Account Based Marketing is the new buzzword today. You may be unfamiliar but if you have heard about Key Account Management, then ABM is very similar to it and of course, with the added digital layer there is a much more measurability, targetability and personalization opportunity here.
ABM is generally used successfully for products and services that are B2B in nature, or products or services that are high involvement in nature.
High involvement implies two important attributes:
- There are more than 1 person involved in decision making
- These people will take time to buy- they will decide to buy over a mid-long period looking at various aspects of the product or service.
Also consider that these people are being sprayed with marketing messages, wherever they go, they need to receive a more personalized message that talks about a micro problem/challenge and marketers need to make them feel special or important.
Hence ABM is a strategic approach to marketing where we target all individuals involved in decision making, through personalized and targeted advertising and inbound content related to the decision journey phase they are in.
How is it different to lead generation campaigns? A lead gen campaign starts with a spray campaign, targeting an entire market and not a micro-segment. Second, the nurturing of leads starts after the lead is captured. So people who signup a form, start receiving mailers and offers so that they can convert.
So a lead generation campaign is more widespread, less targeted, less personalized and less focused on the lifecycle phase of a prospect.
There are 3 pillars of ABM
- Personalization (Tailored content & communication)
- Micro-Targeting (Single Product/Single Type Of Client, Remarketing etc.)
- Lifecycle (Content and targeting based on the buying stage at which the prospect is
So what makes ABM so powerful? In ABM we start with the biggest opportunities or prospects and then nurture them with tailored content and communication resulting in more conversion and less wastage of resources.
ABM does not stop just here. As marketers, we collect data of not just leads and conversions from ABM bit also of people who engaged with our content and are keen to buy. With the use of Predictive Analytics, we can match this data with other similar people and target them based on similarity.
Thus, on one hand, ABM helps us engage and convert the biggest opportunities and on the other hand, it allows us to expand our base of targeting other similar accounts, thus helping our business grow.
Let’s take one example: Suppose your sales team has a difficulty penetrating a group of large accounts within a specific industry. These accounts collectively have 500 people who are part of the decision process at all levels.
Now ABM starts with these 500 people. We start by creating, say, a personalized email and a landing page and the content will be created assuming they are all at the top of buying funnel (awareness or early awareness).
We are going to create this very specific content and target them through email, twitter, LinkedIn (looking at #, lists, handles, and communities where these 500 engage)
The content will be helpful in nature and not intrusively personal. At this stage, the content will be very basic, broad but relevant and interesting-like a nice, small video/animation etc.
When this group engages with our content- we then, in the second phase, take them to a different content page and address their concerns in a more insightful way (maybe a case study or a webinar at this stage).
The group that does not engage yet, will remain the first level and keep finding stage 1 level content series.
Now all these activities need to be automated and that’s why we also use the term Programmatic ABM.
This is so powerful, that over time, a trust-based qualified engagement gets triggered.
Another interesting example is about GumGum an AI company used ABM to target key decision makers at T-Mobile, to update them about gum gum solution can help T-Mobile increase revenues and subscriptions – through a specially crafted ComicBook among other pieces of content.