What Is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing, also known simply as ABM, is an approach to B2B marketing that focuses on converting high-value target accounts into customers through tailored marketing campaigns. Rather than casting a broad net and marketing to a wide variety of potential clients, ABM strategies focus instead on seeking out the exact customers they want.

How ABM differs from traditional marketing

You can think of this like turning the marketing funnel upside down. Traditionally, a marketing strategy involves appealing to a broad audience and potentially bring in a lot of customers. But in many industries this growth strategy simply isn’t effective. It’s difficult to create marketing efforts which appeal to such a diverse array of potential clients, which is why many sales and marketing teams don’t get the type of results they want with this conventional business strategy.

That entire process is essentially reversed when a business decides to use account-based marketing. ABM isn’t about casting a wide net and seeing who expresses interest. Instead, ABM campaigns focus on a small, purposefully selected set of target accounts, each of which is approached with a personalized marketing campaign specifically engineered to increase the chances of conversion.

Benefits of account-based marketing

A marketing team or group of sales reps will often discover that this tailored, targeted approach leads to much better results in terms of both sales and ROI. This is considered to be an excellent example of sales and marketing alignment. That’s because ABM efforts take both facets into account in order to increase not only the number of conversions from the target audience, but also the overall company revenue. Rather than targeting lots of small fish in a big pond, ABM strategy is all about targeting big fish in a much, much smaller pond. It’s easy to see how those odds are highly in favor of the common goals for marketing and sales teams.

How to Target Accounts with ABM Strategy

Coming up with an account based marketing strategy that’s customized to your needs is critical for marketing and sales teams who want to convert more target accounts into customers. But how do you actually decide which customers should qualify as target accounts, and what steps do you take to set up a custom campaign? Here’s a closer look at how it works.

Set goals for your target accounts

One of the keys to ABM strategy is making sure that the target accounts you go after are going have the potential to bring in a lot of revenue for your company. Each of your target accounts should be capable of becoming a high-value client if they decide to come on board.

To do this, you’ll want to create an ideal customer profile that you can refer to when you decide which target accounts are worth pursuing. Your marketing and sales teams should work together to come up with this profile, which should include the following customer data:

  • How much revenue can be generated from the customer account?
  • Is there potential to grow the account in the future if you successfully establish customer loyalty?
  • What other competitors are going after this client, and how can you position your company as the superior choice?

Create a target account list

Before you get into the fine details of your ABM strategy, it’s important to narrow down your options for target accounts. Developing a target account list is the next step to take once you set parameters around how you define what high-value accounts are for your business.

Using your ideal customer profile, identify target accounts that have the potential to help you meet your sales goals and bring a significant amount of revenue into your company. Place the highest value accounts at the top of your list and make them a priority as you move through the next steps of the marketing and sales process.

Do your research

For each potential client on your target account list, you’ll need to spend time researching their background and their financials. You’ll also look into which key players you’ll mostly likely want to reach out to when making contact with specific accounts. Most importantly, you’ll need to find out how your company can address their needs and improve their business.

All of the information you find on your target accounts will be put to good use as your ABM strategy comes into play, which is why this part of the marketing and sales process is so critical.

Develop individual campaigns

Now it’s time to put your ABM tools to work. Your marketing team and sales team need to come together to develop customized ad campaigns aimed at each of your target accounts. Every message needs to tailored to the target account details you compiled during the course of your research.

Depending on what ways make the most sense for a target account to be approached, your ad campaign may include a number of different elements. For example, you may want to focus on emails and web copy for one target account, while creating direct mail, whitepapers, and case studies for another. The elements of ABM campaigns need to be completely customized to each of your target accounts, so make sure your sales and marketing teams spend sufficient time preparing before each of your ABM campaigns is launched.

Inbound Marketing and Account-Based Marketing

One aspect of account-based marketing that shouldn’t be overlooked is inbound marketing. This is a marketing and sales strategy which focuses on creating valuable content to attract customers. While this may initially sound like a different type of marketing methodology, a good inbound strategy can be the perfect complement to ABM strategies.

Combining inbound marketing and ABM Tools

The reason inbound marketing can be so effective for account-based marketing is the fact that it focuses on creating a stronger relationship with the customer. The content that’s developed for inbound marketing is all about providing valuable information to the customer instead of reaching out to them with a traditional sales approach. Essentially, it allows you to demonstrate your company’s value to your highest value accounts through thoughtful and meaningful marketing efforts.

With inbound marketing, you’re not just selling them on a product or service. Instead, you’re providing useful information that engages the customers by aligning with their needs and goals.

This pairs will with the sales and marketing alignment required for a solid ABM strategy because it focuses on a tailored approach to serve potential clients rather than a traditional sales cycle that relies on casting a wide net and making cold calls. It’s a marketing and sales method that’s much better for achieving conversions and increasing revenue for your company.

HubSpot for Inbound Marketing

One of the best ABM tools for implementing your inbound and ABM strategy is HubSpot. Widely known as one of the most powerful marketing and sales tools available today, it also happens to be one of the most intuitive ABM tools. This marketing hub and sales platform has a number of important benefits to offer in your quest to convert your target accounts into loyal customers.

Customer relationship management

Also known as CRM, customer relationship management is an important inbound marketing and ABM tool. Marketing and sales teams can use HubSpot’s built-in CRM as a a way to compile their research about their target accounts into one convenient platform that’s accessible by all members.

Each target account profile can be used to track communication with contacts at the company, make notes on the best approaches for inbound marketing, and access individual ABM reports with tips for demonstrating value to the customer. This part of the HubSpot CRM platform is absolutely crucial to the success of the sales team.

Marketing automation

Once you’ve determined which marketing and sales strategies are best suited to each target account, you can automate your ABM efforts using HubSpot tools. It’s a great way to create an organized workflow for when messages should be sent out and how to personalize them to each of your target accounts.

As you develop new ideas, your existing ABM efforts will continue to be tracked in the HubSpot CRM platform. This marketing hub helps to ensure that sales reps know exactly where you stand with each potential client and gives marketers ideas for developing new approaches for your target accounts.

Sales enablement

The sales team is sure to be busy once your ABM strategy goes into effect. To help them as they approach your target accounts, make sure they have access to the sales features through HubSpot.

This platform essentially creates a pipeline that your account-based marketing staff can use as a guide throughout the process. It provides simple answers to common sales and marketing questions that are sure to come up along the way as you approach each of your target accounts.

Lead attribution

Analytics are an absolutely vital part of any inbound marketing and account-based marketing strategy. In addition to crafting customized campaigns for your target accounts, it’s important to conduct the proper follow-up to see what type of payoff your marketing and sales efforts have delivered.

Fortunately, HubSpot offers the detailed data you need. The target accounts dashboard allows you to understand your ROI in more detail. It provides insight into how each of your target accounts contributes to your overall marketing and sales goals. Monitoring target account activity is intuitive and easy with these ABM tools.

Working with ABM HubSpot Partners

Finding the right account based marketing tools, like HubSpot, is a great step in improving your sales and marketing results. But coming up with detailed strategies to implement with these ABM tools is another type of challenge.

Fortunately, you can work with a HubSpot partner like Quaintise in order to achieve your desired results. Although HubSpot is intuitive, it’s also a very sophisticated platform, and our HubSpot channel consultants can help you navigate your ABM reports dashboard and other elements of the CRM software.

HubSpot partner benefits

When you work with Quaintise, you’ll get access to inbound marketing strategists who can can assist with identifying and researching your target accounts. Rather than taking months to figure out which potential customers to approach, our account planning team can help you speed up the process so you can get closer to your sales goals much faster.

And when it’s time to actually put your account-based marketing strategy to the test, our implementation team is ready to get to work. This team includes graphic designers, web developers, and other marketing experts who can help you create the tailored campaigns you need for each high-value account. In addition, our account coordinators will make sure each strategy is implemented as planned, freeing up your marketing and sales teams to work on other projects as needed.

If you’re interested in gaining high-value target accounts and maximizing your marketing budget, get in touch with Quaintise today. We’re the only certified HubSpot agency partner in California dedicated exclusively to the health, medical, and wellness industry, and we can help you get a leg up on the competition with quality ABM and inbound marketing tools.