A budget is a crucial issue when planning to implement account-based marketing. With the traditional methods, you can fix the yearly or quarterly expenditure on marketing and then design your campaigns to fit in. With ABM, you have to figure out your needs before setting aside funds. It is important to budget for account-based marketing correctly to optimize your Return On Investment.
It would be misleading to provide you with an average cost of implementing an Account-Based Marketing strategy. Instead, we will explain the factors to consider and the steps to take when creating a budget for an ABM approach.
Factors to Consider When Budgeting for an ABM Campaign
Features of the Target Account
The essential characteristics that will affect your expenditure are:
- The size of the business: The larger the company, the more the number of stakeholders and influencers.
- The number of decision-makers: The complexity of the marketing strategy, and consequently the cost, increases with the number of influencers.
- The number of departments: Your cost of marketing rises with an increase in the number of departments affected by your product as they also have a say in the decision-making process.
Level of Brand Awareness
How much do the influencers in the target account know about your brand? What is their general perception of your product?
Developing an already existing relationship is cheaper than building a new one from scratch. However, convincing prospects who already have a negative perception requires more resources than creating new opportunities.
Level of Product Complexity
Complex products require more content to get the stakeholders to understand how it works and the benefits. The more effort you need to explain your product, the higher the cost.
Does the business need your product or service? It is hard and takes longer to convince a company that does not feel the urgency of having your product. It is even harder if it adopted an almost similar solution in the past few months.
If you have many competitors, then your campaign must be more aggressive, which implies incurring more expenditure. The same holds if these competitors already have contact with your target account.
However, before spending a fortune on fighting competition, figure out the value of the account. It will justify how much is worth spending on pursuing the prospect.
How will you engage your target audience? Which platforms will you use? Answering these questions will give you an idea of how much you will require to reach your audience on all platforms and to maintain a productive engagement.
Consider also the cost of additional marketing techniques such as seminars and other events that you might need to employ along the way.
Technology is essential when planning to deliver customised, account-based experiences. A suitable solution will provide a unified platform for launching all the stages in of your ABM strategy. DigitalCRO ABM experts can help you find a suitable ABM solution for your B2B marketing. This takes us to the final consideration.
Do you have the technology, knowledge background, and the human resource that you can depend on to launch and run account-based marketing in-house? Otherwise, you will need to recruit additional staff and spend on training the ones you have. Alternatively, you can consider the benefits of partnering with an ABM agency.
Steps Involved in Creating a Budget for Account-Based Marketing
Below are the main steps in putting together your campaign costs. You can break them into smaller steps to make it easy for your in-house team or to fit into the schedule of your Account-Based Marketing agency.
1. Select Your Trophy Accounts
Your marketing and selling teams should work together in gathering and analysing account insights before picking the customer account. The essential details besides the basic ones are the number of decision-makers, the number of relevant departments, and the size.
It is essential to have a handful of accounts, which you then take to the next step.
2. Assess the Lifetime Value of the Target Accounts
Measure the customer lifetime value (CLV) of your target accounts. Remember, that it can take three or more years of an ABM campaign to realise the full-funnel benefits of targeted marketing. Sometimes, even the highest CLV might not be worth an investment in account-based marketing.
3. Go for the Most Valuable Trophy
It is not advisable to spread yourself thin by targeting many accounts, especially when you are launching your pilot ABM campaign. For the best return on investment, go only after the targets that promise the highest value. You will take more once you have refined your ABM skills.
4. Invest in Technology
A this point, you know who your targets are, how and where to reach them. Find out the best technology that will best leverage the efforts of your team. Here is where collaborating with other agencies becomes valuable, as they have both the talent and the technology.
Outsourcing allows you to launch your campaign fast as you do not have to go through the hassle of recruiting and training a new workforce. However, whether you chose to buy or outsource, go for the best tech and expertise.
5. Get the Endorsement of Key Stakeholders
The support of the influencers in your company is essential for the financing of your marketing strategy and its future in the business. You can earn their endorsement by showing the benefits of the initiative and its contribution to the organisation’s goals.
Having a list of target account and their projected value will help justify your final budget proposal, of which a preliminary version should be ready at this stage.
Benchmarks for Measuring Your Performance
As with any investment, there is a need for constant analysis of progress and adjustments. According to the ITSMA, there are three essential Rs when measuring the success of ABM strategy. We propose that you set them as benchmarks for analysing the performance of your effort in regular intervals.
- Relationship: Has the account changed how it relates to your business or your content? Has your access to top-level executives increased?
- Reputation: Has your brand awareness increased within the target account. Have you earned the support of the target prospect for your vision, or positioning as the present or future market leader?
- Revenue: Which part of the purchasing process have your accounts reached? Have you closed any deals? Did you get a larger or smaller deal? Has the effort opened up other opportunities within the account?
Creating a budget for Account-Based Marketing takes effort and time, but the results make it worthwhile. Once your ABM campaign is running, use the three Rs, to analyse and improve your strategy. You can add other metrics to each R for better analysis.