Traditional marketing vs. ABM: 5 signs you should consider account-based marketing

3 min.
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It may sound surprising—but many marketers have been conditioned to thinking that marketing's just a number a game: The more you spend, the more contacts you get. The more contacts you have, the more money you make. It all comes down to percentages as leads move through the marketing funnel, right? 

Traditional marketing follows that logic:

  • Invest in multiple channels (events, paid social, paid search, PR, third-party lists, content syndication, SEO) to bring in new leads
  • Send your leads lots of emails
  • Use lead scoring to filter out a subset of contacts for sales to go after
  • Call people till they book a meeting
  • Hope they'll buy something

The reality is that the internet has fundamentally changed how people buy. With buyers having all the information they need to make a decision at their fingertips, you have to stand out from your competition—and treating your lead as a number just won't cut it.

5 signs you should consider account-based marketing (ABM)

Here's a test. If any of the following sound familiar, it might be time to start rethinking your marketing strategy.

  1. You're hitting your goals for leads, website traffic, and MQLs, but you're not closing deals.
  2. You're spending a lot on ads, but you're not seeing the results.
  3. Your sales team isn't happy with the leads marketing is producing.
  4. Your sales team spends a lot of time chasing deals that never materialize.
  5. Contacts are slipping between the cracks when they're handed off from marketing to sales.

How ABM can help

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a growth strategy where marketing and sales teams work together to create personalized, smooth buying experiences for high-value accounts. In simple terms, you need to start thinking about companies like people.

Though ABM has been around for a while, it's becoming more and more relevant as businesses start to realize that the closer their marketing and sales teams work together, the better the results.

Let me start off first by saying that ABM doesn't work for everyone. Because ABM requires a strong investment from marketing and sales to create highly personalized buying experiences for a select group of companies, it's best suited for businesses that sell high-value products to other businesses (B2B) with more complex sales cycles.

The benefits for ABM are that:

  • Your marketing and sales teams work together on an agreed set of accounts
  • Your investment in marketing spend can better align to target accounts that have the highest chance of purchasing
  • By working together and sharing data, your marketing and sales teams can create a seamless purchasing experience
  • By focusing on a small subset of accounts, you can create highly personalized journeys that stand out from your competition

How ABM works

ABM isn't just a software that you purchase (though there are software solutions that can certainly help). It's a strategy that requires bringing your teams together and having a shared goal in mind.

Here are some ways you can start implementing ABM at your company:

  1. Create pods, virtual teams that consist of marketers and salespeople: A good rule of thumb is 1 marketer for every 5-10 salespeople. 
  2. Come up with a target account list: Try to start small where each pod focuses on a list of 10 target accounts.
  3. Identify your budget holders, influencers, blockers, and decision makers: For each of your target accounts, try to identify who it is that's going to make the ultimate decision, who you need in the organization to evangelize your product, and who's going to get in the way of your deal closing. For each of these personas, figure out the journey you want them to take.
  4. Implement company scoring and tiers of target accounts: Since we're starting with a small list of target accounts (your tier 1 list), you should be able to identify key characteristics for why they'd make a good target. Company size, number of employees, industry. All of these can be used to help score companies so you can begin grouping them into tiers. Once you have great experiences and journeys built out for your tier 1, you can begin mapping out the journeys for your tier 2 and tier 3 target accounts.

Working with 2175 Group on your account-based marketing strategy

ABM is a shift in the way marketing and sales works together, and we've led the shift to ABM for many of our clients. We'd be happy to work with you to not only establish the processes, but also to leverage technology and automation (specifically HubSpot and Salesforce) to create effective ABM strategies that close more deals.

Want to learn more about how we can help you adopt ABM? Get in touch with us.

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