Discover more about account based marketing, and what it can do for your B2B sales.

Account based marketing is the strategy of targeting companies, not just the individuals within them.

Imagine the COO of your target company is grabbing a coffee before heading back to their desk for an appointment with one of your sales reps. They bump into a colleague and mention their next appointment in passing. Does this colleague know about you and your service? If they do they might make an affirming comment, offer an opinion or ask to be updated on the outcome…

We can’t know exactly what the COO’s coffee plans are, or know the exact nature of the internal interactions that might influence decision-making. But we do know that the more people in your target organisation that are aware of your products and services, the more receptive they are likely to be when your sales team reaches out.

Account based marketing aims to reach all the people within an organisation that might have an influence on the decision-making process and doesn’t just focus on high-ranking individual decision-makers.

The goals of account based marketing

The goals of account based marketing can be broken down into three main categories:

  • Acquisition
    • Find new prospects within an existing or newly targeted organisation.
    • Spread awareness and create opportunities before the sales team reach out directly.
  • Acceleration
    • Accelerate deals by growing the excitement around your brand across the organisation.
    • Revive stalled deals. Approaching the blockage through different mediums and reaching out to more people who may influence.
  • Expansion
    • Maintain interest and help retain existing customers.
    • Upsell / cross-sell with new offers from your brand.

How is account based marketing different?

Traditionally, B2B campaigns might focus on reaching individuals in commissioning roles within a relevant industry, then educate them about the product. For example, targeting all COOs in Fintech with a SaaS product and encouraging them to download a paper, read a blog post, watch a video or start a trial/demo. The hope is that they will pursue their interest, share their details and become a hot lead for your sales team.

In account based marketing the focus is narrower – at company rather than industry level – but the audience is broader. ABM targets multiple people within the same company, whether or not they are one of the key decision-makers. The goal is to educate as many people in the company as possible about the problems their organisation is facing and the solutions being offered, so that awareness of the brand offer is heightened throughout. This approach acknowledges the complexity of commissioning decisions and the fact that the impetus for purchase could potentially come from many different individuals within an organisation.

Which tools are most commonly used for account based marketing?

It is estimated that as much as 70% of the decision-making process happens before decision-makers voluntarily deanonymize themselves (i.e., get in touch and share their personal details). They may well have visited your website or read a brochure or watched a demo, but they haven’t yet reached out personally.

Luckily, there is now a range of tools on the market to help deanonymize people who interact with your content online, and to target those people within the relevant companies.

IP deanonymisation tools

We can get information about which company a user is visiting your site from using IP deanonymisation. There are several IP deanonymisation tools that offer this service along with further information about the companies identified and the people within them. This becomes a valuable source of new leads and new companies to target with ABM.

Social platforms

Social platforms also help us find out more about those companies and the people and roles within them, then to target them with focused campaigns. Account based marketing campaigns are usually ‘push campaigns’ through platforms with this relevant company-level information. Most importantly through LinkedIn or Xing, though other social media platforms are used, especially Facebook – where many individual profiles also have company-level information.

Why is account based marketing so useful for B2B marketers?

There are lots of reasons why taking a holistic approach to targeting companies as potential accounts, rather than focusing on individuals can make B2B campaigns faster and more successful. It is an approach that recognises the limits of our ability as B2B marketers or even sales reps to fully understand the dynamics of internal purchase decisions within another company.

The purchase process is often complex and can take a long time to come to fruition. A big company might have many employees involved, perhaps with pressure for change coming from below as well as above. We can’t always second guess who it is that might just ‘put the right word in’ at the right moment to tip the balance in our favour.

With this opacity in the decision-making matrix of your target firms, the case for mounting broader brand and awareness campaigns becomes compelling. This is true not only for securing that initial sale but also for maintaining your reputation within a company after purchase, and improving retention, re-selling or cross-selling.

The more employees you can reach with relevant content, the surer you can be that no opportunity is missed to influence this or future decisions about your brand.

Learning more about account based marketing

If you want to know more about how to use the latest technology to mount focused account based marketing campaigns, then get in touch with our team of experts at Bizmut. We can help you with the whole strategy from deanonymizing visitors, to scoring target companies, setting goals for your campaigns and choosing the best content for your account based marketing.