Account-based marketing (ABM) brings together the concepts of sales and marketing, two business sectors that have too often been opposed to one another.
With ABM, you tailor your marketing message to a tightly defined segment of your customer-base, rather than sending the same message to all of your customers.
In 2016, more than 70 percent of business-to-business companies had staff dedicated to account-based marketing. That’s up from just 20 percent in 2012.
So, as ABM continues to show enormous growth, here are five tips for effective account-based marketing.
1. Set your campaign goals.
Before you begin your marketing campaign, you’ll want to sit down with your marketing staff and decide exactly what you’d like to accomplish with your ABM marketing efforts.
Do you want to increase sales? Encourage customers to visit your new store? Invite them to a customer-appreciation event?
You need clearly-defined goals to make sure that your campaign reaches the right people.
2. Select accounts that best meet your campaign criteria.
Next you’ll want to select customers that are a good fit for your campaign. Perhaps they are customers who have purchased similar products in the past or customers who are located in the same geographic area as your new store.
3. Make sure that your marketing and sales messages are aligned.
Another key element of good ABM is to make sure that your marketing (email, social media, and in-store) and your sales efforts (what your salespeople are talking about and showing customers) are supporting each other.
Your customers will be understandably confused if they are reading one thing on social media and hearing something else from their account representative.
4. Personalize your message.
One of the prime benefits of ABM is that you can personalize your message to fit your customers. Since you’re working with a more tightly-defined group of customers, this type of marketing has the ability to make them feel like they are especially valued by your company.
5. Start small.
Account based marketing doesn’t have to mean investing in complicated software platforms.
The best way to harness this marketing approach is to segment your customers and potential customers and tailor a marketing campaign to each segment. ABM is more about a shift in how you think about market, rather than buying a new suite of software products.
Using ABM is a great way to increase your return on your marketing investment. Make your ABM efforts most effective by tightly-defining your marketing goals before you get started, choosing your customers who best fit your campaign parameters, and making sure that your marketing and sales departments are sending customers the same message.
Sandy M has been a full-time freelance writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in dozens of print and Web publications, including About.com, Mahogany Magazine, Huffington Post, and USAToday.com. She is also the author of two books about Cleveland history and is researching a third book.