What is Account-Based Marketing?
get link Any smart B2B salesperson knows that focusing your sales efforts on highly qualified prospects yields greater results. And marketers know their salespeople are rarely happy with the quality of the leads they get from marketing. But account-based marketing flips the sales funnel so that marketing and sales each concentrate on the same prospects. By combining account-based marketing with content marketing, companies can shorten their sales cycle, lower their marketing costs and increase revenue through better targeting and more personalized messaging.
The Growth of Account-Based Marketing
click here The Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) first coined the phrase “account-based marketing” in 2004, but its roots go back to the mid-1980s when many companies began to use personalized targeting and messaging in direct mail advertising. After spiking in 2006, interest in account-based marketing remained under the radar until 2015, but now appears to be growing at a steady pace due to venture capital investments in technology providers, increased access to real-time demographic and firmographic data, and targeting capabilities made possible by programmatic media buying platforms.
While enterprise-level sales organizations were the first to adopt account-based marketing strategies, access to deeper customer insights in marketing automation platforms is widening its use, as is the increased commoditization of services. With price as the only obvious differentiator in commoditized markets, companies are turning to account-based marketing as a way to focus on their strengths, demonstrate expertise and justify increased margins.
Pre-Qualification is the Key to Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing is simple in design. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best, account-based marketing focuses marketing and sales efforts on a select group of ideal prospects based on a company’s most profitable clients. In this way, leads are “pre-qualified” before marketing efforts begin, eliminating waste and improving the productivity of sales and marketing.
Focusing on a more defined audience also allows for the creation of more targeted messaging that enhances the customer experience and shortens the buying cycle. When combined with a content marketing strategy, account-based marketing is an excellent way for companies to focus on their key strengths in servicing a select group of businesses rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
Account-Based Display Advertising
Several companies now offer account-based advertising solutions that allow companies to serve highly targeted display ads to a select group of key prospects (as few as 100). Account-based advertising allows smaller B2B organizations with the same opportunity to build and maintain awareness of their products and services at a limited cost so that outbound sales efforts like emails and calls will be more productive.
Account-based display advertising is also an excellent way to amplify existing content marketing programs by providing additional reach and frequency beyond email marketing and social media – in particular for companies with limited social reach. It can also be used to drive website traffic and build email subscriptions for businesses that lack a scalable email marketing list.
Account-Based Marketing vs Search Engine Marketing
Account-based advertising differs from organic and paid search because it reaches top prospects who may not be aware of your services and are not actively searching for them. Unlike search engine marketing that relies on user-initiated searches, account-based advertising is an “above-the-funnel” awareness strategy that generates demand. Companies can generate awareness for business challenges, of which their prospects might not be aware, and then offer solutions through content on their website. Visitors from the advertising campaign can be identified, tracked and sent to sales for follow up in real time.
Building an Account-Based Marketing Solution
Account-based marketing and advertising solutions provide a unique opportunity for B2B marketers to get the best value out of their marketing efforts by aligning their marketing and sales activities around key accounts while improving the customer experience and shortening the sales cycle. Our team is especially adept at using technology to drive business development, and we’d welcome the opportunity to help you implement an account-based marketing program for your organization. If you’re interested in learning more, just complete our contact form and we’ll be sure to follow-up with you.
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