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Account-based marketing: 7 steps for implementing it in B2B marketing

Account-based marketing personalizes the buying experience and promotes the growth of your brand.
Image: © Marharyta Demydova / Adobe Stock

Account-based marketing: how to get the ball rolling

Account-based marketing (ABM) is becoming increasingly popular with B2B marketers. And for good reason: ABM gives brands the opportunity to personalize their content and thus optimize the customer experience on a lasting basis. What’s more, the approach brings sales and marketing together and proves to be a real shortcut when it comes to the sales cycle. But what does a successful ABM strategy entail? The answer is systematic activation of predefined personas and turning them into satisfied customers. In the following, we tell you exactly how to achieve that.

Challenges and opportunities in account-based marketing

According to recent figures from a study conducted by Ascend2, the majority of companies are ready to jump on the account-based marketing trend.

22%
of companies said that they had a measurable strategy in place.
14%
are rolling out an ABM pilot program.
34%
are planning to implement account-based marketing in the future.

However, at the same time, many companies are still extremely reluctant – the majority of marketers (62%) reported that less than 25% of their marketing budget is being allocated to account-based marketing efforts, despite the fact that a well-developed ABM strategy has the potential to catapult businesses forward. Account-based marketing enables brands to:

  • improve the customer experience,
  • make their processes more effective by merging marketing and sales,
  • and achieve a high degree of customer loyalty.

Account-based marketing: how to implement the strategy

Whether one-to-one, one-to-few, or one-to-many: unlike traditional outbound marketing, ABM doesn’t focus on just maximizing the number of leads, but rather on generating leads that are as qualitative and promising as possible. To do that, you need to follow these seven steps:

Step 1: Account-based marketing only works when everyone pulls their weight

The basis of a successful account-based marketing strategy is well-coordinated collaboration across marketing and sales. So, if you want to implement an ABM strategy in your company, it is important that the team members from the relevant departments sit down together and work toward common goals.

Step 2: Define target accounts

For your brand’s investment in account-based marketing to pay off, you have to choose your target accounts wisely. Factors such as company size, number of employees, and location will help you identify accounts

that are attractive to your brand within the framework of your B2B marketing strategy.

Step 3: Evaluate your ABM campaign goals

Initial analyses of accounts and their engagement will help you and your brand set priorities in your account-based marketing. The data gained from this will also give you a valuable reference point for further modifying the planned ABM campaign and aligning it with the target group. Metrics that could be analyzed may include ad views or multiple page visits by people from a specific company, for example.

Step 4: Determine account-based marketing measures

Account plans containing specific measures to be taken by your team as part of an ABM campaign provide structure and help coordinate all the work steps involved. Among other things, the following aspects should be considered here:

  • What channels are to be used for the ABM campaign?
  • What kind of content works for your target group?
  • Who are the decision-makers in the target company?
  • How are ABM and sales processes intertwined?

Step 5: It’s showtime – B2B lead generation made easy

Regardless of whether you opt for direct messages, networking, or social media platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, the next step is about communicating with the target group. By personalizing your content, using calls to action effectively, and putting thought into your choice of channels, you’ll be perfectly positioned to generate qualitative leads in the context of your account-based marketing campaign.

Step 6: Cultivate your contacts

Once you have acquired contacts, it is absolutely essential to further deepen the relationship with the target group and strengthen customers’ trust in your brand – especially among decision-makers. Direct communication, individualized content, and a professional presence in meetings will give you and your brand a solid foundation for retaining contacts made through account-based marketing over the long term.

Step 7: Measure your success

Account-based marketing is mainly about strengthening and deepening the relationship with target accounts beyond individual campaigns. The extent to which a campaign supports this goal can be measured using KPIs such as

  • the number of concluded deals,
  • engagement,
  • social media interactions,
  • and the number of new contact persons.

If any weaknesses are detected during your analysis, you will know where to channel your efforts in order to further optimize your account-based marketing strategies.

Account-based marketing: B2B leveled up

The future of B2B marketing lies in account-based marketing – and there’s no better time than now to get started on your ABM strategy, because the competition hasn’t taken over (yet). By implementing your strategy in a targeted way and investing a little in account-based marketing, you will be well on your way to expanding your business success.

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