Senior Account Manager
Posted on May 28, 2019
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account based marketing (ABM) uses micro-targeted content to nurture a specifically identified audience known as the ‘buying committee’. The buying committee is the individual or group of individuals that make the purchase decisions within companies or accounts you want to target.
As opposed to marketing your content to everyone, ABM focuses on targeting only these top prospects with influence over purchase decisions, using highly relevant and compelling messaging.
Achieving ABM success through LinkedIn and social selling
In order to execute a successful ABM plan, the buying committee of your targeted accounts must be identified. Social selling through networks like LinkedIn are the key to uncovering your buying committee, and also provide the perfect platform to engage, influence and nurture your ideal audience.
As success is fundamentally built on strong relationships, social selling uses your social network to find and nurture relationships within your buying committee, building trust through engagement and ultimately paving the way for that prospect to become a customer
Tools like LinkedIn Campaign Manager and Sales Navigator are perfectly placed to help marketing and sales teams gain new contacts, uncover influencers, identify decision makers and ultimately reach their buying committees with relevant and highly targeted content
One of the key benefits of using LinkedIn to execute an ABM plan, aside from the networking and prospecting opportunities, is the ability to build micro-targeted audiences. LinkedIn is the only social platform where ads can be served to an audience based on their job title or job function, or indeed the company they work for. Couple this with some highly personalised messaging and you have the ability to reach the right stakeholders and speed up the sales process by engaging with them from the get go.
Considerations for a different approach
ABM is not a campaign methodology. It a strategic initiative that demands careful planning and commitment to execute successfully. Whilst many businesses within the Financial Services have typically divided sales and marketing efforts into two distinct responsibilities, an ABM approach requires total support and collaboration between the two teams and a seamless transition as initial inquiries move further down the sales funnel.
ABM also challenges marketers to think differently about their content, as messaging will need to reach far and wide within a single organisation, unite the members of the buying committee and collectively move them further down the path to purchase at every marketing and sales touchpoint.
Finally, in order to measure the effectiveness of an ABM plan, we must forget traditional metrics like website traffic or click-through rates and think more about the impact and value the activity has on the revenue pipeline. For example, have we improved our coverage by identifying more members of the buying committee? When we hold events, how many people from the buying committee attended? How long is the prospect spending on the phone or in face to face meetings with us?
It’s by understanding and measuring these metrics that we can assess the value of our activity, with the aim of generating higher revenues, within a shorter space of time, by being more selective over who we target and nurture.
The future of ABM in the financial services
ABM isn’t a passing trend. According to a survey published by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, 84% of businesses report that ABM delivers a higher ROI for them than any other type of marketing activity. This ROI also compounds itself over time, as insights into your ABM performance will help identify content channels and strategies that are the most effective at moving prospects down the funnel. These insights can also reveal areas where your content or approach with prospects is failing to gain traction, allowing you to asses and optimise as you go.
So over a relatively short period of time, ABM has the ability to increase conversion rates and drive a better ROI. The question is whether marketers and sales people can align and challenge themselves to think differently about their approach, the messaging they craft and who indeed they craft if for as well as how they measure success.
If you would like to discuss the benefits of account based marketing in greater depth or need help improving your social media strategy, we would love to hear from you.