ABM continues to gain momentum in the B2B space – because it’s highly effective when it’s done right. However, there are some misconceptions about what Account-Based Marketing really means and how it works.
Sounds like it’s about time to bring in the Myth Busters, especially about one misconception in particular: ABM is just an ad strategy. It’s time to set the record straight.
ABM Beyond Ads
ABM is a full approach, not just an ad strategy. It truly requires a mindset change, because many companies or agencies hear about it and think it’s a magical button to boosting the funnel and increasing sales.
Although ABM can be a successful approach, it’s not a quick-fix answer to all of your marketing and sales woes. It takes a lot of time and effort in order to plan and implement.
Here’s a tough truth: you can’t just throw ads out into the universe and expect that deals will close the next day. Even if your targeting approaches are spot on in your niche industry, your accounts likely require more touches for you to get your message across effectively. That’s why it’s important to continually keep our approach relevant and personalized at every turn.
No, Account-Based Marketing isn’t just ads, so how do you increase ABM engagement?
What is a Comprehensive ABM Strategy?
A comprehensive ABM strategy involves reaching your target accounts in a holistic way by reaching them through multiple channels. When you see ABM through a multi-channel approach, you have to consider human behavior. What is going to influence a decision-maker to move through the funnel?
The old adage about the rule of 7 for a prospect to see a marketing message a certain number of times before making a buying decision can still ring true, but we now have more channels and methods than ever to extend that reach.
How to Choose Your ABM Channels
Within an ABM strategy, each of your target accounts is made up of unique individuals who intake information through a variety of ways. Just like you might wake up in the morning and read up on marketing blogs before scrolling through LinkedIn, but you don’t like to spend much time on Facebook, you have preferences that define you. The same goes for your prospects: they get to decide where they spend time.
It is imperative to take an omni-channel approach to ABM: you should be surrounding your accounts in all areas where B2B leads will have a chance to see how your solution solves their very real problem. If you rely on one channel for your audiences, you’re very likely to miss or fall short.
Check out these channels as a starting point to building your multi-touch ABM campaign:
- Paid Advertising:
- Paid social
- Social Media
- LinkedIn ABM campaign
- Email marketing
- Traditional efforts:
- Mailers/ gifts
- Trade shows
A successful ABM campaign combines a variety of channels – both inbound and outbound, digital and traditional – to reach the right accounts at the right time to move them through the funnel.
Tip: always start with research on your Ideal Client Profiles to understand more about where your ideal clients spend their time and meet them where they are. There’s no perfect approach to what channels you should use that will work every time, but a holistic approach will enable prospects to learn about you on their own terms before they’re ready to speak to sales.
Make sure that you’re also keeping marketing and sales alignment in mind so that you have a seamless process in approaching accounts, which will allow the buyer to feel supported (and not pushed) through the funnel.
ABM truly encompasses far more than meets the eye. Although it’s called Account-Based Marketing, it’s important that your organization or agency sees it holistically as part of a comprehensive business approach to building growth.
ABM requires buy-in from multiple areas within an organization, and change is tough.
Learn how to shift your teams with our guide: Transitioning Your Team to an Account-Based Mindset: A Guide for Agency Leadership