Account-based marketing took off during the pandemic. During this time, businesses everywhere were cutting back and adjusting to new consumer spending habits. In the shuffle, ABM emerged as the best way to offer a new and improved level of personalization in marketing.
While it may have been a necessity that caused the switch, the return on investment is what kept ABM around.
With the rise of personalization in marketing and the need to be more efficient than ever with your advertising dollars, it’s our opinion that ABM is the way of the future.
Yet the transition from traditional inbound and outbound campaigns to a full-scale ABM strategy is bound to uncover some problems. There are some great insight-generating questions you can ask yourself before switching that will make the transition as smooth as possible.
First, let’s talk about why you should consider making the transition to ABM.
Simple Reasons to Make the ABM Journey If You Haven’t Already
76% of B2B marketers agree that ABM delivers better ROI than other marketing tactics. Here are two reasons why.
More Effective Personalization
Account-based marketing means targeting the best accounts and tailoring marketing for them. As part of this process, you’ll naturally learn more about those customers and how to speak with them.
As personalization in advertising becomes more common, more customers will come to expect it.
Mastering personalization is one of the most important factors in a successful ABM strategy.
Better Data Management
Designing advertising campaigns for individual buyers means you’ll be generating only the most relevant data points for each of those buyers.
ROI and other key metrics can be tracked on a per-buyer basis with a strong ABM strategy.
The data afforded by this kind of strategy can be used to optimize the campaigns even further, strengthening the system in a closed loop.
These are just a couple of the strengths of a good ABM strategy. However, implementing them isn’t always easy.
Challenges When Shifting to Account-Based Marketing
Switching from traditional marketing strategies, which typically conform to a one-size fits all approach, to targeted account-based strategies will come with some growing pains. Here are a few to look out for when you’re making the ABM journey.
A New Marketing Mindset is Required
Your sales and marketing teams will need to get used to the updated philosophy. No longer is every customer treated with a similar level of attention. Instead, your best accounts will receive the lion’s share of attention and resources, not to mention a level of personalization that wasn’t required before.
Front-line sales and marketing reps will have to get used to the segmentation, personalization, and priority that will be given to the largest accounts.
New Reporting Systems
Since the philosophy is changing, so will the reporting and accountability system you’ll have in place. Quotas for each of your account segments (from emerging businesses to large enterprises) will probably change, and so too will the expectations on those responsible for managing these segments.
Change means managing egos and keeping the team on track – two major challenges to a successful ABM switch.
Adjusting Marketing Platforms
Your new strategy will call for updated customer profiles that you’ll need to keep track of within your marketing platform.
Managing this data can take time and resources even if you aren’t making major changes, so a big company-wide shift to ABM will necessitate a good deal of data management and review.
3 Questions to Help Clarify Your ABM Map
Though there will be growing pains on your ABM journey, making the switch to full-scale ABM is important. ABM is more effective and efficient at personalizing ads and optimizing itself with reams of valuable data. Before long, most or all B2B marketing will be done on a one-to-one basis.
Here are three questions to begin with that will help illuminate the path toward ABM and ensure a smooth and effective transition.
1. Do You Need Outside Input?
If your company is new to ABM strategies, it may be a good idea to get someone with some experience to guide the transition.
Regardless of how well you think you understand the process, there will always be a big gulf between preparing for action and undertaking it. If you and your marketing or sales team are new to the process of full-scale ABM strategy, hiring an outside expert could be the best move.
Alternatively, there are many programs and ABM certifications online that your employees could benefit from.
Start with an internal diagnostic that evaluates the speed and effectiveness of your one-to-one marketing strategies.
2. What Skills Do You Need for ABM?
Whether you get help or choose to do it alone, asking questions such as these should help you find the correct path:
- How effectively are you targeting high-value accounts?
- What is the state of your preferred metrics, and where do you want to end up?
- Is your technology modern and dynamic enough to sustain your vision?
- How well is your current one-to-one strategy being executed?
- How will you measure success?
3. How Many Accounts Should You Target with ABM?
When it comes to which accounts to target or how many of them, the answer is dependent on how effectively your marketing effort will scale.
We recommend starting by prospecting the largest and most valuable enterprise accounts you can. Not only are these the most worthwhile efforts, but the effort alone will teach you a great deal about how to market to companies in your ecosystem.
You’ll also learn more about what makes your company attractive to potential buyers and, maybe more importantly, what shortfalls your company needs to make up for.
Regardless of what kinds of accounts you plan to target, these general tips should help you clarify your objectives:
- Your ABM strategy should be tailored to your unique business objectives. A great ABM strategy is flexible, meaning you can adjust it over time as your business needs evolve.
- Design account-based plays that emphasize the unique aspects of each targeted company, as well as the strengths of your company. Your go-to-market motions should be similarly account-based.
- Measure execution and success by tracking data and constantly improving your process. No plan is perfect. No matter how well optimized you think you made it the first time around, there will always be room for improvement.
Hushly Can Make Your ABM Journey Easy
Hushly’s unique platform is designed from the ground up to facilitate easy account-based marketing.
Our interface is simple to learn and use. With drag-and-drop features, you can create, update, and maintain account-based landing and webpages in just a few clicks.
Hushly can help you design custom ABM email campaigns and templates and include targeted brand elements that will help you stand out among the competition.
Best of all, our platform can help you measure the performance of your ABM with closed-loop data attribution and scale your campaigns alongside your growth.
Whether you’re looking for the expertise and flexibility that would justify the cost of switching to ABM or better ways to scale your ABM efforts, Hushly can help.
If you’d like Hushly to help manage your ABM campaigns, request a demo of our platform.