- ABM: An Overview
- Trends and Predictions Driving the ABM Industry
- ABM Strategies for Personalized Marketing
- What is Demand Generation?
- Future of ABM: Convergence with Demand Generation
Marketing a business can be a tough grind. After all, it needs extensive effort and time to get more eyes on your brand. Even after building a well-planned lead generation campaign, you may wonder why you get low-quality or non-existent leads.
The question is: Is your target audience aware of what you’re selling?
Here’s where demand generation comes into the picture.
Think of brands that offer free, informative content – blog posts, infographics, white papers, e-books, infographics, or social media posts. Even free trials of tools. Anyone will find it hard to refuse free stuff. These brands establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche by offering free and accessible content. As more people come across such content, they are eager to learn about the brand and its offerings.
The result? Increased brand awareness and greater demand for its products and services.
So, when does account-based marketing (ABM) enter the picture?
ABM works further down the funnel to target high-value customers and nurtures leads. Successful B2B marketers use ABM and demand gen as part of their overall marketing efforts.
ABM: An Overview
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing approach that combines sales and marketing to target high-value accounts. ABM marketing strategies focus on capturing the attention of high-value accounts and turning them into customers.
Why are modern B2B marketers pushing for it?
Check out these numbers. The average email click-through rate is 2.02%, while the average e-commerce conversion rates through social media marketing campaigns are between 0.1-6.8%. If we talk about the B2B industry, the average conversion rate across the board is only 2.23%.
These tried and tested marketing strategies often fail to achieve the desired results – mainly because they cast a wide net to fit the target audience’s needs but are not sure what will work out.
That’s where ABM becomes a game changer.
Instead of focusing on random leads, ABM eyes high-value accounts with longer sales cycles and sizeable deals. It goes beyond lead generation to gain a more holistic understanding of the buyer’s journey. The sales team identifies the high-value accounts, and the marketing team puts together campaigns that target the accounts with hyper-personalized content. ABM helps B2B companies drive revenue and achieve higher value outcomes by focusing on larger accounts.
Trends and Predictions Driving the ABM Industry
ABM is evolving as new technologies and solutions help B2B companies take their marketing efforts to the next level. By 2027, the ABM market value is projected to reach $1750 million with a CAGR of 12%, driven by the need to shift from conventional lead generation tactics to more holistic and targeted marketing strategies.
Let’s look at some present trends dominating B2B digital marketing strategies:
- More businesses are adopting data-centric and marketing automation methods to streamline and optimize account targeting.
Marketing and sales teams can use predictive analytics, behavioral & intent data, firmographic data, and technographic data to support ABM strategies.
- Global digitalization and the growth of virtual communication prompt B2B marketers to take a multichannel approach to engage potential customers.
Personalized web content, email marketing, AI-powered chatbots, and paid advertising are taking over in-person interactions.
- Personalized messaging and content hold the center stage in today’s account-based marketing campaigns.
B2B marketers are using data-driven tools to understand target accounts’ interests and preferences. It maximizes the content’s impact by delivering tailored experiences that suit individual buyer personas.
- Successful ABM thrives on the use of relevant tools and technologies.
With data becoming the most significant asset for businesses, ABM campaigns are using intelligent tools and technologies like CRM, marketing automation, content syndication, measurement, reporting tools, etc.
- Measuring the accurate ROI from ABM campaigns has become paramount.
Since traditional measurement tools give only a partial understanding of how campaigns are performing, B2B marketers are now turning to KPIs like win rate, contribution to pipeline, account engagement score, and pipeline velocity to measure the success of ABM strategies.
Here are a few predictions on account-based marketing that will change the marketing game further.
- There will be a rise in executive buy-in and ROI
Ad personalization will increase to reduce wastage. Marketers will dedicate higher budgets to support ABM campaigns.
- Intent data will be at the core of marketing strategies
With third-party cookies making way for new and less invasive targeted advertising technologies, B2B intent data will become more critical to driving conversion and sales.
- Omnichannel ABM will gain traction
From CRM and marketing automation to multi-channel digital advertising and analytics, omnichannel ABM will drive stronger engagement, bigger deals, shorter sales cycles, and better returns.
- Brands will combine demand gen and ABM practices
While demand gen is critical to expanding the base of qualified leads, ABM is more effective in targeting specific customers. Marketers will combine both to drive sales while continually building demand.
ABM Strategies for Personalized Marketing
According to market leaders, recent years have witnessed a massive cultural shift in how people engage with brands through technologies and social platforms. There has been a constant evolution of account based marketing as new tools and technologies are emerging to help B2B companies personalize their marketing efforts further.
B2B firms can implement the following proven strategies to strengthen their account-based marketing:
- Build an account-based marketing team
An ABM team must have an account leader at the helm. They create ABM goals and educate the team about ABM practices. Sales experts in the team must be responsible for selecting target accounts, and support executives can focus on identifying new opportunities.
- Target and choose the right accounts
A successful ABM strategy depends on proper account selection. Helping you reach the right audience shortens the sales cycle and conversion time.
- Align sales and marketing
Aligning your sales and marketing strategies helps maximize your efforts, helping you gain high-value leads and close deals faster. A well-planned ABM strategy lets marketing and sales executives focus resources and actions on targeted accounts. It helps minimize costs significantly.
- Bridge the divide between demand gen and ABM
While demand gen will help you attract leads, ABM targets specific accounts with high growth potential. If you’re looking at long-term lead nurturing and pipeline building with closing high-value deals, include both demand gen and ABM as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is another marketing strategy that focuses on a different area of the marketing spectrum – brand awareness to nurture quality leads. It has a slightly different objective from lead generation.
Demand generation tries to build interest around the brand, so prospective leads explore and stay engaged with the brand. This initial interest and engagement can help leads enter the purchase cycle. On the other hand, lead generation seeks to convert prospects directly into qualified leads.
So, how does ABM come into this mix?
Along with creating brand awareness, nurturing high-quality leads is critical for successfully executing a demand gen strategy. This is where the marketing and sales teams come together to guide the lead through the buying journey. At this stage, an integrated ABM strategy can help understand the target account and evaluate their expectations, needs, and pain points to create a personalized marketing approach.
Around 70% of marketers used the ABM strategy in 2021. One of the top goals of ABM has been new business generation, as per 90% of the companies. Integration of demand generation and personalized account-based marketing can help in business growth and long-term customer retention.
Future of ABM: Convergence with Demand Generation
As per Demand Gen reports, 57% of B2B marketers are looking to blend demand gen initiatives with ABM strategies. A driving factor for this is: while both are different strategies, ABM can serve as a stage in the demand gen strategy and help nurture high-quality leads.
- A tailored sales and marketing approach
Demand generation focuses on the top of the funnel by creating awareness among prospective leads. The intent of demand generation does not end at getting people interested; it also creates data sets that can be used further down the funnel. So, while the sales team can work on the data to close a lead, the marketing team can create a personalized experience for high-quality accounts across every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Effective campaigning
A successful demand gen strategy indicates the next steps of a buyer in their purchasing journey. These indicators are known as downstream intent signals. A blended marketing approach to these intent signals can help develop effective personalized campaigns while leading the buyer deeper into the marketing funnel.
- Charting specific data-driven persona
Creating a buyer persona is crucial for any brand. The sales and marketing teams can create a specific buyer persona using data sets acquired from demand generation. More qualified leads can be brought into the marketing funnel with the help of demand gen. However, ABM can narrow down the leads to high-quality accounts and build ideal buyer personas accordingly.
This powerful marketing blend can generate qualified leads, boost ROI, and build long-term relationships with high-quality accounts.
In the coming years, demand-generation strategies will help B2B companies increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and increase revenue. Demand generation and ABM overlap significantly, as both approaches emphasize lead nurturing and maintaining constant contact with prospects and customers.
To be future-ready, marketers must plan by analyzing past and present trends while optimizing the strategies that have worked well so far. As we move toward 2023, it’s crucial to analyze the outcome of current lead generation campaigns, as these insights will help design innovative strategies in the coming years.
Do you need guidance on enriching your ABM and Demand Gen efforts? If yes, book a free consultation with an expert Smarketer today!