Account-based marketing (ABM) is the future of personalized marketing.  Providing key accounts with an entirely personal experience is a powerful approach.  In fact, according to ITSMA, 87% of marketers have agreed ABM delivers a higher ROI than other marketing activities.  It also makes leads more likely to convert and generates more revenue.  All in all, it is a great marketing strategy providing excellent results.

To decipher the best accounts to target, you need to start with the data you already have.  Segmenting your data is a crucial step on the journey towards ABM.  Segmentation helps businesses find similarities between their customers and make decisions on how best to market to them.  And, in turn, helps them see where to focus marketing efforts.  There are several ways to split audiences and it is up to each business to decide which works best for them.

Different ways to segment for ABM personalization

For ABM personalization to work, you need to decide the most effective way to segment your audience.  This will be different for everyone.  Essentially, the end-goal is providing an unforgettable, bespoke experience to the accounts that matter most.  These should be the accounts that are most valuable to you as a business.  There are a few different ways to look at it.

As a B2B organization, industry segmentation is a good place to start.  You can delve deeper into industry segmentation here.  In short, it takes a wider industry, and breaks it into smaller sections that all share similarities.  When it comes to market segmentation, generally there are four main types of segmentation.  You can find our tons of information about these here and explore the pros and cons of each here.

  • Geographic segmentation
  • Demographic segmentation
  • Psychographic segmentation
  • Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is extremely useful for B2B businesses.  Potential customers are segmented based on their buyer behavior.  There are several behavioral segmentation variables, which we will go on to explore.  You can find out more about behavioral segmentation here.

When it comes to account based marketing, behavioral segmentation opens businesses up to a whole new world of data.  The following criteria all give businesses vital information, all focused on the sale.  This helps align marketing and sales teams, so both are working towards common goals.

Purchasing behavior

Everyone — including business decision makers — will behave differently when it comes to buying products or services.  Segmenting by purchase behavior helps businesses market to groups that behave in similar ways when it comes to making that all-important conversion.

Timing-based behavior

Gaining an understanding of when your product or services are needed can help you in numerous ways.  It can help you plan your marketing campaigns, and tailor your communications accordingly.

Usage rate segmentation

Seeing how much clients use your services is another great way to make predictions.  Are they getting the most out of your services?  If not, how can you service them to ensure they are?  Or, if you provide them with a product that runs out, you’ll get to know just when to start sending communications to remind them to purchase something new.

Loyalty status segmentation

Dividing customers based on loyalty is especially useful for ABM. What kinds of customers do you retain? And which customers only purchase from you irregularly? If certain types of business create no revenue for you, then you can decide the best course of action going forward.

Benefits sought segmentation

Establish your unique selling points — there will be more than one!  Customers and potential customers will have different reasons for deciding to work with your company.  Make sure those benefits are the ones you shout about to them.

Why is segmentation important for account based marketing?

“In its purest form, account-based marketing has been around forever.  Account-based marketing is simply instead of fishing with nets, we’re fishing with spears.  You identify exactly the prospects you want to do business with and then you market very precisely and narrowly to them directly.” – Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing

Account-based marketing relies on quality data to be successful.  Identifying the accounts you want to market to is all well and good, but you need to ensure they will benefit your business.  This is where useful data comes into play.  Looking at what you already have and what you need to succeed in ABM is the best place to start.

Levels of market segmentation for ABM

ABM is extremely powerful.  But, without the necessary resources in place, it will not work.  If your team is not yet ABM ready, or is at the start of its ABM journey, there are levels of market segmentation that can help support existing or future ABM efforts.

Mass marketing

This sees very little personalization.  Think one single message presented to the entire market.  It is regarded as less popular today as personalization popularity soars.

Segmentation marketing

A company’s audience is divided into segments based on similarities.  This helps introduce personalization, so customers receive a tailored experience.

Niche marketing

This focuses on an even narrower section of an audience.  This will include specialized promotions and a highly personalized experience.

Micro marketing

Taking it one step further, micro marketing targets an extremely specific group within the market.

Using marketing segmentation levels to support an ABM strategy will help ensure success.  If ABM isn’t possible across the board, applying segmentation will still enable marketers and salespeople to provide prospects with information they want and need.  It is also a crucial part of the website personalization process.

Web personalization works by presenting bespoke experiences to website visitors based on IP address.  Using a combination of segmentation and ABM, users can take their website to the next level.  Hot leads and newcomers will be able to see exactly what they need to ensure their experience with your brand is unforgettable.  With access to a global leading IP database and unlimited personalizations at your fingertips, your website can truly become the hub of your business’s success.

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