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Account Based Marketing
Traditional marketing places an emphasis on stuffing the top of the funnel with as many leads as possible – gradually, throughout the buyer journey, more and more leads will be funneled out until, on average, less than 1% of that initial top of funnel group actually become customers.
This system simply doesn’t cut it in B2B marketing any more, as consumers are more and more inundated with irrelevant content – and for that reason, account based marketing has drastically risen in popularity in the last few years.
Account based marketing definition
Terminus defines Account-based Marketing as “a focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.”
Account based marketing strategy is about flipping that traditional sales funnel on its head – instead of a “spray and pray” methodology, marketers first identify best fit accounts and then base their strategy on marketing to them, turning them into customers, and then turning them into advocates. Sales and Marketing teams work together to identify these accounts and market to them in a targeted, effective way.
Account based marketing examples
ABM is something that can be implemented across your entire Marketing and Sales team – it’s an organization-wide effort, not something that can be half-heartedly done via one or two channels. Here are several ABM examples to help you understand some of the most common forms of implementing an ABM strategy:
- Personal Email: this one’s a no-brainer – identify your target buyer and contact them directly with a well composed message that digs into their pain points and how your solution can help.
- Direct Mail: This is a huge “wow” factor in moving ABM accounts through the pipe – and can be scaled and automated using services like our friends over at Sendoso!
- Social Media: Engage with your target accounts to increase your visibility and understand their business so that when you have a conversation, you know what their needs are.
- Events: Host events specifically for those key target accounts – whether this is around a big conference or a smaller event in a city where several key accounts reside, you can make a huge splash by meeting them face to face.
- Email Signature Marketing: Use a tool like Sigstr to turn every 1:1 email from your business into a targeted marketing message – a subtle yet effective form of account based marketing. Digital engagements take a back seat to these human to human emails as the prospect moves through the sales cycle – so why not leverage them to continue to deliver the right message at the right time?
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
ABM takes a lot of work, and scaling it or automating it can be tough – that’s where Salesforce Marketing Cloud comes in. Many sales and marketing teams use this platform to manage their strategy, automate their efforts, and utilize the analytics software and services.
Among the Salesforce account based marketing tools, there is one in particular with a huge focus on elevating ABM strategy. This is a service known as “Einstein account based marketing”, developed by Salesforce to help their users identify the right accounts, improve customer engagement, and measure campaign performance. And it doesn’t just work with Marketing Cloud, but also with Salesforce marketing automation tool Pardot. Einstein uses advanced AI capabilities on top of the CRM platform to supercharge ABM efforts.
These tools are incredibly valuable in account based marketing. Salesforce has built solutions to allow its customers to identify and market to their best-fit accounts. With an increased focus on ABM marketing, Salesforce signals in the importance of the trend for marketing teams across the globe, as well as the importance of supporting the strategies across whole organizations, using account based marketing, account based sales, Salesforce, tools like Sigstr, and other solutions to build a complete, well integrated tech-stack to cater to the needs of your best-fit prospects.
With Einstein ABM, Salesforce shows that ABM isn’t going away, and Marketers more than ever need to have an understanding of how to leverage technology (like Einstein ABM) to effectively execute tactics.
Account Based Marketing Software
In addition to Salesforce, there are other key tools and platforms that can be used for ABM success. Account based marketing software can serve a variety of purposes and you can often combine a few different solutions to build a robust tech-stack. In addition to Salesforce, software such as Marketo, Hubspot, Terminus, and LinkedIn can be used together to drive your ABM program forward.
For users of Marketo, account based marketing has clear benefits in ROI, Sales Alignment, goal tracking, etc. The software is billed as an industry-leading ABM solution that allows marketers to build target lists, use account-level personalization, and measure and optimize ABM revenue, pipeline, and engagement. Sigstr and Marketo connect to create powerful ABM campaigns in Sigstr based off Marketo smart lists.
In addition to Marketo and Salesforce, there are other solutions that support account-based Marketing. Hubspot, another marketing automation software, allows for similar personalization of outreach, an enriched CRM, and account scoring. Hubspot allows marketers visibility into the engagement of target accounts. In addition, Hubspot ABM integrations are numerous, allowing you to connect the platform to tools such as Engagio, Terminus, and of course, Sigstr.
LinkedIn is another potentially unexpected tool for account based marketing. LinkedIn contact targeting and account targeting functionality allows Marketers to launch sponsored content to key contacts and accounts. LinkedIn account based marketing is an avenue for you to meet your key contacts where they’re spending a lot of their time already.
Last but certainly not least, Terminus is a powerful account based marketing platform. Using their TEAM framework (Target, Engage, Activate, Measure), Terminus bridges the gap between marketers and sales to engage the right accounts and deliver key insights. An amazing partner of Sigstr, Terminus prides themselves on helping customers deliver more on their pipeline and revenue goals.
Account Based Marketing for Dummies
Speaking of Terminus – Sangram Vajre, Terminus CEO, authored the first ever account based marketing book in 2016, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of how the marketing strategy can help your business. “Account Based Marketing for Dummies” gives readers the tools to transform their current approach and implement a successful ABM program. It’s an incredible resource that covers all the bases of someone looking to get started with ABM, and who better to learn it from than the experts over at Terminus?
Sangram’s awesome book isn’t the only way to learn account based marketing. There are several other resources from thought leaders in the space, including from our own team here at Sigstr, on how to start and scale your strategic ABM efforts. As much as you can, try to learn what other businesses in your industry or area are doing in terms of ABM – and if no one’s doing any ABM, you have an incredible opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors in some incredible ways. ABM programs like our own here at Sigstr as well as at Terminus have been built intentionally with the vision of scaling down the line – but no one is perfect in this area, at least not yet.
In addition to books and learning from other businesses, there are some formal account based marketing courses that have become more and more popular – Demandbase, for example, offers an online deep-dive into ABM. This type of account-based marketing training is a fantastic base of knowledge to arm yourself with the necessary tools and tricks of the trade. In terms of setting it up for your organization, however – there’s no substitute for real experience. No one will be able to tell you exactly what’s needed in your particular industry or how to implement this for your particular customers – you know your business best. Arm yourself with knowledge from some of the incredible thought leaders in this area, and then don’t be afraid to go out there and start building your program yourself. You’ll run into roadblocks and experience setbacks, but every day that you’re not doing ABM is a missed opportunity to be leveraging a way to truly flip your funnel and meet your best fit accounts with the right message at the right time.
Account Based Marketing Framework
Based on how many people use account based marketing, it’s easy to see that there’s no one right answer for how to do it – but there are a lot of marketers who have done it so well they can be considered an account based marketing expert. Sangram Vajre is certainly one of them, but there are other resources that can complement his work and turn you into an expert yourself.
The first step after arming yourself with knowledge is to set up your own account based marketing framework. By setting yourself up for success with strategy before executing account based marketing tactics, you’ll bring yourself better chances of success in the long run. Resources such as the ones mentioned above are fantastic ways for you to learn and begin to implement your account based marketing organizational structure. There are other great resources available as well to help give you a guide to account based marketing – another great resource in particular to pair with Sangram’s book is “A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing.” PDF versions of free ABM strategy case studies can also be found in our own resources center. You’ll learn how to use account based marketing images, emails, targeted ads, and more to reach your target accounts, and the necessary channels your framework should be built around.
These resources will give you insight into how to create a framework, or an account based marketing workflow, to guide your targeted prospects through the pipeline.
Account Based Marketing Case Studies
In addition to developing a framework, see how other teams are executing ABM by looking at account based marketing case studies. Here at Sigstr in particular, we have a number of client stories available to help you gain inspiration and learn how to set up your own account based marketing. PDF case studies can be found, as mentioned above, in our resources center.
In addition, you can find an account based marketing presentation on Terminus’ resources center to learn more about how to create your own ABM strategy. One particular account based marketing ppt that we recommend checking it is our own collaboration with the Terminus team in the webinar slides titled “How to Scale ABM Campaigns” – part of the “ABM Summer Camp” series.
Every marketer, no matter the industry or background can implement some form of account based marketing. Healthcare, B2B, SaaS, etc. are all valid areas where ABM can have a powerful effect. Don’t wait – use the resources provided to build your framework and implement your strategy today – and be sure to include Sigstr as a piece of your ABM tech stack.