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Account-Based Marketing (ABM) for B2B Brands

You may have heard of a new(ish) term that has been floating around – ABM. Or, Account-Based Marketing. Even those of us in the marketing space, it’s a piece of jargon that isn’t entirely clear. So why is important to B2B brands?

What is Account Based Marketing?

Imagine throwing a net into the sea, hoping to catch a specific type of fish. Traditional marketing strategies work much like this. They cast a wide net to catch as many leads as possible.

However, Account Based Marketing for B2B brands is like fishing with a spear – targeting specific accounts you know have the potential for big returns. ABM flips the traditional funnel upside down by identifying key prospects or existing customer accounts and tailoring marketing efforts directly to these accounts. It’s about focusing resources on a set of target accounts within a market and designing personalised campaigns tailored to each account.

ABM is a way to market to specific companies instead of everyone. It’s a more targeted approach that can help you close more deals with high-value accounts.

Why is Account Based Marketing important for B2B brands?

Why should B2B Brands pay attention to ABM? For starters, it acknowledges that in B2B, sales cycles are longer, and purchases are often significant, involving multiple stakeholders.

ABM allows you to to nurture key accounts with personalised content and interactions. This leads to higher engagement rates, more efficient use of marketing resources, and, ultimately, a better return on investment. By aligning marketing and sales efforts towards the most promising accounts, businesses can foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with their clients.

How does it work? Here’s a Step-by-Step Approach

  1. Identify your targets:
    Identify your key audience. Here you’ll use research and analytics to begin by using data and insights to pinpoint the accounts that have the highest potential to drive revenue.
  2. Understand their challenges:
    Gather intelligence to understand the challenges, needs, and interests of these accounts to tailor your marketing approach effectively.
  3. Establish your channels and methods:
    Tailor your marketing efforts to develop customised marketing campaigns that speak directly to the unique needs and pain points of each account.
  4. Align Sales and Marketing:
    Ensure that both teams are coordinated in their efforts to engage the account, providing a unified and seamless customer experience.
  5. Test, Measure and Optimise:
    Use data to continually assess the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns and adjust strategies as needed.
Account based marketing for B2B Brands graphic text showing darts

Examples of Account Based Marketing in B2B

Let’s look at an example of how ABM works in the real B2B world. Focusing specifically on financial services marketing. Imagine a financial institution that provides financial products for Independent financial advisors (IFAs) and Discretionary Fund Managers (DFM’s). Using ABM, the company identifies specific advisors and managers as key accounts and learns about their specific challenges, for example needing highly responsive investment partner, or a wide range of products. The financial institution then crafts personalised email campaigns, targeted webinars, and exclusive white papers addressing these challenges.

As a result, the IFAs and DFAs feel understood and valued. This leads to stronger relationships and increased sales for the financial institution.

Another example could be a manufacturing equipment supplier targeting specific manufacturing plants. They might use targeted ads on LinkedIn, personalised video messages from their CEO, and an invitation to an exclusive virtual roundtable discussion on industry trends. This approach not only elevates the supplier’s brand in the eyes of their target accounts but also significantly increases the chances of closing deals.

Tips for Getting Started with ABM for B2B Brands

Embarking on an ABM journey? Here are a few tips to set you off on the right foot:

  • Choose your target
    Begin with creating an avatar (buyer persona) on your focus topic and understand what their challenges are.
  • Create your content
    Create content that is relevant to your target audience and what is most likely to appeal to them. Such as your CEO’s message, or a series of posts that solve a problem.
  • Focus on a few rather than many
    Instead of casting your net wide, focus on just one or two platforms – e.g. your website and your LinkedIn page.
  • Focus on Metrics:
    Keep an eye on engagement metrics, analytics and ROI. In a nutshell, look to see how your ABM is doing. If it’s doing well, build on that. If it’s struggling, do you need to give it more time? Or do you need to adjust your approach? With facts, you can make an educated decision, not a stab in the dark.

Account Based Marketing for B2B brands isn’t just a trend … it’s a strategic pivot to more personalised, efficient, and effective marketing efforts. By understanding and implementing this marketing approach, companies can ensure they’re not just casting wide nets in the hope of catching something but using a spear to skilfully target and win over the accounts that matter most.

We include ABM as one of the tools in our marketing toolbox when we’re creating a Brand Strategy for B2B Brands. If you’re struggling with how to position your brand then reach out to us and we’ll help you!