Account-Based Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing

It’s an exciting time for marketers, brands, and entrepreneurs. In the digital age, where everyone is connected, new technologies and strategies allow us to inform, educate and engage with customers like never before.

But with more options come more challenges, as consumers have an overwhelming choice of brand updates, marketing messages, and ads. Consumers have more freedom and options to communicate with the brands they wish to engage with. So, what does this imply?

This means you will have to do more to capture their attention. The best way to do this is to provide a personalized, relevant, and consistent experience. The truth is, customer experience is quickly becoming a competitive differentiator across industries. However, it is getting increasingly challenging to track user behavior due to changes in privacy laws and the phasing out of third-party cookies. Additionally, the complex B2B decision-making process involves many stakeholders, making it a difficult feat.

This is where account-based marketing (ABM) comes in. Account-based marketing is one the most powerful channels today that can help you gain a competitive edge and experience measurable returns. This is made possible for B2B companies through an integrated sales and marketing effort to achieve high revenue goals by focusing on top premium accounts. To do this, both teams create the most relevant account experience to maximize revenue faster and seamlessly.

Regardless of the marketing strategy (ABM or otherwise), customers should be at the center of the buying process. With that in mind, some accounts have a significantly higher potential value than others. This means that you should put more effort into high-value accounts. Great effort means bigger rewards than ever in this case. This ultimately means investing more time and money. That means more money, more interactions, and more customization.

While this is true even outside of account-based marketing, the practice is different. Traditionally, modern marketing has been about driving traffic to your website, generating leads, nurturing leads, and getting them to buy. However, ABM flips the equation. Instead of driving traffic, you identify a few key goals that are valuable to the business that you want to sell. ABM marketing is not about targeting one individual customer over another. It’s about targeting the entire organization.

Simply put, account-based marketing is a focused growth plan that is custom-built to address the specific goals and challenges of the client. To achieve ABM success the sales and marketing teams work together to create personalized experiences for high-value accounts. Instead of marketing widely to many potential customers, B2B companies use ABM strategies to focus most of their resources on a few specific customer accounts. With a generic marketing campaign, it’s the spray-and-pray approach, with ABM it’s about creating precision-targeted marketing campaigns that drive measurable returns.

ABM in the current times is about creating positive customer experiences. As consumers today demand greater experience optimization, brands need to explore more mediums and solutions that will address these requirements without compromising on functionality and quality, and more so when they implement an ABM strategy to achieve their revenue goals. Let us look at how ABM can maximize results through personalization

How Personalization Impacts ROI

ABM implementation in the modern era is very different from the manual processes of the past. Executing an ABM strategy no longer requires a substantial financial investment. With the right technology and effective strategy, you’ll be able to create better-personalized experiences for your target accounts effortlessly.

Whether you are a brand, marketer, or entrepreneur; let’s look at some of the personalization trends that you can’t afford to ignore in 2023 & beyond to achieve ABM success.

1. Maximize One-on-One Experiences

Explore more ways and platforms to increase one-on-one interactions with customers that help in building long-term connections. It gives customers the faith that you have their best interests in mind and it is likely that they get more open over time and share their specific requirements with you.

2. Optimize Mobile Experiences

As per a recent survey, 79% of smartphone users make an online purchase within 6 months. With the remarkable shift in mobile shopping trends today, it is more likely that mobile customer experience personalization will be one of the top trends in 2023.

3. Cookie-less Personalization

As per recent research, 48% of consumers appreciated personalization as far as their data is secure. We’ve seen the past few years where the browser restrictions have increased remarkably with most brands opting for the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, giving users more control over their data, which increases trust while ensuring greater personalization.

4. Personalize Customer Journeys

As technology continues to aid personalization experiences, brands need to explore ways to personalize the entire customer journey to create lasting experiences, rather than just during the first contact point or while prompting the purchase. Marketers and brands need to thereby shift focus from short-time towards more long-time customer experiences.

5. Increase Customer Loyalty

Even one bad customer experience can impact your business heavily, and personalization can be crucial to winning back your customers’ trust. It increases opportunities for repeat business with empathy, ensuring all their preferences are met. Without a doubt, customer loyalty is extremely important for brands looking to maintain their competitive advantage. While there are a lot of parameters that count for customer loyalty, personalization is surely one of the top reasons to achieve this.

6. AI-based Personalization

Brands are capitalizing on machine learning and artificial intelligence to create highly personalized experiences for a long time now and the trend is here to stay. However, the capabilities in this niche are yet to be realized to their fullest potential and the coming years will see a remarkable increase in the application of this platform to create more predictive personalized experiences, that address customer needs way before it becomes a concern.

7. Image Recognition

There’s an increased demand for image recognition and it will only become bigger with time. It is one of the most popular personalization trends that allow brands to recognize specific visual patterns and colors within products that help in creating personalized customer journeys based on customer preferences.

8. Omnichannel Personalization

As per a Google report, an average person switches between three devices to complete a task, and uses close to 10 channels to communicate with a business. However, only 1 in 4 businesses are using multiple channels to create personalized experiences. Considering the scope, brands need to capitalize on this opportunity and create personalized experiences across all channels.

Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be scary. By following all of these robust personalization techniques you can differentiate yourself, and increase the overall revenue for your brand right away.

Although building relationships with high-value key accounts takes time and effort, but once you stay committed to personalizing your messaging, refining your strategy, and developing deeper, more meaningful relationships with your clients, the results can truly be remarkable. 

Understanding the purpose of an account-based marketing strategy

1. Identify the target account

Starting with your campaign goal is the first step in choosing a target account. Next, you must have an answer to the question “What business goals will help you achieve these target accounts?”

2. Create a customer journey map

A customer journey map is a diagram that shows how customers interact with a business. Your customer’s physical experience is very special in the customer journey. Customer journey maps represent important turning points in the customer journey. For example, a customer may view an ad, interact with a customer service agent, and attempt to complete a transaction in this journey.

3. Create customer personas

Most brands fail to understand some of their customers’ basic motivations and concerns. But can you gain a holistic view of your key prospects as a B2B marketer? Customer personas are detailed representations of the demographic groups of your target market. You’ll stay ahead of the competition if you can develop accurate, data-driven behavioral indicators to base your marketing choices.

4. Nurture the account

Account-based nurturing is a marketing tactic that specifically targets potential leads and customers. To increase your influence over a larger group of decision-makers and influencers, improve total exposure in targeted accounts, and add emotion to the customer journey map.

5. Inspire action

To create inspirational content and inspire action, you need to add emotion to it. For instance, innovative content that invokes inspiration in your audience can provide unparalleled analytical depth. If you are a better storyteller with good storytelling skills, you can turn your readers into customers. This is because it inspires action and makes readers buy your product or service.

Clearly, no strategy can by itself guarantee success. But by focusing on high-value, premium accounts that can benefit from your brand you can build a solid foundation for a smooth journey through the funnel and partnership.

Account-based marketing is a real game changer that will take marketing efforts to the next level. Embrace the power of ABM, and get ready to stay ahead of the competition.

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