B2B businesses are fast shifting their marketing campaign from the traditional method of “spray then pray”, to an account-based model. Account-based marketing, as the new strategy is called, focuses on marketing to specific accounts. Findings of SiriusDecisions’ yearly survey showed that the number of business that had adopted this strategy had doubled between 2017 and 2019. Is account-based marketing right for your SMB?
The current concern among marketers is whether small and medium-sized businesses realise the same benefits. In this article, we illustrate the benefits of account-based marketing to your SMB, how you can implement it, and the features to consider when choosing a technology solution to help you implement this strategy.
Can a SMB Implement Account-Based Marketing?
When account-based marketing came to the industry, the process was manual, tedious, and sales-driven. As a result, it was ineffective and unsustainable by small and medium-sized businesses. The advancement of digital marketing technology has made it possible for all business sizes to adopt this marketing strategy. Nevertheless, is it worth investing in if your business has less than a thousand employees?
Why Account-Based Marketing Is Ideal for Your SMB
Marketing to specific accounts instead of a large unsorted audience is perfect for your small or medium-sized business in the following ways:
Increasing Return on Investment
Money and people are precious and highly limited resources in an SMB. Going account-based ensures you put these resources where they are most necessary and where the chance of conversion is high. A 2015 study showed that the targeted accounts are 40% more likely to be won than non-targeted accounts. This will result in an increase in ROI.
More Qualified Leads
In the trawling approach of marketing, your marketing team “captures” very many leads. However, most of them will never buy, and the sales team have the arduous duty of shifting them out. With customer-based marketing, you start by finding businesses that are more likely to buy your product. Eventually, all the leads your sales team will go after are worthy, which increases sales and conversion rates.
Improved Revenue Attribution
Small and medium-sized businesses suffer from the inability to peg revenue to marketing campaigns and sales efforts. It changes when you focus on accounts rather than the elusive “market”. You can trace the source of revenue to the initiative on the account. Being able to show the fruits of these efforts will motivate the salespeople. It also increases the trust of your stakeholders in your leadership and the new strategy.
Improve Collaboration between Sales and Marketing
Having sales and marketing work together is one of the most difficult undertakings in a business. However, adopting an account-based strategy for your SMB will help bridge this gap, as they will have to collaborate on creating content for every part of the buyer’s journey. Both teams will collect and share data about the the target account. Besides, the strategy will remove competition mentality, as both will be working on the same target account, making success the result of collective effort.
Improved Customer Retention
First, let us point out that customer loyalty is almost non-existent in this age of personalised customer experiences. However, every customer would come back to a business that treats them as the only client in the market. Account-based marketing is the only strategy that guarantees this.
Promotes Business Growth
Alignment of the sales and marketing department increases conversion by about 67%. Besides, you will be utilising resources where they are needed. The combination of these two and increased customer retention will increase the ability of your business to grow and reach out to new accounts.
How SMBs Can Implement Account-Based Marketing
Implementing an account-based marketing strategy in your SMB can be an uphill task, especially if you are working on limited resources. However, there are baby steps that can help you set the stone rolling.
Carefully Identify Target Accounts
Take time with your marketing and sales executive to figure out your ideal customer profiles. You can then check the accounts in your list to figure out the ones that best fit.
You cannot rush this process, as it is the most crucial part of the entire strategy. Figure out essential details such as the company’s size, location, key decision-makers, and where they spend their time online. Also, find out any related products or services that the company and its influencers are already using.
Engage the Leads with Relevant Content
Once you know who the decision-makers are, where and how to engage them, get to work. Create personalised content that speaks to the needs and pain points of the specific section of the company. Do not send the same content to the CFO and the head of HR. Besides, always remember to market to the company, not individuals.
As a small and medium-sized business, you might lack the financial muscle to share your content on all social media platforms. Therefore, figure out platforms where the content has a high chance of visibility by the target account.
An example is where the head of finance spends 60% of their time online on Facebook, 25% on LinkedIn, and the rest on other platforms. Engaging them on Facebook will guarantee better results than on Twitter or Instagram.
Measure and Optimise
Take time to measure the impact of your strategy. Take note of the success and the reasons for the failure. Improve where necessary and re-launch your campaign.
ABM Solutions for SMBs and Key Features
As I mentioned at the beginning, implementing this strategy is possible for small to medium-sized businesses only because of technology. Choosing the right solution is not easy given the overwhelming number of solutions available. Nonetheless, there are three key features worth considering when procuring a solution.
Multi-purpose platforms: A proper solution for customer based marketing should be able to help in all the essential activities of this strategy. They are account selection, content personalisation, and performance measurement.
Integration with other solutions: The solution you opt for should allow seamless integration of complementary solutions such as content marketing, predictive software, direct mails, and others.
Cross-functional collaboration: A successful account-based marketing strategy involves tight collaboration between different departments, including sales, customer service, and marketing. You need a solution that will promote this collaboration.
Thanks to technology, SMBs can enjoy the benefits of account-based marketing. Find a solution that works for you and start your journey towards a fully-fledged account-based marketing strategy.