The rise of account-based marketing, and how and why it works so well

The rise of account-based marketing, and how and why it works so well

With 70% of marketers reporting that they use ABM, up from 15% from 2020, this meteoric rise is set to continue into 2022. To help you see if Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, could be for you.

Here’s a quick overview as we at Cyance see it:

The ABM Strategy

ABM is a collaborative process and must involve all customer-led teams, working together as part of the B2B customer lifecycle strategy towards shared objectives. It can be used for acquisition, retention and expansion or a combination of all three.

This often differs across different audience groups, for example 1-2-1 ABM is normally reserved for large customer groups with the aim to retain and expand, whereas 1-2-few or 1-2-many ABM is more often a mix.

The B2B buying process, compared with B2C is typically executed over a longer period of time, compared to typical shorter demand generation campaigns and involves targeting a group of key decision makers rather than one individual. Therefore this group, or account-level is crucial.

How does it work?

There are four key implementation stages; sales and marketing alignment, account selection, data and insights and programme delivery.

Sales and marketing teams should be closely and continuously aligned, particularly around business goals and outcomes (revenue), Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), audience selection and prioritisation logic, how to align account knowledge, behaviour and insights into your outreach and engagement tactics, and how to measure outcomes.

Account selection and definition is the process by which marketing and sales come together to define ‘the ideal account’ and select the target accounts. This includes finding agreement on the number, size and type of accounts that you will be targeted, also referred to as building an ICP.

First- and third-party data sources drive successful account targeting and sales decisions, by helping you understand the intent of your buyers and what stage of the buying process they are in - research, consideration, decision making or any other stage. You can refine and expand your list of accounts based on actionable information.

With the right technology, first- and third-party intent data can also be synthesised via your ABM platform, alongside firmographic and technographic data. With the curated data, you can build an accurate profile of buyer behaviour—as well as using intent signals to create the best strategy for nurturing and closing the account.

At the heart of ABM lies the creation and delivery of highly personalised value propositions, value-add content and messaging. All of which is targeted specifically for each ABM account, and the relevant people within those accounts.

The reason ABM has grown significantly in 2021 and will continue into 2022 is the availability of technology that can provide accurate data insights and a much clearer understanding of B2B buyers’ intentions at various stages in the buying journey. It also allows you to be much more efficient with your available resources, by focussing on a small number of accounts that are most likely to convert rather than less targeted traditional marketing methods that invariably have a large element of wastage.

ABM speaks for itself

With the much more personalised approach across both sales and marketing, 91% of companies using ABM have reported an increase in their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of +50%. Furthermore, 60% of companies reported at least a 10% increase in revenue in the first year of a new ABM program.

Add to this, 97% of marketers achieved higher ROI with ABM than with any other marketing initiatives, according to the Alterra Group. It seems to me that an ABM strategy, done right, is a no-brainer.