The Latest from the ABM Experts
July 13, 2017
What Are the Benefits of Advertising in Account-Based Marketing?
There are big benefits of using advertising in your account-based marketing campaigns.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is all about marketing to the entire buying committee at best-fit accounts instead of marketing to only one lead at an organization. Sales teams have long been focused on accounts, so it only makes sense that Marketing would do the same and instead of prioritizing lead generation, get laser-focused on generating demand within the accounts that have the most revenue potential.
ABM is a multichannel strategy, not a singular tool. Still, marketing technology (MarTech) plays a huge role in executing ABM at scale. One key piece of an account-based marketing mix is digital advertising.
Advertising has some unique benefits that help B2B marketers reach more of key stakeholders in their target accounts, and to do so at scale.
Let’s talk about the benefits of advertising in an account-based marketing strategy.
1. Account-based advertising is proactive, not reactive.
Account-based advertising is different than typical forms of advertising such as Google AdWords, retargeting (advertising to contacts who have visited your site), and CRM retargeting (advertising to contacts in your database). These types of digital advertising are reactive.
Traditional display is limited to only the people who visit your website or search for a keyword. This does not give you as a marketer the control to influence target accounts if they do not come directly to you. It also does not allow you to reach the entire buying committee, only those that first engage on your website. This approach to advertising is still valuable, but it leaves a huge segment of your target audience untouched.
Instead, account-based advertising empowers you to take a proactive approach to targeted display advertising. Solutions like Terminus enable B2B marketers to reach the entire buying committee in their target accounts, including the contacts that are not in your CRM and have never been to your website.
An ABM strategy starts by identifying a set of target accounts that your sales team would like to penetrate and developing targeted messaging and creative ways to reach them. With ABM advertising, you decide which buyer personas at which accounts you want to engage, no contact information necessary.
2. You can expand marketing reach beyond just one lead.
According to Gartner, on average there are eight to ten stakeholders involved in a technology decision-making process or complex sales cycle. This is why it’s important to not only engage the individual lead or contact, but the entire decision-making committee. Like traditional advertising, other marketing channels like email are also limited to prospects who come to you and/or are in your database. This makes it challenging to reach more than one or two contacts in an account.
An account-based advertising tool like Terminus will help to drive awareness, credibility, and consensus in an organization by proactively getting your message in front of all of the decision-makers, even if they’re not in your CRM and haven’t come to your website.
Display advertising provides a great way to engage hard-to-reach stakeholders like C-level executives and other key influencers. Consider the influencers that Sales does not talk to but who should be aware of your company’s offering, such as Procurement and Finance. Many of these individuals won’t download content or visit your website the same way your key contact at the account will, but proactive display advertising provides the ability to reach this audience directly on their terms.
3. Advertising is an inexpensive way to reach a wider audience.
In most markets, the cost of running an advertising campaign over two weeks at a target group of accounts achieves a much higher ROI than sponsoring a conference, for example. Think about it: you’re on the trade show floor with thousands of people walking past your booth, and later you’ll have to go back and filter through the list of all the badges you scanned to find the contacts that match your buyer personas.
However, your marketing team already has a list of accounts from Sales of opportunities they’d like to close this quarter. While it’s great to try and meet those people in person, digital advertising is a great way to proactively expand reach to a wider audience on their terms, and at scale. Targeted display advertising reaches a large number of the right people at a relatively low cost.
4. It complements email, which is not as effective as it once was.
It’s easy to “batch and blast” emails to drive contacts to a completion action. However, given the volume of emails flooding inboxes every day, people are becoming increasingly less inclined to take action from marketing emails.
Need proof that email is becoming a less effective channel? According to MailChimp, the average open rate for software companies in mid-2013 was 32.6%. As of February 2017, that number was down to 20.95%.
Unlike emails, advertising is non-invasive and cannot be opted out of, whereas a contact would have to opt in to receive an email newsletter subscription. It’s an outbound marketing approach instead of inbound, and it allows you to unobtrusively reach your buyers where they already spend their time.
The contacts in target accounts are already spending much of their days online. Using a targeted account-based advertising tool allows you to insert your brand and message to get right in front of those contacts without them having to open an email.
5. ABM advertising allows you to deliver personalized messages at scale.
Personalization becomes scalable with software like Terminus that can automatically run dynamic campaigns based on a contact’s job title, an account’s stage of the sales cycle, their industry, and any other information in your Salesforce CRM. Now, you can dynamically segment your advertising just as easily and effectively as you would an email nurture campaign.
This allows you to serve highly relevant, contextual messages to your prospects at scale. For example, you can show high-level awareness ads personalized to each of your buyer personas. Then, as accounts move through the sales funnel, you can automatically continue to display role-specific messaging based on where they are in the sales process.
Here’s an example from WP Engine, who saw significant gains using account-based advertising. It radically increased all their key measures of success — most importantly, pipeline created. WP Engine ran an account-based advertising campaign that resulted in engagement from 93% of companies on their target account list.
Remember, targeted display advertising will be one component in your multichannel ABM program. Your display ads should have the same segmentation and messaging as your email nurture so that your target accounts see the same targeted message. Fortunately, this is easy to do when you integrate your marketing technology with your CRM.
Account-based advertising is a powerful part of a your marketing strategy that can help you to surround your prospects with your messaging everywhere they go online.
Learn More About ABM Advertising
Advertising provides a lot of benefits for your account-based marketing program. By allowing you to proactively reach more of your buyers at scale, it can help generate demand, shorten your sales cycle, and even increase revenue from your current customer base.
To learn more about how account-based advertising can play a role in your multichannel ABM strategy and align your sales and marketing teams, schedule a time to chat with our team.