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ABM for Manufacturing: 3 Key Strategies You Can’t Ignore

Account-based marketing

A key insight that has emerged from the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and consequently extended lockdown is that businesses all over the world have realized they cannot depend on a single source of manufacturing. Several countries encourage in-house manufacturing, which indirectly creates an exciting opportunity to explore new marketing solutions. 

With the manufacturing sector coming up in full swing, marketers and sales teams in the manufacturing industry must look at new approaches to improve and speed up their sales cycles, grow their revenue, and simultaneously work on improving customer delight. Since Account-Based Marketing, a new approach under B2B marketing checks off all goals on a marketing team’s list, more businesses are actively looking to adopt the ABM approach. This article highlights the three key strategies under account-based marketing, how it benefits your manufacturing business and why you must not ignore them. 

But first, let us answer the burning question. What is Account-Based Marketing?

In a nutshell, Account-Based Marketing is a funnel or filter-based approach that will zero in on accounts or customers with the highest potential of closing and will focus their marketing efforts through targeted marketing strategies on those accounts. Essentially, Account-Based Marketing tactics use data analytics to drive marketing strategies and initiate personalization and sometimes hyper-personalization at scale. Account-Based Marketing can prove to be highly beneficial for manufacturing businesses. For starters, it creates more high potential and better quality opportunities, it reduces the time and effort on cold calls and directs those resources on sure-shot targets, and additionally, it generates more business from existing customers. 

If you are a digital marketer for a manufacturing business and plan to implement the ABM approach to market your organization, you need to keep three crucial ABM strategies in mind.  

Cash in low-hanging fruit first. Make that list. 

Account-based marketing treats each customer as an individual account. You need a list or a database of clients that are currently associated with your manufacturing business. You also need a list of potential clients that fit your ideal customer profile. Once you have a list of your existing and potential clients, you need to filter out the accounts with the highest likelihood of closing. This practice essentially gives you a shortlist of high-quality leads. Once you have your sure-shot leads, you can hyper-personalize your marketing and communication tactics toward these accounts. 

Account-based marketing allows you to cash in low-hanging fruit, so your existing customers become your first choice of targeting. Let’s say your business is introducing a new product. Through account-based marketing, you can target existing customers, personalize the communication, and essentially beta test the product to understand how well it works in your closest circle. Based on the data derived from this exercise, your team can craft marketing and communication strategies for the next set of potential customers. This also gives your existing customers an advantage, and they stay ahead of their competition, creating a win-win for both parties. 

Target the trade shows. Prepare raw data for the future. 

With the pandemic restrictions lifting, trade shows and B2B exhibitions are making a comeback, not just within the country but also internationally. Trade shows won’t just allow you to make new connections; they will provide you with first-hand information. You can use this raw data in the future to analyze which shows give you the best leads and focus your marketing strategies towards those events. Attending trade shows allows your business to categorize customers according to your ideal customer profile. Knowing the list of regular trade show attendees will allow your business to customize and drive pre-event engagements for your customer circle. Additionally, your marketing team can specifically interact with select attendees during trade shows and target ad campaigns toward those customers after the show to reinforce the communication. 

Work on reducing the sales cycle duration—no more silos. 

It is common knowledge that the manufacturing sales cycles can be exhaustingly lengthy. Completing a sales cycle can take anywhere from weeks to months. Customers from larger organizations tend to have several levels of hierarchy as compared to smaller organizations. This leads to relatively longer sales cycles as approvals are needed from each level of the hierarchy. Because account-based marketing is not a linear process, your marketing team will be continually engaging with the stakeholders to create top-of-the-mind recall. Fundamentally, your business’s marketing and sales teams will work in collaboration to generate sales opportunities and reinforce their messaging through every possible avenue. This will reduce bottlenecks, continually reassure stakeholders of the solution, and reduce the time to close a sales cycle. 

Still, thinking if Account-Based Marketing services are the right choice for your manufacturing business? Can it bring in the money? In terms of higher returns, yes. In a study by ITSMA, a whopping 85% of marketers who measured ROI found that an account-based marketing approach can generate higher returns than any other B2B marketing approach. Because account-based marketing involves reaching out to your ideal customer profile with a higher likelihood of conversion, it is highly effective. At this point, account-based marketing is quickly becoming a tried and tested approach with an upward trajectory of positive results. More manufacturing businesses are likely to jump on the ABM bandwagon, and your organization must make the most of this marketing trend and optimize account-based marketing for the best returns. 

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