Account-based marketing is the new kid on the B2B marketing block. ABM isn’t right for every brand, but it can pay off significantly for businesses that master it from the outset. This concept aligns sales and marketing goals; which explains why it has gained immense market traction.
For ABM to work for your venture, the ROI from an account-based marketing project must make financial sense. You’ll be investing in top of the line targeting, content creation, and hiring. Even though you’re chasing a promising account, the result needs to worth every resource and energy you exert.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is simply a laser-focused marketing strategy where a marketing team perceives an individual prospect/account as an autonomous market. The marketing team entirely concentrates on the whims and needs of that prospect instead of an entire industry
Account-based marketing uses a sniper approach, which refers to marketing to one prospect using a unified strategy. AMB directs marketing budgets towards engaging an identified set of prospects or accounts.
Unified sales and marketing
ABM emphasises the pacification of the sales and marketing objectives. Success from an ABM perspective comes only if there exists a synergy when creating account-specific messaging. It results in exploding revenue in a short duration.
The ABM form of marketing works best with personalised and spear targeted campaigns as opposed to the use of blanket campaigns. There is an overriding emphasis on quality outreach, customised messaging, and relationship building.
The State Of ABM Marketing In Singapore
ABM marketing is making waves across the global B2B front. In Singapore, the success of account-based marketing can’t be overemphasised. There are business-specific ingredients that contribute to the absorption of ABM strategies by SMEs and MNCs.
A large number of ventures are still contemplating over the best practices to use when implementing ABM. Businesses that have succeeded with ABM can attest to the need for precision and personalisation.
Surprisingly, a notable number of Singaporean companies are marketing using ABM like approaches, albeit obliviously. Currently, many ventures can hack ABM without spending on additional tools or facilities. They only need to reset their prospect identification, segmentation, and communication and targeting approaches.
A majority of B2B ventures in Singapore can leverage automation to make the best out of an ABM strategy. It requires marketing automation and customising account-based marketing. This presents a unique technology stack that businesses can resort to when scaling.
The tech stack can empower managers to tend to more accounts. Also, target prospecting and listing happens automatically, and so does goal setting and forecasting. Overall, Singaporean businesses that go for high-value prospects using the spear approach continue to reap high yields progressively.
Why Practice ABM?
Buying circles and revenue opportunities are in abundance within the Singaporean ever-evolving economy. As such, marketing teams in various companies are increasingly pressured to do more to grow ROI. This is the reason why many ventures are joining the ABM bandwagon.
ABM harps on building relationships with highest-value accounts at your level. Instead of focusing on SMEs with meagre budgets, you shift the energy towards bagging a handful of accounts/prospects endowed with big budgets and a high need for the product or service you’re offering.
As long as your sales and marketing departments work in tandem, engaging, and converting accounts shouldn’t be a challenge. With such harmony, the two can develop a killer approach that leads to better engagement and constant revenue.
Consumers are increasingly looking for an outreach that is tailored to meet their business or personal needs. ABM impresses upon marketing and sales to address each account in a personalised manner. It works with excellent outcomes if you’re targeting high-value accounts.
Importance of Account-Based Marketing for Singaporean Businesses
Account-Based Marketing isn’t just another hot word within the B2B circles in Singapore. The immense benefits that come with winning a valuable account outweigh the efforts that a business exerts. The importance of ABM can be captured in the following three pointers.
ABM fosters sales and marketing success
According to research, companies that operate with a sales and marketing sync realise a year on year revenue growth of up to 33%. Those that work with a disparate approach experience a 7% drop in the same.
Efficient and optimised operations
ABM’s targeted nature in its marketing approach helps business to achieve a zero-waste’ effect in the process. Here, the emphasis is on spear and not net fishing. The analogy is essential to a company that underlines conversion rates as a critical thriving factor.
Creates Higher ROI
In recent years, market-based surveys indicate that B2B players who measure account-based marketing returns enjoy higher ROI compared to those that overly on other strategies.
The fact is that marketers always have to contend with budget challenges. Justifying the allocation of money towards the ABM strategy isn’t easy. Businesses that can prove the tangible ROI benefits brought about by ABM can get funding with minimal red tape.
Initial Considerations for ABM Strategies
The success of ABM depends on a variety of aspects. From the get-go, you need to define your targeted accounts, depending on buyer personals. Here are considerations for creating a target account list.
Revenue opportunity is a critical component of your ABM strategy. It’s crucial to weigh target account revenue opportunities against your overall capacity as a business. Consider taking on prospective accounts or new markets if your ability allows you.
There are pros and cons of targeting large and small accounts. Going for big companies boosts your brand’s trust, but it can be expensive. Targeting small businesses is fast, but the revenue is low. Before you choose, consider your company’s unique persona profile.
Matching offering to target accounts’ shortfalls
Target accounts need to match your product/service proposition. It pays to align your AMB efforts with prospects that benefit from using your products. If faced with competition when targeting prospects, leverage your unique value proposition to compel the prospects to switch brand loyalty.
ABM isn’t tied down by proximity. However, you need to define your focus on whether to target local or overseas accounts. You need to invest in cloud-based solutions if you need to rein in an account on the other side of the globe.
What Are the Underlying Principles of ABM
Effective marketing in a highly disrupted market requires a deep understanding of incentives, strategies, and viewpoints reading your target accounts. Perceiving individual accounts as complex market entities is fundamental to the success of any venture looking to capture and retain an account.
ABM is hinged on underlying principles including:
Client centricity and insight
The sales and marketing partnerships in ABM seek to fulfil a buyer’s problem instead of upselling. The inverted approach motivates businesses to understand their customers. In return, they create customer-centric proposals that are beneficial to a company in the end.
Partnership between sales and marketing
For ABM to achieve phenomenal success, sales and marketing need to morph. It takes more than an understanding of T&Cs. The two need to work as equal entities.
Focus on reputation and relationships
A formidable ABM approach focuses on much more than just revenue. There is a concerted emphasis on building reputation and relationships. Client/account lifetime impact and immediate revenue goals are vital to building impacting relationships for the longer term.
Tailored programs and campaigns
From an ABM sense, sales and marketing teams create personalised content using market data account knowledge and individual prospect knowledge to drive engagement and interest.
Is Account-Based Marketing Here To Stay?
Account-based marketing isn’t wholly a new concept. Though it’s popular in the ASEAN region, businesses are still ruminating on how to incorporate the strategy best. The good news is that ABM can become your holy grail of marketing if you allocate adequate resources.
There are reasons why AMB is likely to stick around the Singaporean business scene for longer. Yes, marketing budgets aren’t always expendable. A business that wants to tap into ABM with minimal resources to invest in technology can pilot it using their CRM stack and a variety of on and offline channels.
The potential of such a pilot and the lessons that a business learns in the process determines whether they will end up taking it up permanently. As such, budding ventures are likely to see the logic in ditching traditional marketing approaches in favour of ABM.
Indeed, ABM might not work for all businesses. The encouraging fact is that agency expert insights can help a business to weigh whether the concept aligns with their marketing objectives. In Singapore, new companies need the reassurance that ABM will pay off eventually, with expert guidance and assistance, there’s’ likelihood that more and more ventures will subscribe to ABM in coming years.
When implemented well, key account targeting tactics, ABM, can leapfrog a company’s effort and revenue. Businesses that require advice regarding account acquisition and management discipline need not worry. ABM in Singapore is recoding increased uptake, and with it comes new technologies that facilitate the success of B2B marketers at all levels.
Types of Account-Based Marketing
ABM is categorised in three specific subsets. They include:
Although conventional ABM has been around for some time, technology has given rise to a new set of strategic ABM
Strategic ABM (One-to-One)
Strategic ABM denotes the traditional version of account-based marketing. It seeks to establish highly customised ABM strategies with a laser focus on individual target accounts.
Here, your investment per account and leads trumps all other ABM approaches. Also, it offers the highest ROI. The synergy between sales and marketing determines the success of the entire strategy. It’s characterised by:
- Highly-customised individual account marketing plans that leverage the sales team insights and knowledge
- The need to forge robust relations with your target account’s top sponsors
- Exclusively targeted marketing liaisons that relate to your target account’s matters
ABM Lite (One-to-Few)
ABM Lite adopts the primary strengths of Strategic ABM though they aren’t similar. With this type, it’s easy to identify target accounts that rank second tier. You can bracket them with similar accounts.
The success of ABM Lite revolves around collaboration with the sales department to determine:
- Types of accounts to classify together
- The best content and marketing approach to capture accounts
- The challenges affecting specific target account clusters
Programmatic ABM (One-to-Many)
Programmatic ABM is a product of new technologies and capabilities. Here, ABM partners with sales to pinpoint bulk accounts and persuasive marketing to market at scale. The programmatic version makes it easy to handle deep analytics, and audience targeting a small team can manage the task.
Programmatic is characterised by:
- Exploiting technology to personalise marketing campaigns to named accounts en-masse
- Partnering with sales to target particular segments-horizontal markets, vertical markets and other account clusters from a general market
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing doesn’t replace your enterprise-level marketing practices entirely. Instead, it serves to reinforce and supplement your digital marketing efforts.
This concept demonstrates with evidence that focusing on a smaller, highly targeted prospects list can lead to the desired conversion sustainably. Simply, it transits the emphasis from lead quantity to lead quality. Here are some of its benefits.
· It’s personalised to your audience
Account-based marketing is dedicated to top-level decision-makers in a company. It ensures that marketing plans resonate in a specific group. Marketing campaign barely fulfils the needs of a vast audience. ABM doesn’t avail a large pool of leads, but it enables you to personalise messages to appeal to a targeted unit.
· See a potential return on investment
The marketing team cannot expressly show the relationship between a proposed campaign and a spike in revenue. With ABM, you can foretell where your marketing budget goes. It leads to increased allocation of the marketing budget.
· Marketing campaigns yield new business
ABM guarantees returns on all marketing campaigns. It enables enterprises to save resources o targeting projects that are likely to bear zero fruit. ABM saves substantial amounts that keep the company going in a recessive quarter. It plays the role of an insurance policy for your marketing department.
· It shortens the sales journey
Lead generation takes up a considerable volume of your marketing efforts. Some leads don’t end up converting. As such, the sales teams get the chance to avoid unqualified leads by using ABM strategies. A business concentrates on a smaller group of accounts that display the knack to stick with your brand, thus shortening the sales journey.
Reinforces existing clients relationships
Customer retention is critical to the growth of a business. ABM dictates a partnership between marketing and sales teams. Even though this partnership doesn’t expand business with a given prospect, it solidifies your relationship with them. With account-centric content that fulfils the prospect’s need, the customer is likely to remain loyal.
Consolidates sales and marketing teams
The friction between the sales and marketing teams has a long history. Sales thrust for more leads when marketing guns for visibility. ABM fosters harmony between the two to ensure they mesh to drive desired results.
Crafting an Account-Based Marketing Strategy
For ABM to work, it’s imperative that marketing and sales are working hand in hand. However, the concept needs to ride on a compelling marketing strategy to win the right accounts. But what are the best steps to use when creating an ABM Strategy?
Identify high-value accounts
Examine existing customer lists to define the ones that fit your idea of a high-value customer. The focus needs to be on profitable, personable, and promising clients that are easy to work with in the long-term. Always consider accounts that are enthusiastic about expanding with your company
Map individuals to accounts
Complex B2B deals that entail substantial purchases require the marketing and sales to lobby consensus among stakeholders. You need to enlist those with huge influence regarding the buying decision.
Define and create targeted campaigns
After identifying target accounts and individuals, it’s essential to conceptualise personalised campaigns that speak to them. Success is fathomable if you’re offering consultation and critical insights as long as it follows the tenets of the account’s buying cycle.
Pinpoint optimal channels
To appeal to your target accounts and stakeholders efficiently, select a channel they prefer. You need to be creative instead of using the same channel for different ABM projects.
Develop a strategic rulebook
Successful ABM needs stipulated roles and responsibilities. Consider a master plan that stipulates the functions of everybody on the team. The rulebook should specify the tactics that marketing and sales will use to engage account contacts to drive interest.
Execute your campaigns
Marketing and sales interact with accounts on a personalised level using a custom approach that is relevant to each contact. They craft campaigns that leverage tactics such as invite events, direct mail, or ads. Consider leveraging new technology and tools to execute ABM campaigns effectively and comprehensively.
Measure and optimise
Measuring the impact of ABM campaigns differs from measuring the results of conventional lead-generation tactics. Assess the outcome of standalone campaigns and trends at the account level. Use analytics tools to get estimates then adjust your strategy and tactics accordingly.
Comparing Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing
The presence of two proven marketing approaches can give unending business headaches. In the case of inbound marketing vs. account-based marketing, decision-makers can find themselves tied up in limbo over what approach to elect.
However, there’s a quick method that can differentiate between the two. Comparing the sales funnels of inbound marketing and ABM displays different perspectives.
ABM strategies point to a clear focus on engaging specific accounts through personalised means. Inbound practices focus on appealing to a broader audience to attract and convert, but it’s never guaranteed.
A business whose marketing strategy is exclusively hinged on the comprehensive net approach needs to reconsider their marketing approach. It’s true that inbound marketing has its strengths and has helped brands to achieve their bottom line.
Enter account-based marketing, and a business is likely to realise a quick turnaround in engagement, ROI, and how they relate with their customers.
Understanding the differences between inbound marketing and ABM enables an organisation to perceive how a combination of the two means to their ROI goals.
Assimilating ABM in your current marketing mix doesn’t mean that it will nullify the rest of your stack. You can exploit both to get the best outcomes on a case to case basis. For instance, you can use the low-cost inbound strategies to reach out to SMEs and elect ABM for your Fortune 500 marketing project.
ABM and Inbound Marketing Synergy
In Singapore, some companies prefer one approach over the other depending on their business model or industry. ABM and inbound marketing don’t have to be mutually exclusive. A synchronised effort with the two can yield exponential gains.
ABM and Inbound Marketing strive to target unique audiences with valuable content to convert. A company can acquire influence and skill to identify quality leads and to understand their thought process.
Examples Account-Based Marketing
The genesis of successful account-based marketing starts with the launch of specific segments. It entails identifying marketing programs that can be personalised to these segments using impacting channels.
The targeting approach used depends on the characteristics of an account and the segments and marketing chances involved. Here are examples of how B2B marketers can exploit ABM in real-life
In-person events present sales teams exciting opportunities to influence and persuade decision-makers. A meaningful ABM approach to events can leverage personalised invitations to prospects from targeted accounts, personalised gifts, or VIP banquets. Later a personalised follow up after the event will suffice.
Webinars can be tailored in a relevant and timely way to get to a targeted audience. Webinars and follow-ups can be customised for a targeted company, and they can be reinforced with unique content that resonates with the given audience.
Many companies tend to favour email compared to direct mail. However, it’s one of the preferred methods of reaching a specific contact within a company. Gifts or marketing packages sent via direct mail can be of a higher value, given that the revenue projection is even higher.
Other than direct mail, email campaigns work well with ABM. A volume-based campaign can resort to marker automation. However, ABM crafts personalised email messages for targeted prospects in a company.
The endpoint for ABM campaigns on the web isn’t all about driving traffic through customised SEM or inbound tactics. When the targeted visitor gets to the website, it becomes easy to create an account-specific experience for prospects using website personalisation technology.
5 Account-Based Marketing Tools You Should Be Using
The god news with account-based marketing is that there’s a trove of tools that marketers can use to drive the best results. ABM based software enables marketers to identify the right decision-makers before launching a campaign. When deployed skilfully, you no longer need to market before a neutral prospect. Here are ABM tools you can leverage.
Engagio is a fully-fledged stack designed explicitly for ABM marketers. It creates lead-based tactics, and it reviews project performance. The stack provides ABM centric features, and it doesn’t feature generic add dons found in other full-stack platforms.
Uberflip focuses on crafting compelling content experiences for targeting purposes. It enables ABM experts to create the right content at the right time to the right prospects. It comes with an AI feature that helps to curate content. It integrates with content and email to provide accurate content without doing it annually.
Terminus provides marketers with a dedicated suite of ABM tools. It has a digital marketing platform that facilitates personalised targeting on accounts. It’s a –star rated application that provides killer insights for the sales team terminus offers data stack analytics, ROI tracking, and reporting, among other features.
LeanData is the product of a Californian company. It comes with two distinct ABM products, including the Sales Accelerator and Demand Management tool. The Accelerator caters to lead management and automated lead conversions. The Demand Management component deals with account nurturing and reporting. It provides the data you need to make adjustments.
JABMo is a market automation application that delivers ads to known and unknown prospects with similar characteristics to your target accounts. It enables businesses to map anonymous buyer activity. It facilitates account-oriented IP advertising, website personalisation, ad retargeting marketing automation integrations, and social and paid search features.
Essential Tips for Recharging Your ABM Program
At some point, account-based marketing specialists need to take stock of the performance of their ABM programs. It’s important to note what’s working, what’s stagnant, and what needs to be improved upon.
Taking stock of your ABM program highlights areas that need recharging such that you can meet quartile or annual goals. Since some ABM programs can stagnate immediately after the pilot phase, it pays to inject the following to realign your goals and strategy.
Recheck your goals
No doubt, you started off with a defined statement detailing the goals of the program. It’s important to check whether you’re still on course. Check whether you’ve shifted the goalposts. Consider checking whether organisational policies have affected your program and its objectives.
Resources you need
Your ABM program risks getting stuck if you no longer have the financial muscle to scale. You need to visualise a new ABM program and review the funding it would need. It’s essential that you create a budget and a supporting case that could facilitate finding.
Asses program achievements
Reviewing an ABM’s achievements can help a business to identify gaps that require attention. Check whether the account acquisition tactics and strategies implemented at the start are working or they need reinforcing.
Review account selection
At the begging, some accounts can be lucrative, but they can prove to be a liability with changing fortunes and time. It’s important to stock take with a view to vetting an account’s viability moving forward.
Is ABM still in demand?
With time, the sales team may become unenthusiastic with the entire ABM thing. Some newbie members on the team may require refreshing if you’re embarking on a new acquisition. It’s crucial to review case studies to see whether the program needs revitalising after all.
Using Social Media to Improve Account-Based Marketing Strategies
The core mission of an account-based marketing strategy is to generate valuable leads that convert quickly. The best approach is to elect a social media program to help you turbocharge your marketing efforts.
Social Media is ideal if you want to appeal to a wide audience. However, it’s highly possible to integrate social channels to achieve the personalised effect that ABM subscribes to. Social media can boost an ABM marketer’s quest for quality lead generation.
Social Media campaigns generate valuable leads
With account-based marketing, the idea is to contact top decision makers. Here, social media provides numerous solutions. Consider creating profiles that permit you to target different people with a company. Social media platforms will allow you to segment your messaging to reach the ranks that matter.
Social Media fuels a quick funnel journey
Leads that take too long inside the sales funnel are likely to abort. Enter ABM, and it becomes easy to create a seamless funnel experience. It’s easy to shorten the journey and reduce bounce rates. Social media leverages content that moves leads through the funnel. You can employ influencer marketing to appeal to the personas with a high chance of converting.
Social Media is inexpensive for an ABM strategy
Businesses spend enormously on marketing. Fortunately, account-based marketing lets you keep track of the budget on the channels you’ve appointed. With ABM, you can drive returns by up to 86%.
Leveraging social media to shave off the marketing cost is a great idea. Social media is free advertising. It directs you to high-quality leads by way of engagement.
Steps Marketers Should Take To Increase ABM Efficacy
In Singapore and the world over, there’s a commendable rate at which businesses are taking up account-based marketing. The rewards are probably the lead reason, but there are other efficiencies and process benefits that come with this concept. Here are some initiatives that marketers can leverage for increased growth.
- Capitalising new technology to support account acquisition and engagement
- Building more capacity within the ABM categories-Strategic Programmatic and ABM Lite
- Migrating to an amalgamated strategy where ABM types play out to scale, optimise growth and achieve better outcomes
- Restructuring new and existing accounts to rely on ABM for a new account
- Analysing and working with the right metrics to achieve success
- Investing in market savvy teams that hold the full stack of skills needed to ace ABM programs
- Optimising content creation, storytelling and messaging to capture high- value accounts
- Coordinating different organisation teams and rejuvenating the marketing and sales partnership.
The focus is gradually moving from why businesses need ABM to how they can underpin ABM and its strategies.