2016 February

What is Account Based Marketing?

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Account Based Marketing

 

Account Based Marketing (ABM) means ‘love-bombing’ selected target companies by contacting multiple individuals at the company using multiple tactics, from email through to ads and social media.   ABM contrasts with other B2B marketing approaches which target a lot of individual leads across many organisations using one tactic at a time.

For example, standard B2B marketing might use online ads to target a wide geographic area and pull in a range of visitors as potential leads.  In contrast, an ABM ad campaign is tightly focused on specific target companies as part of a coordinated sequence of tactics.

The term has surged in popularity in the past 2 years – this is the Google Trends graph for the phrase ‘account based marketing’:

Account-based-marketing-google-trend-15Feb2016-shadow

ABM is not a new concept, but new technologies make it possible to implement account based marketing more effectively, particularly through “IP-based targeting”.  ABM is sometimes used to refer specifically to ad targeting based on people’s IP addresses – it is the most effective way to target enterprise B2B clients using online advertising.

So if you have 30 contacts from “Acme corporation”, 15 of whom are from the same office location, you can plan your marketing, primarily your online advertising, to target those 15 individuals.

There is some crossover with marketing automation. Marketing automation systems usually use cookies to track users while most new ABM systems use IP addresses to track individuals.  This means marketing automations require some initial interaction with someone before you can personalize your marketing toward them. Account Based Management systems can target people even before that interaction, based on their IP address.

As mentioned in a Clickz article “5 things to know about Account Based Marketing”,

“Account-based marketing is only going to get bigger in the future because it allows you to buy one highly personalized ad, in real time, for one account. Consider the following situation: You’re trying to sell to GE, and you know you have a person in a buying cycle, but want to make sure you can reach all of the other decision-makers with relevant information about your brand. Account-based marketing would allow you to show ad impressions only to the GE employees from the office you are targeting, in real time, with a very small advertising budget. You may only get 40 ad impressions, but those impressions are by the correct people, at the correct time. This is the future of B2B marketing — a combination of 1:1 marketing and online advertising methodologies.”

ABM is an example of the alignment of Sales and Marketing teams.  Using the ABM approach companies can integrate marketing tactics in support of specific sales goals at key target accounts.

To get started you don’t have to buy an ABM system – just begin thinking about how best to target your ideal accounts:

  • List the customers you most want to target
  • Identify individuals at those organizations using LinkedIn and other resources
  • Create custom content for those customers where that makes sense e.g. a case study or video specifically targeting their needs
  • Use Outbound Lead Generation to initiate contact
  • Use Online Marketing – your website, blog, social media, email marketing – to interact with your targets
  • Test IP-based display ads at small scale to see how they work for you
  • Consider other higher cost tactics like business lunches and other invite-only events as a way to further target your ideal customers.

Here are some good additional resources on ABM:

 

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