Imagine a standard sales funnel: by primary dropout, a target audience from a large number of potential customers, then one or two customers who have committed or intend to purchase are selected. And now turn up this funnel. This will be ABM approach.
Definition, History, Elements, and Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Account-Based Marketing Definition
Account-based marketing approaches are a technology of the future that uses the strategy of working with individual clients. Through the point attraction of each potential client, an individual marketing plan is formed that promotes the creation of a promoter, which will lead to several more loyal leads. The essence of sales changes its focus from the private to the general. The client becomes an account, that is, not just an individual (company), but a set of habits, preferences, activities in social media and so on. ABM marketing integrates with sales in order to establish long-term and strong ties with the customer aimed not just at a one-time purchase, but also the formation of a loyal promoter, permanent user and, in the future, a brand promoter.
Account-based marketing strategies are based on the analysis of IP clients. Each company or individual has a personal IP, to which you can deliver messages and build work with a specific client, based on his preferences and desires. Through IP, the target audience is formed; with which marketers begin to build long-term relationships: an invitation to the site, correspondence in social networks, targeted advertising, tracking activity in online stores and so on. As a result, the client gets used to useful content and connects to the correspondence with the company. The ABM strategy is long-term and requires interaction with the client for a year or more. These are not momentary sales «here and now,» but rather work for a long-term result. The client can not make a purchase at the moment, but return in a few months and in the future regularly purchase goods and services.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
- Exact targeting. This is the interaction with each individual client, pinpointing the potential audience. Account-based marketing targets not a certain audience (age, country, nationality), but the activity of IP-addresses (visiting a site, a blog, close Internet resources). No matter how old your account is, where you live, and so on, it's important that you make regular purchases on the competitor's site or once a month peeks at certain YouTube channel.
- The cheapness of technology. In the presence of modern targeted programs and automated systems of customer search, ABM becomes an almost free method of expanding the database. The cost can be reduced to almost zero if you use budget methods of interaction with the audience such as free messengers, bots, email.
- Individual approach. A modern user, first of all, appreciates a personalized attitude. The price and discounts have long ago receded into the background and ceased to have a real impact on buying activity.
- Automation of processes. Combining the efforts of the marketing department and sales department allows you to grow leads faster, close deals and reduce costs of attracting and retaining customers. ABM-strategy allows you to unite the sales department and the marketing department, which leads to attracting and retaining customers to a whole new level. Now the process is divided not into isolated stages of attraction, sale and subsequent retention, but combines the work of units in the complex, which increases the speed of development of the lead.
- Fast return on investment. Due to the point work with the customer base, the closing of transactions occurs faster, correspondingly, the effectiveness of the investments made, both financial and human, increases. When using automated systems to work with the target audience, the cost of the lead is reduced several times, as it is not required to hire new employees to communicate with each specific client.
- Analytics. ABM allows you to derive specific conclusions from the interaction with each individual client. You can try several strategies on different accounts and further create a pool of the most successful approaches. ABM allows you to draw clear conclusions, again from the general to the particular. Many marketers today consider the ABM strategy to be "raw" because of the inability to digitize the results of the work done. However, based on the experience with each individual or group of customers, it is easy to understand the effectiveness of each of the channels of attraction and retention (you can test new channels on individual users), the quality of content and so on. The data obtained allows you to accurately adjust the chosen strategy and respond faster to changes.
The History of Account-Based Marketing
The concept originated 15 years ago, however, became popular only in the last two or three years. This is due to the rapid development of social networks and automation of the main processes of attracting and retaining customers. Companies have access to unlimited information, which made it possible to "hit the target," that is, use an individual approach to building relationships through advertising, targeting, SMM, email marketing, personal messages, bots and so on.
Elements of Account-Based Marketing
Traditionally, it is possible to underline the following four elements of ABM:
- The company;
- Individual Customer;
- Sales and marketing department;
- Channel of communication.
Despite the cautious attitude of marketers and salespeople, the ABM strategy attracts more attention from business in the B2B and B2C segments. The main advantage is its relative cheapness in comparison with expensive methods of cold attraction and retention through discounts, gifts, and bonuses, which are offered at the expense of the company's profits. ABM allows you to bring relationships with customers to a new level, create entire networks of loyal users, with which you can easily build commodity-money relations after six months or a year of close communication. The approach from the private to the general is a new view of customer service, based on a deep understanding of the needs of each particular user.