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How to use ABM to target specific accounts and drive sales in the B2B space?

Account Based Marketing


In marketing, we have learned that a too-broad audience is not optimal or beneficial for your B2B business, and the strategy of Account Based Marketing looks to solve this problem.

In many articles and forums, experts say that the ultimate goals of digital marketing are new customer acquisition, better leads, and brand awareness. And while these three goals are 100% true and are what we usually look for in our customers, there are some differences when discussing business-to-business.

If you sell products online, then it's a necessity for you to get your items to a broader audience. So the most obvious strategy is to send your marketing message to as many people as possible so you recover all your investment from it. 

Nevertheless, if you sell your services to other companies, sometimes it isn't quantity you need, but more the quality of those accounts you want to reach out to.

Business-to-business services tend to be more expensive since we're selling to companies to help them sell more, and we can get more earnings from an only client than what business to customers companies would.

In a certain way, B2B companies must understand that the actual financial goals behind their business model aren't on sending your marketing message to as many businesses as you want but more on sending it to the right ones at the right moment, and to help you understand the value of this we'll explain why Account Based Marketing is the right strategy for you and how you can use it to drive more sales as a B2B business.

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

ABM is a B2B marketing strategy that aims to mix marketing and sales efforts to send targeted advertising with personalized content and messaging to these companies' correct accounts or high-value representatives. An Account Based Marketing strategy aims to convince those who make the purchase decisions within a company.

Nevertheless, we must point out that ABM isn't a new strategy, as B2B marketers have used it for over a decade. Still, with the latest advances, contacting the right people from those companies you want to interact with is more manageable.

This definition sounds very familiar with traditional B2B marketing, but there are critical differences between both of these. Let's see what they are.

What are the differences between traditional B2B Marketing and Account Based Marketing?

A fundamental difference between these two is that traditional B2 B Marketing strategies try to reach a broad audience while ABM is focused.

For example, if we'd use a traditional B2B marketing approach, we want to target businesses with a million dollars of revenue and try to contact their senior executives. This is a broad definition, a perfectly done one, but it isn't still account-based.

Now if we say that we want to target the top technology companies, like Apple or Microsoft, and their executives, we are basing our strategy on a more focused target, making it more explicit for us marketers to design a messaging and communication strategy to reach them according to their specific goals and preferences as a business.

This strategy proves its value as 92% of B2B companies said that ABM is "extremely" or "very" important to their marketing efforts, and ABM marketers have delivered a higher Return on Investment of 87%according to Gitnux.

This type of strategy needs a close relationship between your marketing and sales team - as we mentioned in the definition above - as the sales team can identify the top-performing accounts you should contact, and then marketing can build the right strategies to reach them.

Benefits of Account-Based Marketing.

  • Less Spillover: As your goal is to reach those specific accounts, you don't waste any effort or investment on those companies that aren't your target. As you reach fewer audiences, you can spend your efforts on the most compatible with your services.
  • Personalized and Effective Communication:  As you delimit your accounts and those to reach, you can build a more personal campaign that is more adapted to their specific needs and not to a broad and wide audience with generic messages.

Account Based Marketing Benefits.ABM Benefits.

How to implement an Account-Based Marketing strategy?

As you saw the benefits of ABM, we're sure that you are all in to apply this strategy for your business. So, let's see how to implement it into your business strategy.

Identify your prospects.

As we're doing a more selective audience study, we will define the characteristics of the companies and team members we'll reach for this first step.

To do this, we can build a profile on those ideal customers based on the following:

  • Industry.
  • Revenue: It is essential to know if they're financially qualified to pay for your services.
  • Marketing team roles: How big is it? What are their capabilities? 
  • Geography: Which countries or territories do you want to reach? 

You can use tools like the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to create a list of prospects to find new prospects. Then, go back to your list of old leads and clients, include them in the list, and finish it with the top-of-mind clients you want to target.

Create A Pilot Plan

Now that you have established what accounts you want to target, it's time to create a pilot plan to specify your objectives, goals and the best strategies to accomplish these. 

It's crucial to study your prospects deeply. Hence, you know how to personalize your messaging for them, identify which channels you can reach these accounts and then establish a standard for measuring your results.

Align with Sales 

You want to team marketing and sales together to get the most out of your ABM strategy. This part is crucial for the success of this strategy as your sales team can support you on how to reach those accounts you want to achieve.

Ensure that the sales team is involved during the pilot plan period and that they have all the tools to engage with that accounts.

Use the right tools.

Luckily, you can implement your Account Based Marketing pilot much easier with the help of the right tools. You can use platforms offering ABM features like account-based web personalization, analytics, and lead scoring.

Here is a list of some of the most effective tools for your ABM pilot:

Measure and analyze

Once you have finished your plan and have put it to the test, it is time to analyze how it went and what you can learn from it. Like any life skill, the first time, you probably won't have all the results you expect, but this pilot will be enough to build an ABM strategy that is more accurate and attached to the needs of your target accounts. Write down what has worked, save it for the next time and what hasn't, and find a way to redirect or change it. In this type of Account Based Marketing strategy, the metrics you should focus on the most are pipeline, revenue, and customer engagement to measure the success of your pilot.

Review and adjust

You obtain valuable information to redirect future campaigns by running your first ABM pilot. For example, this first pilot could give you more information on whether the type of content you planned impacts those accounts or even if you understood their needs or pain points for them to want to hire you. With all that information, you can readjust coordinates and design a new ABM strategy.


Implement Account-Based Marketing.

How to drive sales with Account-Based Marketing?

As Account Based Marketing is a strategy based on smaller groups, the biggest driver of these strategies must be the personalization of these campaigns to create strategies tailored to the needs and preferences of each account that we wish to connect.

When you create content that is so tailored to potential customers, there is an instinct in them that they can't help but open it up to even see what you have to offer for them since it's not the same campaign they've already seen so repeatedly.

In this section, we will define the best tactics to make your ABM strategy effective and thus increase sales.

Create offers designed to get meetings.

We can consider this strategy a hook for targeted accounts since many marketers usually use this strategy to generate leads from white papers or webinars.

The idea is to "throw them a hook" without expecting anything in return, and as a result of this good offer, you can establish the first contact with them to show them how you can help them and sow that seed in their minds so that they want to hire you at once. For example, an insurance company could send a video explaining why companies should care about providing health insurance to their workers and how this can help better develop their business in the long term.

The idea is that you create content or offer free consultancies in which you can have that first face-to-face contact with the great representatives of these companies to start building a business relationship between the two.

Keep your brand in front of accounts with Retargeting.

With retargeting, you can get your brand to show repeatedly on those platforms where the company's employees consume digital content. ABM software like  Demandbase can help you with this, as it has an account-based insight and targeting offering that uses IP addresses to find vendors' target accounts while browsing the internet. When one of these vendors visits a network site, the Demandbase host can retarget your advertisements on these places.

Personalize your website account experience.

Personalizing your website experience is another excellent strategy to attract those accounts and employees. To do this, you can create landing pages that are personalized according to the report and that all show a different copy and content based on the preferences of each one. Ultimately, the idea is to make each account feel special since they can value your effort and thus increase your conversion rate.

Create sales territories designed to convert.

Within your team, some members could have a close relationship with some accounts, so if they speak to them, they can augment your chances of closing a deal.

The idea of social proximity territory planning is to assign representatives of your company to specific accounts based on the quality of their social connections. This type of connection can go from selling relationships os past sales history.

Try personalized emails with executives.

Although we have endless means of communication, such as social networks, it's essential to emphasize that emails have retained their value for brands even today. Sending a direct email to an executive is an excellent option to start a business conversation between you.

However, it is good to note that most executives will not open the typical - and repetitive - emails that go directly to promote a webinar or an offer. In the case of executives, it is necessary to place a hook attractive enough so that just by seeing the header, they want to open the said email.

Discover target account connections with LinkedIn.

Believe it or not, your employees may already have connections with employees from your target accounts, and LinkedIn can help you discover this. 

LinkedIn sales navigator comes with a feature called TeamLink that shows you the connections other employees within your company have with contacts at your target accounts. You can use this to link both companies if there's already a connection between them.

Account Based Marketing- Personalized Email.

ABM Strategy.

Host events and invite people from your target accounts.

Events are the perfect places and occasions to show your potential as a brand and build relationships with all those accounts you want to reach. Whether sponsoring a roundtable or a webinar, these venues will give you the platform to interact with them face-to-face and let them get a good impression of your brand.

Final thoughts.

Account Based Marketing teaches us that "less is more" in the B2B field. It is not necessary to target so many companies if they are not the ones that are interested in us, or rather, if we are not interested in contacting them.

In this way, traditional B2B marketing could be like net fishing, where it is launched to catch endless fish regardless of their quality. Meanwhile, Account Based Marketing is more like spearfishing, where we are the ones who aim at that "prey" we want to catch and then come up with a whole plan to see it. So while the first fisherman can win $100 for catching 20 tuna, we will win $1000 for catching one shark.

Removing the metaphors from the sea, and returning to land, at Codedesign, we offer personalized advice so that you can take your business where you want and need to be. If you want more information, contact us and let's talk business!

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

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About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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