Account-based marketing is beginning to revolutionize how B2B organizations target and win valuable clients, and 92% of businesses see incorporating ABM into their strategies as a priority. Though this approach generally yields a result and in some instances can boost revenue by over 200%, understanding how to build an effective ABM strategy takes time and commitment. This intricate approach needs a stable foundation to produce big results; here’s how to create a winning account-based marketing strategy.

What is account-based marketing?

“Account-based marketing is thinking of the account as a market of one”– Nick Panayi, CSC.

ABM is such an effective approach thanks to its intense prospect focus. Where traditional marketing techniques take large sets of data, or reach out to a wide audience, in the hope of capturing some attention to enable conversion, account-based marketing exercises opposite tactics. Running campaigns made specifically for an individual, valuable account, ABM offers a truly bespoke brand experience to those businesses deemed highly valuable to your organization.

A successful account-based marketing approach identifies key accounts and delivers a highly targeted, seamless journey into brand discovery, product understanding, all the way through to client relations. ABM uses totally personalized communications and a consistently attentive approach to meet the prospect’s pain points and provide solutions fully tailored to their business needs and process requirements. ABM has the potential to evolve your marketing success and bring your organization invaluable clients that heavily boost your business growth and market voice.

Building your ABM strategy

As there is such huge potential with ABM, planning out your whole strategy to understand exactly how to achieve the results your business requires, is key. These steps outline the building of an ABM strategy, helping your team understand what measures need to be taken and understood to create that solid foundation that so successfully fuels an effective ABM approach

Identify your key accounts

A paramount part of a successful account-based marketing strategy is the identification of the key accounts you’ll prospect. Contrary to your current marketing approaches, ABM allows your team to dream big, and target businesses far larger and more established than your own. Instead of looking to ideal client criteria and selecting businesses who fit this mould, look to your target sectors, and ask who the biggest business players are in these fields.

Once identified, ask if these large organizations could use your product or service. What can it do for their team, and their daily processes? If these identified high-flying organizations have a genuine use case for your product, there’s no reason you couldn’t turn them into clients with an effective ABM strategy!

Create a list of key accounts, starting with a smaller selection before branching out, understanding which specific decision maker in each business you want to target. Gather up to date contact details for these key accounts and research their current business needs, challenges, product launches and news.

Build account pipelines

With target businesses identified and specific decision makers chosen, it’s time to get strategic and map out how your ABM approach will materialize with account pipelines. As ABM focusses on offering completely bespoke brand experiences, treating each account as an individual market, the best results are gained when an individual pipeline and brand journey is planned for each account.

Understand how your key accounts interact with business news and ask what channels they engage with most. From here, you can plan how each ABM prospect will be exposed to your brand, and how you’ll communicate with them to build product value and encourage conversion. It’s important to remember, one size doesn’t fit all. Some might respond well to a direct mail engagement followed up with an impactful email. Others may prefer to speak with brand representatives on social media for a more personable, time-convenient approach.

When building the journey for each valuable account, be sure to understand the timescale, asking how much time will pass between each touch-point; whilst you want to remain front of mind, you don’t want to bombard accounts with information. Ask also, if you’re unsuccessful, how long you’ll wait before re-engaging a valuable account. The more intricate planning you can produce for account pipelines, the better. 

Customize your campaigns

Knowing the precise communications your accounts will receive, it’s time to plan how you’ll ensure every touch-point is customized to the account’s business needs, ensuring your product is relevant and hinged to their current pain points. 86% of buyers already expect to see their name in emails and direct messages, so you’ll need to produce a customized brand experience that takes personalization to the next level. Instead of creating a blanket email copy and adding their name, business name and industry to certain sections, write every copy from scratch constructing a truly individual and genuine message.

Be sure to give every touch-point the same dynamic treatment; many businesses offer a seamlessly personalized campaign but forget to follow this care and detail through the entire end to end journey, by neglecting to personalize their website. 94% of buyer journeys start online – there is such a high chance ABM prospects will visit your website, you need to give your online journey the same customizations.

You can do this with Webeo – the ultimate software for B2B website personalization. Create campaigns for every valuable account, welcoming them onto your site by name, displaying their company logo and fuelling their visit with relevant, impactful content perfectly tailored to their specific business requirements. Revolutionize your online experience by offering thousands of personalizations, with one simple software.

Start your ABM journey

You’re now ready to launch your ABM campaigns and start winning the business of dream clients! However, executing this campaign won’t be a simple process. Your team will need to manage a collection of differing pipelines, comfortably working with a variety of channels to deliver a seamless variety of campaigns in tandem. A successful ABM approach is not just in planning; it takes commitment to continually effective execution.

You need to ensure each aspect of your planned pipeline has been successfully completed and appropriately conveyed before moving on – there’s no point sending a follow-up email if the original wasn’t received! If you’re planning on sending key accounts customized direct mail shots, ensure these are designed and ordered well in advance of your campaign. It’s safest to always expect the worst, so be sure to additionally plan contingency measures, in case a campaign cannot be executed as desired. If an email address is no longer valid, or an ordered mail shot fails to arrive, fuel your team with plenty of alternative methods for continuing account engagement and moving key accounts closer to conversion.

Measure and review

Though data continues to drive marketing success, 67% of CMOs have admitted to struggling when measuring campaign outcomes and appropriately attributing ROI. As with all marketing, ABM requires careful measurement and regular review, helping your team understand which campaigns successfully pique interest and meet key account needs, and which approaches are less effective than desired. Detailed measurement and review help your team grow their experience, so as your list of key accounts expands, your understanding of impactful ABM does too.

Though measuring an ABM approach may seem complicated, as each account is targeted through slightly different methods, there are simple places to start. Before executing a campaign, be sure your team can gather the necessary channel metrics to analyse success and understand prospect reception. From here, group similar pipelines for like accounts together, creating a report that can be used to measure their combined success. If you’re targeting five accounts in the construction industry, use your measurements to ask how this sector responds to email, or social media communications, better planning future campaigns for similar high-value accounts.