How to develop an account based marketing strategy?

What is ABM?

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a framework for targeting specific accounts or account segments, usually by purchase history, firmographics, product need or strategic value. ABM uses demand generation techniques for account specific marketing. Traditionally, demand gen is thought of as a lead-based framework that’s focused on producing large quantities of leads. The basic assumption is that more leads is always better. However, ABM approach is more towards gaining higher quality leads and building long-term relationships over the traditional quantitative approach.

How to develop an ABM strategy?

Today, there are multiple end to end ABM software services specifically for B2B companies that enables users to seamlessly execute successful ABM campaigns across the entire funnel. An effective ABM strategy consists of two parts:

1. Categorizing Accounts as per different ABM types:

ABM for Large Accounts (1:1)

Large accounts often require a unique solution for their complex needs. ABM strategies for large accounts personalize the contact strategy and campaigns for each account to guide dozens of stakeholders throughout a long purchase journey. Whether a stakeholder is researching on the web, talking to sales, attending an event, or viewing and ad, they see relevant and consistent messaging unique for every buying group wherever they are in the purchase journey.

Due to the complexity of 1:1 account marketing for large accounts, organizations should target no more than 100 accounts at a time.

ABM for Named Account (1:few)

Named accounts require semi-custom solutions for their needs. Accounts can be grouped by common needs, while each account can require slight modifications. At the beginning of the purchase journey, groups of target accounts receive similar account-based marketing campaigns. As target accounts show more purchase intent, each account receives specific ABM multichannel campaigns.

ABM for named accounts targets lists of 100-10,000 accounts.

Industry ABM (1:many)

Industry ABM groups accounts by a firmographic characteristic, most typically industry. Industry segmentation is a convenient way to group target accounts by unique needs. Each industry segment receives specific ABM campaigns throughout their entire purchase journey with personalization for each account completed by the sales person.

Industry ABM is used when targeting over 10,000 accounts.

2. 5 step approach to a successful ABM campaign

1. Identify

The step includes creating a target account list of companies interested in what you sell with signals way beyond traditional firmographic data: product usage, business fit, culture, budget, interests, investments and business relationships.

2. Attract

Pinpointing internal stakeholders within target accounts across the Web. Drive interest with personalized messages and advertising speaking to their specific pain points and needs.

3. Engage

Delivering a truly personalized experience for each visitor on the website—including headlines and site content, visuals, call to actions and downloadable assets.

4. Convert

Help sales close deals with insights that personalize outreach and maximize the quality of conversations with customers.

5. Measure

Know exactly how your ABM efforts are contributing to the bottom line—so you can measure your ROI and adjust your strategy to further increase your impact.

Below screenshots from CITRIX's website shows how the company is leveraging ABM techniques to personalize their H1 tags, product messaging and the images for different industries (healthcare and education in this case)