Marketers, let’s talk ABM
Have you started hearing Account Based Marketing (ABM) mentioned a whole lot more amongst B2B marketers? Whilst it may feel like there’s a new buzzword in town, the concept of nurturing leads and personalising content for customers is far from new. The rise of ABM could indicate that many marketers are shifting away from high volume marketing, however, the real shift that’s happening is a technological one.
Machine intelligence and CRM software are improving rapidly, allowing marketers today to take advantage of tools they simply didn’t have a decade ago. Back then, it wasn’t practical to take a personal approach with every potential customer. Now, thanks to automation and increasingly sophisticated targeting capabilities, it is possible to carry out many complex campaigns at once, turning ABM into something much more scalable for businesses of every shape and size.
Hang on – what is ABM?
Account Based Marketing is a tailored, targeted and relevant approach to marketing. It can help you connect with customers who have the most revenue potential for your business and show them exactly why your products or services are the solution to their business challenges. ABM is also an extremely focused strategy. You’re positioning your products or services to a set list of high-value accounts in a way that delivers the most relevant message and content for them. This kind of focused approach shows your target accounts that not only do you understand their business and challenges, but you value them enough to create expert marketing and sales experiences to specifically meet their needs. As a result, the metrics for success shift to lead quality over quantity as you look to close fewer, higher value deals.
Bringing Marketing & Sales closer together
ABM is truly a team effort with all successful ABM strategies requiring serious collaboration between marketing and sales. A shared understanding of who and how you want to engage is critical and the result internally is twofold. It puts marketers in a stronger position to develop a relevant storyline that carries across from beginning to end, while sales are better able to influence that storyline based on buyer needs and use it for personalised communication that can help build trust and accelerate the sales cycle.
LinkedIn data shows that increasing engagement between marketing and sales can boost sales effectiveness dramatically, with audiences exposed to marketing messages on LinkedIn 25% more likely to respond to a Sales Navigator InMail from the company’s sales reps (LinkedIn “The Art Of Winning’, 2018).
The Data Dilemma
An effective ABM strategy relies on high-quality, consistent account and contact data. As society reaches a critical tipping point in consumer privacy and trust issues, this will impact on many ABM programmes, particularly those that rely primarily on third-party data.
As the #1 most trusted social media platform (Business Insider Digital Trust Report, 2020), LinkedIn is a unique environment to anchor your ABM strategy with first-party, user provided data to ensure accuracy. Once you have a working list of target accounts, application of the LinkedIn Matched Audiences feature can quickly scale your reach to find companies and contacts with similar attributes to those on your list. You also have the flexibility to exclude companies that you don’t want to target. LinkedIn can help you easily segment your list by company size, industry and opportunity stage as you decide on how best to define your account tiers.
Sophisticated ABM Strategies: Use The Right Tools
Figuring out which accounts to target, developing focused, relevant content and measuring your strategy’s impact, is easier and more effective when you have the right tools at your disposal.
LinkedIn’s ecosystem of Marketing Partners includes Hubspot’s ABM software that features integrations with LinkedIn Pages, Ads and Sales Navigator to make it easy to get started and manage the entire process. Developing your strategy, executing against target accounts and closing the deal are all delivered from the convenience of a single platform.
The ABM community will continue to grow as more B2B marketers discover just how powerful it can be to prioritise lead quality over lead quantity, double down on relevant marketing messages across the entire buying journey, and shift impact metrics from lead generation to revenue won. It’s worth your while to get familiar with it as when done right, ABM gets results. And that means it will continue to appear in a conversation near you.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of using Hubspot’s ABM software and integrations with LinkedIn Pages, Ads and Sales Navigator you can download the free e-book “How To Implement An ABM Strategy".