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Account Based Marketing

For many companies, the approach to lead generation follows the concept of the traditional marketing funnel.  It starts with casting the net wide to attract as many potential prospects as possible into the top of the funnel using demand generation techniques, segregating them according to their interest level and then nurturing them through the funnel until the qualified leads pop out at the bottom of the funnel.

“Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.” – Jeff Bullas

There is nothing wrong with this approach but for some companies, especially if they are looking for prospects in a niche vertical, there is a more efficient way of approaching the lead generation challenge.

The alternative approach is to literally turn the Traditional marketing funnel on its head.  Rather than broadcasting your marketing message to a large audience in the hope of reaching the few companies that you want to work with – with an account based strategy, you start by identifying the companies you want to work with and then broaden this out to include all of the people directly or indirectly working for these companies who may influence the sale.

This approach is known as Account Based Marketing (ABM).

David Ogilvy summed it up nicely when he said: “Don’t count the people you reach; reach the people that count.”

Account-based marketing (ABM) uses exceptionally targeted, personalised campaigns to market to specific accounts or groups of people. These are often larger accounts with more than 1,000 employees. The marketing message you put out is based on the needs and characteristics of this group of people.

-Lead Generation Blogs-

How can account-based marketing benefit my business?

The benefits of using ABM to target a specific but smaller number of accounts, as opposed to targeting everyone and hoping that some of the leads will convert, are clear. Some 97% of marketers said that ABM had higher ROI than other marketing activities, while 89% of marketers saw an improvement in conversion rates of the pipeline to closed deals for ABM accounts versus non-ABM accounts.

ABM  allows you to analyse these campaigns more easily as there are fewer, more targeted campaigns, and draw clearer conclusions that you can then use to improve future campaigns.

How can I implement ABM at my business?

As ABM requires a more targeted, personalised approach, it has traditionally been a more expensive way to operate marketing campaigns. This has changed with the advancements in digital marketing solutions that WSI’s digital blueprint, for example, can offer and improvements in marketing strategies brought about by the ease in which you can now identify prospects through digital tools such as LinkedIn.

When you are targeting enterprises, there are usually multiple decision makers and influencers involved in each deal – in fact according to research by our partner Drift, typically 17 people are involved in an enterprise deal. It’s important to identify who makes the decisions and how. At WSI we run a very comprehensive executive training programme for sales teams which leverages LinkedIn and other marketing tools to identify contacts within a specific organisation using their function and title. We help sales executives to zero in on contacts with seniority both in terms of their role and their tenure within the organisation.

For example, let’s say I wanted to market employment law services to HR managers at Apple Corporation in the UK. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator quickly gives me a list of 244 employees based in the UK who hold that role at Apple.

How to Generate Leads

Once you’ve identified the right contacts then you need to come up with a solid plan for interacting with these highly influential individuals. This includes using valuable content and messaging that explains how you can solve their challenges.

At WSI, we have developed an executive coaching programme that specifically leverages LinkedIn to help sales and marketing teams develop an ABM strategy and execute the resulting programme of work. Account based marketing is not for every organisation but it is a tactic we always evaluate when we are helping companies develop their Lead Generation strategy.