Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy focused on the marketing opportunities found in your existing customer base and identifying potential customers similar to your existing customer base.
How Does ABM Work?
An ABM strategy is a highly-personalized effort to focus on two targeted groups. The first group is made of new contacts at different divisions of organizations who are already your customers. The second group is made of companies with matching business qualities that are similar to the customers you already have.
ABM has a narrow focus that cost-effectively uses marketing resources, which may result in a quicker close and easier sale.
When to Use ABM
ABM is the appropriate strategy if your sales and marketing teams collaborate with customers to make sales and if you offer high-value products or services.
ABM is useful if your prospects have these characteristics:
- They can help your company build industry credibility within a specific niche.
- They have the potential to contract for outsized deals.
- They offer the possibility of selling to divisions within a company, branch locations with a chain, or subsidiary companies.
- There are similar and multiple requests for proposals (RFPs). If possible, automate the proposal production process by reusing key components.
- The sale requires a long, complex purchase-evaluation process.
Implementation of ABM
The ABM process starts by building an ideal client profile (ICP). An ICP is an imagined organization composed of characteristics identified from research on your existing customers.
ICPs include characteristics that allow prospects to fit into categories that identify market segments, such as:
- Grouped by industry type or vertical
- Size of the organization
- Structure of the organization
- Budget level
Make a list of the best existing customers. Consider all the factors contributing to the customer lifetime value (CLV), such as the annual budget for purchases, profits, average customer lifespan, and customer satisfaction.
After creating the ICB, use it as a model to evaluate your prospects for ABM accounts by taking these steps:
- Evaluate your accounts, especially those in the marketing/sales pipeline.
- Evaluate recently closed deals for the possibility of an up-sell, cross-sell, adding more services to the contract, and creating a similar agreement with other divisions or subsidiaries.
- Evaluate prospects who connected, engaged, and did not close to set up another marketing attempt.
- Analyze contacts and social media followers for connections to high-value accounts.
- Attend trade shows and industry events to make high-value contacts that meet ICB criteria.
- Review niches or verticals that offer significant opportunities to identify key players that would increase your credibility in the marketplace. Then, seek contacts at those companies.
Ad retargeting uses a browser cookie to track web visitors who come to your website but click away before conversion or engaging in a transaction. The cookie triggers the display of targeted advertisements as the user continues to search and interact with other websites online. This method gets the message repeatedly in front of a user in your target audience. This user has already shown interest in your products and services by visiting your website.
The Demise of Third-Party Cookies
Due to privacy concerns, Google’s Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox announced the phase-out of third-party cookies in their browsers. By 2023, marketers will no longer be able to use them.
This change increases the value of direct engagement with customers. First-party data will become the new treasure. Consumers will have the choice to consent to the use of their data and will need to be encouraged to give personal data, such as using email signup, in exchange for access to published content on platforms they trust. Retargeting will still be possible but more limited and direct when using first-party data.
McKinsey reports that up to $10 billion in annual ad revenue from programmatic advertising, which depends on third-party cookies, will disappear. To replace this, the needed first-party data may be gathered through contextual targeting, required email registrations to access content, or by using paywalls. Probabilistic audience modeling offers some usefulness because it incorporates an array of unknown data elements.
Publishers now need to manage consumer relationships. Valuable content must be exchanged for personal data in a process that relies on trust between the parties. The concept of a “walled garden” increases in importance.
A walled garden is a programmatic advertising platform that carries its advertising inventory and manages the entire process of selling ads, serving ads, tracking ads, and measuring the results. It is a closed system where publishers offer a full advertising platform. It is a complete marketing stack for advertisers but limited to the websites within the walled garden. Customer data collected in the walled garden stays there.
Big changes are coming to programmatic advertising in 2023, causing many companies to reevaluate their first-party customer data systems, providing opportunities for ABM system design and implementation. Talk with the experts at Laveh about these changes. Use the webform or call 617.657.9966 to begin the conversation.