Since its existence, Account Based Marketing (ABM) has changed the marketing game, helping B2B marketers tailor operations relevant to the target audience with the effective use of B2B data solutions and data intelligence. It has completely overhauled how B2B enterprises acquire and manage customer accounts.
(Read more about Account-Based Marketing and the benefits of ABM for B2B enterprises here)
No wonder 87% of B2B marketers surveyed by ITSMA reported that their ABM initiatives outperform their other marketing investments in terms of ROI. But the hard truth behind ABM is that while it is easy to understand, implementing it into the B2B sales and marketing strategy is complex.
To give an example of the complex nature of ABM – marketers need to make a start by keeping the focus on the correct accounts a business needs to target. Finding the right targets, in itself, is an uphill battle for many businesses. Not to forget, various misconceptions can affect the success rate of an ABM strategy.
However, organizations can clear some of the common problems if they know the pitfalls. We have made a list of ABM mistakes that organizations must avoid to tread the path of a successful ABM strategy.
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Mistake 1: Failing to prepare an Ideal Target Customer Profile
Account-Based Marketing is all about identifying the right target accounts. Before you begin the identification process, you must define the important criteria. This will allow you to narrow down your focus.
You’re making a big mistake if you’re looking for an account without a criteria list. This can be a barrier to boosting ABM conversion rate.
Outline your ideal target customer. Some questions that may help you refine the criteria are:
- Which industry do they work in?
- How many employees do they have?
- How much money does the company make?
- Which key company decision-makers are you looking for?
- Which product or service do you wish to offer them?
- What are their main concerns?
Answering these questions will help you determine the type of organization with which you want to do business. Once you’ve chosen your criteria, you can use LinkedIn to learn more about companies you may be interested in.
Mistake 2: Failure to create relevant content
Once you have identified the right prospects, the next step is to engage them. To do this, sending random content may not help you achieve your desired conversion rate.
The essence of an ABM solution lies in finding the right accounts and tailoring the narrative to the needs and pain points of the audience. You should reconsider your B2B content syndication strategy if you are sending random, mass-produced content. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work here.
Concentrate on the pain points of your chosen accounts and create content that addresses these issues. You can also create content for an organization or even specific industry decision-makers. Another strategy is to create a content syndication strategy based on the customer journey. This will allow you to create content that moves B2B sales leads from one stage of the funnel to the next.
This ABM strategy can help you increase traffic, nurture leads, and increase conversion rates.
Mistake 3: Operating in a Silo
If your sales and marketing teams are not aligned, your ABM strategy will not yield a good conversion rate. The best ABM strategy combines all efforts to achieve the best results. To succeed with an ABM strategy, aligning your sales and marketing departments is essential. But how do companies bring both teams on a similar path?
To begin with, share extensive information about your existing customers with both teams. It would be best if you encouraged them to investigate similar accounts having similar revenue, size, or belonging to the same industry.
Furthermore, they should have access to crucial insights like customer behavior, sales performance, competitor research, and more. They must also be able to integrate the information, including sales performance, customer behaviors, and competitive and market research.
A perfect collaboration between the sales and marketing teams will give them a more comprehensive view of the customer journey and consider all crucial metrics.
Mistake 4: Expecting instant results
ABM isn’t a quick-fix strategy that will increase your conversion rate in a matter of weeks. B2B buyers devote a significant amount of time researching a product. Because impulse purchases are uncommon here, the entire buying journey is longer than is typical in the B2C funnel.
That is one of the reasons why expecting ABM results overnight and making such assumptions is not recommended. Even if you successfully identify and engage with the right prospects, closing the deal can take time.
Expectations must be set right from the beginning itself. ABM is a long-term strategy that will involve consistent effort and time investment. You must publish personalized content across multiple channels and target it to reach the right audience.
ABM may even generate fewer leads than traditional marketing methods. The main difference is that the leads obtained through ABM will be qualified leads. You can enhance the conversion rate better if you nurture them over time. So, be patient and ready to commit to ABM for the long haul.
Mistake 5: Inadequate Testing
Are you working on an ABM strategy and expecting it to work immediately? You might get disappointed. ABM, like most marketing strategies, is based on trial and error. It is all about learning while doing it.
You cannot begin working on an ABM campaign and then discontinue tracking or testing it together. This strategy is bound to fail. Instead, implement your strategy and monitor how your target audience responds to it.
Assume you have created a visually appealing social media ad about your product or service and assume it generates a high number of clicks, but the response falls short of your expectations. Maybe, it’s time to change your strategy. ABM campaigns need constant monitoring, so you need to place relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the progress of your ABM campaign.
Testing is essential to hone your ABM strategy and increase conversion rates. Every test you run will provide information about what resonates with your target audience. It also allows you to assess the effectiveness of your ABM campaign easily.
The best way to improve your ABM strategy and optimize ABM campaigns is to analyze the responses you receive. The more time and effort you put into testing, the better your chances of increased conversion rate.
Mistake 6: Not understanding the importance of data technology
Deploying ABM is not easy. ABM campaigns have a better chance of working when accompanied by infrastructure and a data management strategy throughout the process. The infrastructure includes several relevant and useful Martech tools that align well with short and long-term marketing goals. B2B companies must realize the value of these Martech tools in formulating an ABM strategy.
Start looking for tools that can be integrated with your existing systems, as they will help you track and report better. Organizations can use a reliable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that can help automate a few tasks, customizing emails, insights into performances, etc.
At the core, the three essentials of Account-based Marketing are: Data, content, and focus. The right kind of clean, accurate, and updated data can help select the right accounts. Great content can help reach the accounts effectively. Lastly, the more you focus, the greater the chances of success.
All of this will help you understand your target audience, which is the foundation of an effective account-based marketing campaign. While it can help you get more leads and increase your conversion rate, your efforts will be futile if you are not strategic in your efforts. If you are making any of the mistakes listed in this post, it is time to correct them.
If you want help building robust ABM campaigns and unlocking new sales opportunities, you can contact us at Binary Demand, a data-led demand generation company, for expert advice.