.
Strategic ABM is very much a one:one effort. Automation is limited, efforts are highly personalized, and it is very marketing and sales resource intensive. The potential ROI is very high as well. Each strategic ABM account probably has a detailed sales action plan that moves the account toward executive to executive engagement. Calls-to-action include ultra-high value offers, such as one:one events and small group presentations by executives.
What are some tips if a company is considering implementing Account Based Marketing?
The nice thing about ABM is that a company does not have to engage in all three levels. A company might start with programmatic ABM and test it out before moving to ABM Lite or Strategic ABM. In determining whether to begin an ABM program, Bettis and Bean offered four questions to consider:
What’s the price point of your product or service? A price point of $10,000+ could indicate potential for ABM.
What’s your universe of target customer expansion account and/or prospects?
Does sales have a complicated and elongated sales cycle?
Does your company have the marketing resources to support ABM or is the organization willing to invest?
If ABM is an option for a company, some factors to keep in mind include:
ABM requires sales collaboration and buy-in
ABM can require significant ramp-up time
Companies investing in ABM should start small, seek quick wins, and build momentum
Run an ABM pilot first to gauge results and see if it’s right for your company
ABM is based on a good strategy and good content – these are must-haves in order for ABM to be successful.
You can find more information on Refactored’s approach to ABM here.