As a strategy, Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been able to withstand the test of time, evolving with the explosive growth of the digital age. The origin of ABM can be traced back more than 20 years, when marketers recognized the need to follow a more personalized marketing approach. Technology companies were among the first in the B2B market to successfully adopt ABM, aligning their sales and marketing teams to develop relationships with high value accounts. Experts predict that ABM’s customized approach, coupled with the collaboration of sales and marketing to facilitate the buying process, will help tech companies successfully navigate another uncertain year.
Table of Contents:
- Why is ABM a good fit for technology companies?
- What makes ABM an effective strategy for 2021?
- How to create personalized content for ABM
Why is ABM a good fit for technology companies?
There are almost always multiple influencers and decision makers involved in a technology purchase.
ABM focuses on developing relationships with all of a target account’s key influencers and decision makers in order to facilitate collaborative decision-making. The personalization of ABM enables you to deliver marketing messages that address the specific needs of your stakeholders, demonstrating your understanding of their business and helping to build trust and a strong relationship.
The sales cycle for a technology purchase is very long, often 6-12 months or more.
With a goal of building relationships with multiple stakeholders, ABM works well with the long sales cycles typically associated with technology purchases. ABM may even help to shorten the sales cycle, since you're targeting accounts that you have already identified as being a good fit. Your sales and marketing teams are thereby focused on accounts that have a higher likelihood of converting to a sale versus an unqualified lead.
Technology companies have high client acquisition costs and consider client retention a significant challenge.
Technology companies that are using an ABM strategy to build and nurture long-term relationships can help limit churn and retain accounts. With ABM, the buyer is always the focus, with marketing and sales teams working together to deliver a customized purchase journey. This high level of personalization and engagement enhances the buyers’ overall experience with you and contributes to retention.
What makes ABM an effective strategy for 2021?
The need for marketing and sales teams to work in full collaboration.
The pandemic has forced organizations to change the way they interact with buyers. In-person meetings and events will continue to be replaced with virtual selling and digital marketing opportunities in 2021. To be successful, marketing and sales need to be truly integrated and work on marketing and sales initiatives as partners. “Selling and marketing have clearly changed. Marketers have had to adapt, recalibrate their activities and lean into more collaborative interactions with sales teams in a way they've not done before.” (Forbes) ABM’s intrinsic alignment of sales and marketing encourages cooperation and a good working relationship between the two teams.
Budgetary pressures and the impact on sales and revenue protection.
The economic impacts of the pandemic have tightened budgets causing companies to find more cost-effective methods of converting sales. Since ABM delivers customized campaigns targeted to key high value accounts instead of mass messaging to a large number of leads, companies utilizing ABM will spend less time and money on marketing and sales resources. According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), “87% of companies say ABM delivers higher ROI than other types of marketing.” In addition, the enhanced buyer experience delivered by ABM’s personalized approach helps companies retain buyers and protect their revenue.
Increased demand from buyers for a more personalized experience.
To help drive growth in 2021, organizations need to meet “buyers' expectations and deliver personalized experiences for each buyer”. (Forrester) Buyers are looking for content that will enable them through the decision-making process. This becomes even more important with the shift to virtual selling. ABM is able to guide buyers through the purchase process by delivering customized content that addresses their specific needs and pain points along the way. Personalized messaging will help to engage and attract the attention of target high value accounts, optimizing their experience and building a strong relationship.
How to create personalized content for ABM
Content that is customized for the buyer not only meets the buyer’s expectation for a personalized experience, it also delivers the strongest engagement. “The best performing, and most successful type of content has been customized for the account.” (Forbes) Data is pivotal to personalizing the buyers’ experience. Only when you have a comprehensive understanding of your buyer can personalization be achieved. The insights you uncover through your research will help you create personalized content that will make a real connection with your target account. Your research should:
- Identify the high value accounts you want to target by analyzing your sales data and current clients.
- Research your target accounts to determine details about the organization itself, as well as essential demographics about the key influencers and decision makers within the account.
- Determine the needs, challenges, and pain points of the target account, as well as the key individual influencers and decision makers within the account.
A customized approach that builds long-term relationships with buyers and enables them through the purchase process, ABM is primed to be a leading strategy in 2021.
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