The ABM or account-based marketing strategy refers to the strategic business approach in which every individual customer account is considered by the company to be a “market of one”.
This approach is typically used in B2B marketing. It is rooted in what’s called account awareness: the focus of a company’s marketing efforts on giving the brand notoriety and making it recognisable by one specific prospect or a small group of prospects.
What is awareness marketing?
Any good marketing strategy has amongst its points of focus the issue of brand awareness. This refers to the extent to which a brand is recognisable by its client base and target audience and involves strategies that lead to
- increased familiarity of the audience base with the brand identity
- increased notoriety and reach
- differentiation from the competition.
Typically, a brand awareness marketing campaign will take place, for the most part, on social media. This is because this set of platforms provides significant reach and a high potential for visibility alongside a varied audience. Social media marketing campaigns can therefore contribute greatly to successfully building brand awareness.
However, as we’ll see, the issue of visibility is not that significant when it comes to ABM. Nevertheless, account awareness is still ultimately important - and building it via an ABM campaign involves content.
Why is brand awareness important?
The importance of brand awareness lies in the consumer trends that have been observably replicated time and time again. Simply put, a consumer is more likely to trust a brand that’s made a name for itself as opposed to a brand that they don’t recognise or haven’t heard of. They are, therefore, much more likely to become a customer of the big-name brand.
In the case of account-based marketing, the awareness strategy is implemented in a framework of individual accounts as individual markets. In other words, brand awareness is fostered directly alongside each customer account, by way of the marketing and sales teams working together to reach out to individual accounts (leads) and turn them into customers.
How does ABM work?
The ABM strategy is different from a traditional marketing strategy in that it targets specific “accounts” - individuals or organisations - instead of a group of entities that fall under the umbrella of your target audience.
This allows you to conduct a more targeted marketing campaign that’s specific to the needs and expectations of each individual account. In other words, you will have an approach that’s specifically adapted to the handful of customer accounts you’re reaching out to.
This tailored approach will depend on the parameters of these accounts: is it a person or an organisation? Are they a potential collaborator? Is it a startup or a well-established business? What would draw them to your brand? This is what it means to consider each customer account as a “market of one”.
Your choice of this small number of accounts will rest entirely on your conviction that they would be interested in your business. Therefore, instead of implementing a strategy that’s designed to capture as many prospects as possible, you will be targeting only a handful of accounts.
The process of investing time, effort, and money to get the attention of one specific customer is by no means a new concept - it can simply be the way some people choose to do marketing. The term ABM, however, is a little more recent and can be a lot more nuanced.
ABM and content
Account-based content marketing, as opposed to traditional content marketing, does not aim at achieving more overall visibility and reach for the brand. Instead, it puts out content that specifically targets and speaks to the particular pain points of the company or companies to which it reaches out.
This means that with account-based content marketing, within a B2B framework, the content is tailored to your target company or group of companies’ anticipated needs - which means that you will need to spend time researching your target(s) and customising your approach to their specific parameters.
For example, let’s say you’re reaching out to a startup that would benefit from having your team management software as their operating system. Once you know the nature of their business and the kind of gap that they present, you can then start creating content that specifically and clearly mentions that need with which you’re planning to provide them. Therefore, the two main elements to need to be present in this content are
- The need your company is supposed to respond to and
- Your target.
In other words, an account-based marketing campaign will need to address the target by (company) name, show them you’re familiar with what they do and show them how your services can help them respond to a need they clearly have.
This is how ABM offers your customers a personalised experience and helps you improve your overall B2B strategy.
The account-based marketing strategy aims to improve your communication with your B2B contacts. It is also a way to pave a mutually beneficial relationship between your company and another company in your sector, as it allows you to reach out to them and eventually partner together on projects or events.
If your service or product can be of use to other businesses and you see that there are companies that may be interested in what you have to offer, consider going beyond the traditional methods of marketing. By implementing ABM as part of your general business approach, you can be well on your way to more strategic communication and better engagement with your prospective customers.
On welinkagencies.co.uk, you have your choice of digital marketing agencies that will assist you throughout your ABM strategy. All you need to do is specify your location and what you’re looking for, and we’ll take care of the rest.