Account Based Marketing: Its Value to Marketers and How to Get It Right
Assigning value to each touchpoint in a buyer’s decision journey, also known as attribution, allows a marketer to truly understand the impact each campaign has on customers. Although marketers know that attribution can provide value, most face challenges when trying to stitch together the data and use it to inform their strategy. B2B marketers are no different and have their own unique set of obstacles that not all attribution models can address.
Overall, there is plenty of complexity surrounding the B2B purchase process. According to Harvard Business Review, an average of 6.8 people are now involved in the buying process (compared to 5.4 two years ago), requiring marketers to influence a wide range of roles within an organization. Since a B2B marketer is dealing with a wide scope of potential buyers within one company, being able to accurately attribute a customer’s top-of-funnel activity to a conversion from both a sales and marketing standpoint allows both teams to be more successful.
Account based marketing (ABM) requires companies to shift their focus from pulling in as many leads as possible to a more targeted strategy: identifying the accounts deemed desirable as clients, and sharing content based on their pain points and needs. When done correctly, ABM enables your sales and marketing strategies to be more efficient and effective. Below are two key components ABM marketers need to master to see success.
The first step of ABM marketing is tying individuals to a company identity. Due to the complexity of B2B marketing, using a last-click or even multi-touch attribution model is often insufficient.
For example, Company A could send John, a human resources representative at a small company, a sell sheet describing its technology software. If John becomes interested in it, John may forward Company A’s sell sheet to his manager, Sandy. Sandy may then propose the new technology to the company’s finance team for final approval and purchasing. Without ABM, Company A would miss that John was the actual first interaction and instead think the finance team’s final visit to their website converted the small company.
With ABM, marketers are able to tie together efforts and measure the cost per lead at a company-level, rather than an individual-level. This allows B2B marketers to gain a complete understanding of its first interactions with an individual buyer. Doing so reduces the disproportionate amount of time many spend focusing on converting the buyer with “bottom-of-the-funnel” efforts and provides a better picture of their true ROI.
Once a marketer is able to identify and measure against the accounts they want to target, introducing IP-based matching allows you to reach them. By connecting IP-matching technology with a web analytics platform, a B2B marketer is able to associate individual web visits to the company they work for.
This data allows marketers to serve all people who work at a specific company for further targeting, and enable scaling across different sized teams. It can also allow a marketing team to personalize the messages according to industry and experience. Another tactic, geotargeting, allows marketers to customize messages by location.
It's essential for B2B marketers to consider the long, complicated path to purchase and address the complexity using ABM. With ABM, marketers can better understand a campaign’s impact by getting a full view of which touchpoints pushed a customer to purchase. To learn more about how ABM can help improve efficiency and effectiveness in your marketing plan, reach out to Rise.