Account-based marketing within the B2B segment leverages personalised communication within a promising target group. In addition to specialised marketing automation software, there are a few strategic points to keep in mind when implementing this marketing method. Check out these six tips.
Account-based marketing: the definition
Account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on a finely honed and promising target audience which is communicated to in a way that is as personalised as much as possible. It covers measures that provide individual members of the audience with content which is precisely tailored – centred round specific buyer profiles, in other words companies, and buyer personas (people). The start-up of a dialogue takes place via marketing automation software, which sends out the relevant content to the matching addressees. Read more in-depth information about this topic in our guide “Account-based marketing for B2B: requirements and benefits”.
Surveys: the significance of ABM is rising within the B2B segment
The value of this marketing method is growing, as the Trendbarometer Industriekommunikation 2023 (German) from the German Federal Communications Industry Association (Bundesverband Industrie Kommunikation e.V.) shows. A total of 239 persons mainly from industrial and service-centric companies were questioned within the scope of a survey. Seventy-one per cent of the participants expect ABM to take a significant share of B2B marketing spend within the next three years. Compared to past surveys, the relevance of this topic has grown. The reasons:
- Digitalisation is leading to rapid changes within the B2B environment and thus to tougher competition.
- High-quality customers have a relatively high need for information, which can be satisfied with the use of ABM communication.
- Transparency in the market is increasing as competitors become more open towards customers and provide them with information about products and services.
- Purchasing decisions are becoming more complex on the one hand, and on the other are dependent on precise stakeholders, whose influence, in turn, is growing.
In many companies, these important persons start up committees (buying centres) where purchasing decisions are taken. However, the members of these buying centres usually have differing interests. Thanks to account-based marketing, they can ideally be communicated to personally and receive tailored information.
Essential to achieving this is a valid database, said 79 per cent of those questioned as part of a survey by Dun & Bradstreet (PDF). They expect to invest more, with the aim to gain better-quality digital information. The findings by the analysis specialists also showed that only 28 per cent are entirely certain of precisely reaching their target groups using their current database. Forty per cent were at least confident of being able to do so.
Account-based marketing in use: 6 steps to a successful implementation
The implementation of ABM makes particular sense for B2B companies whose products or services are relatively complex and require elaborate communication. This method can also be leveraged to communicate with a finely honed target group or to strongly focus on a specific business field.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to set up your account-based marketing:
Step 1: Take a strategic approach
Define the goals you want to achieve with your campaign. In the best case, the marketing and sales team work together on this. Also think about which marketing automation software makes the most sense to use.
Step 2: Identify high-quality customers
Which target groups do you want to reach? These can be key accounts, for instance, which have the most potential to contribute to your company’s profits.
Step 3: Research these customers
Get a good overview of the needs and problems these customers have, as well as at which station in their customer journey you want to contact them. What’s more, you should determine which form of communication and which channels are the most promising.
Step 4: Develop tailored marketing campaigns
Use information which you have gained in the research step to reinforce your strategy, and then develop creative content solutions. These should be in line with the respective target accounts.
Step 5: Realise measures
Publish the individual marketing campaigns. Pay attention to a harmonised design and, at the same time, to tailored content.
Step 6: Measure success
Analyse the data to see how your campaign is faring. If you are not happy with the results, then adapt the campaign. Reckon with the fact that several attempts may be needed before you achieve success.