How Does ABM Work?

Digital marketing is a growing industry that is full of opportunity, and many companies, as well as self-employed individuals, are getting better acquainted with the different strategies and concurrent lingo needed to ensure their business’ success. Perhaps the highest trending digital marketing schema on all social media platforms is ABM, short for Account-Based Marketing.

So, how exactly does this rather complicated sounding acronym work?

Essentially, ABM is a business-to-business – commonly referred to as B2B – a marketing strategy that focuses on identifying companies or accounts that match your ideal clients and targets the key decision-makers with personalized messages and content through marketing and advertising campaigns. It functions in the same way as creating a Pinterest board would, except that someone else is curating the content you see, and encouraging you to look into new products or services that perhaps you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Most B2B marketers nowadays actively increase their account based marketing programs, devoting huge swaths of their staff to the sole purpose of expanding upon this strategy. Funny enough, as recently as 2015 this was not the case. But now most analysts and industry insiders have noted that the staffing dedicated to implementing ABM is up by more than 70%.

While this strategic “headhunting” to help create new audiences for particular products seems incredibly promising, it is also exceptionally demanding. Imagine your marketing strategy as a sort of bodybuilder drinking five energy drinks in a row – if that doesn’t result in a trip to the hospital, it would mean a very wired and extremely energetic athlete. ABM in its essence means constantly focusing and refocusing your efforts on the highest number of important accounts that would eventually impact your bottom line. Therefore, creating a highly customized and personal campaign for each potential user of the product is key to the ABM strategy. By that same token, it also means that sucks quite a lot in terms of human capacity and financial resources.

Quick Breakdown of the Process

The first step in employing an effective ABM strategy is to accurately define what the strategic accounts are; sort of like designing different personas or avatars for whom you’d like potential users to be. The qualitative and quantitative research that goes into this phase of outlining the process is incredibly vital to the success of the next few steps.

Second is actually creating the personalized messaging for the content in question, bearing in mind that the design and aesthetics of the campaign is the “meat” that brings new clients into the fold – so that is definitely not an area in which to scrimp and save. In this Instagram-ready world, the more visually appealing a marketing campaign is, the better.

Finally, before executing your campaign, some time needs to go into researching the proper channels for your campaign – should you use a social media platform? Or a search engine? Depending on the demographics and nature of the product, the marketing team would have to choose the appropriate channels available in the digital world for promotional and advertising purposes.

Is it Worth It?

Well, it certainly seems to be the case. Several studies have shown that companies which have employed account-based marketing strategies have seen as much as a 90% increase in responsive audiences for these campaigns, as opposed to others who have employed more traditional B2B schemes.

That being said, ABM is not a one-size-fits-all situation for all companies or independent business owners. Given the manpower required to ensure its effectiveness, ABM is typically employed at large companies employing about a thousand employees altogether. Or, companies whose messaging or product already have a selective, built-in audience might not require it as much. At the same time, it has been proven to effectively kick-off the sales process exponentially, and its usage – even in a targeted, time-sensitive manner alongside other marketing strategies – can ensure the long-term sustainability and fiscal health of a new service or product.