19.09.2023

Marketing & Growth

The power of account-based marketing: Ideas for success

20 min read

Shane

The power of account-based marketing: Ideas for success

In this article, we'll explore innovative account-based marketing ideas and strategies that can propel your business to new heights.

In the world of B2B marketing, traditional approaches often fall short of addressing the unique challenges faced by businesses. 

Many companies are now turning to account-based marketing (ABM), a strategic approach that has gained prominence in recent years for its ability to target high-value accounts, generate quality leads, and drive revenue growth.

Section

Summary

Introduction to ABM: Solving B2B challenges

ABM is introduced as a strategic approach to address unique B2B challenges.

Prerequisites for ABM success

Discusses essential prerequisites for a successful ABM program, including ICPs and CRM setup.

Harnessing the power of ABM software

Highlights the role of ABM software in addressing B2B challenges, with a focus on intent data, programmatic paid media, and CRM integration.

Enhancing the Sales and Marketing partnership

Describes how marketing provides intelligence to identify high-intent accounts.

Marketing Air Cover for sales prospecting

Explains the concept of marketing providing "air cover" for sales prospecting.

Intent-based advertising: Targeting with precision

Discusses the value of intent-based advertising in ABM, targeting in-market accounts and competitors.

Personalised experiences: Making every interaction count

Explores the use of personalised landing pages, email automation, and live chat for personalised experiences.

Realising ABM success: The GCPay case study

Presents a real-world case study of ABM success, focusing on GCPay's results.

Introduction to ABM: Solving B2B challenges

ABM is not merely a buzzword; it's a powerful method that enables businesses to address specific challenges and achieve targeted results. These challenges include:

  1. Lack of targeted focus: ABM enables organisations to focus their marketing efforts on high-potential accounts that are most likely to convert, eliminating the need to cast a wide net and target irrelevant or unqualified leads.
  2. Alignment between sales and marketing: ABM promotes close collaboration between sales and marketing teams, ensuring both departments work together to pursue the same target accounts and goals.
  3. Generic messaging: ABM allows for highly personalised and tailored messaging, ensuring that communication resonates with the specific needs and pain points of each target account.
  4. Ineffective lead generation: ABM shifts the focus from lead quantity to lead quality, improving the efficiency of lead generation efforts by concentrating on accounts with genuine interest.
  5. Long sales cycles: ABM recognises that B2B sales cycles can be lengthy. By nurturing relationships with target accounts over time, ABM can accelerate the movement of prospects through the sales funnel.
  6. Low conversion rates: ABM increases the likelihood of conversion by focusing on accounts that are already showing intent and interest in the organisation's products or services.
  7. Wasted resources: ABM optimises resource allocation by concentrating marketing efforts and budgets on high-value accounts, reducing wasted resources on unproductive leads.
  8. Difficult-to-reach decision-makers: ABM identifies and targets key decision-makers within target accounts, increasing the chances of engaging with individuals who have the authority to make purchasing decisions.
  9. Market saturation: In competitive markets, ABM allows organisations to stand out by delivering highly personalised and relevant content and experiences to target accounts.
  10. Measuring ROI: ABM provides clearer attribution and measurement of ROI by tracking engagement and conversion metrics specifically for target accounts.
  11. Adapting to complex buying committees: ABM helps navigate complex B2B buying processes by tailoring communication and engagement strategies to address the unique dynamics of each target account's buying committee.
  12. Maximising customer lifetime value: ABM focuses on nurturing long-term relationships with high-value accounts, increasing customer retention and lifetime value.

Before delving into innovative ABM ideas and strategies, there are prerequisites to consider for a successful ABM program:

Prerequisites for ABM success

  1. Identify ICPs, personas, and buyer committees: Before implementing ABM, it's crucial to identify your ideal customer profiles, understand your target personas, and recognise the key decision-makers within your prospective accounts.
  2. Configure your CRM: Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system should be configured to support your ABM program. This ensures that you have the necessary infrastructure to manage and track your targeted accounts effectively.
  3. ABM software: Investing in ABM software is essential. These tools provide critical capabilities, including intent data analysis, programmatic paid media execution, and integration with your CRM. Let's delve into these aspects in more detail.

Harnessing the power of ABM software

ABM software plays a pivotal role in executing a successful account-based marketing strategy. Here's how it can address some of the challenges mentioned above:

Intent Data: The Holy Grail of ABM

In the world of ABM, understanding your target audience's intent is akin to holding the Holy Grail. It's the key that unlocks the doors to successful campaigns, ensuring that you're investing your resources where they matter most. 

But how exactly does intent data work, and how can you use it effectively?

Imagine this scenario: you're a B2B company looking to land new accounts in a highly competitive market. 

Traditional marketing might involve casting a wide net, hoping to catch the attention of potential clients. However, ABM takes a different approach, one that is highly targeted and data-driven.

Intent data in action

To start, you import your list of target accounts into an ABM tool that can measure account intent based on the web content behaviour of employees based on topics and keywords you have identified. These are the accounts you've identified as high-value prospects. 

With this list in hand, you're ready to launch paid media campaigns (and sales outreach programmes) designed specifically for these accounts. Instead of trying to appeal to a broad audience, you're speaking directly to the accounts that are in-market.

But here's where intent data becomes invaluable. It helps you identify which accounts are actively searching for solutions in your industry. 

This is not a guessing game; it's data-driven precision. ABM tools measure if employees from an account are viewing specific topics that you specify (like PPC keywords) at an above-normal rate.

This data reveals crucial insights into the readiness of these accounts to explore and potentially invest in your solutions.

Account insights and analytics

Account insights and analytics are another important feature of ABM, letting you know which anonymous visitors are from which target account and which known account contacts are engaging with your ads, content or website.

Are certain accounts repeatedly downloading your whitepapers or requesting product demos? 

Are they spending a significant amount of time on your website, exploring your offerings? These are strong indicators of engagement. 

Both intent data and account insights should serve dual purposes. They inform your marketing strategies, guiding you to concentrate your efforts on accounts that are most likely to convert. 

Moreover, these insights should also be made available to your sales teams. 

By providing your sales teams with a prioritised list of high-intent accounts and account engagement data, you enable them to tailor their outreach efforts effectively and focus on prospects who are actively seeking solutions.

Programmatic paid media and multi-channel marketing

ABM software should offer programmatic paid media capabilities and the ability to sync audiences across various paid media channels. 

This feature empowers you to execute multi-channel marketing campaigns that resonate with different buying roles within target accounts.

By leveraging programmatic paid media, you can target accounts that you specify and not what other paid media platforms suggest and you can create audiences based on intent, engagement, and CRM data, helping you focus your efforts.

Why blow your budget and waste time on accounts that are not in-market for your solution?

Integration with CRM

Integration between your CRM system, such as HubSpot, and ABM software is critical for a seamless alignment between sales and marketing. 

It ensures that the account lists managed in your CRM are continually updated within the ABM platform. This synchronisation allows both sales and marketing teams to work from the same account lists, eliminating inconsistencies and streamlining efforts.

Now that we've covered the essential prerequisites and the power of ABM software, let's explore how ABM enhances the alignment between sales, marketing, and accounts.

Go-to sales, marketing, and account alignment

Successful ABM hinges on the alignment of sales and marketing teams, creating a united front with a shared goal: closing more deals.

Enhancing the sales and marketing partnership

In the world of ABM, marketing and sales are not separate entities with their own agendas. Instead, they work in harmony, each playing a crucial role in the journey from prospect to customer.

Marketing provides sales with intelligence to identify high-intent accounts through account scoring. 

This strategic approach ensures that marketing sets the stage and prepares the audience while sales deliver the hook, reeling in the interested parties.

By having the same KPIs, account intent and engagement data, and metric reports within your CRM, both teams are aligned in tracking progress and focusing their efforts on the same objectives.

Marketing air cover for sales prospecting

In the realm of ABM, not every account contact fills out a form or engages with your marketing campaigns. Sales teams understand this reality and are often eager to make direct outreach efforts.

However, instead of waiting for leads, marketing can provide air cover for sales prospecting. 

This means running brand awareness campaigns targeted at accounts that both marketing and sales want to close, “warming” up accounts which sales do direct outreach with or supporting sales work opportunities that have been generated. 

When sales make that crucial call, the buying committee is already aware of your brand, what you do, and the value you offer.

Intent-based advertising: targeting with precision

In the world of ABM, intent is a valuable currency. It's the key to reaching accounts that are actively in the market for your products or services. 

Intent-based advertising is a cornerstone of ABM, and here's how it can be harnessed effectively:

Spending time and money wisely on in-market accounts

Intent-based advertising allows you to allocate your marketing budget efficiently by focusing your efforts and resources on accounts that are actively seeking solutions. 

Instead of adopting the traditional marketing approach of creating marketing you hope your target account will see, ABM enables you to target only those accounts you want to reach and allows you to layer this targeting with intent data segmentation.

To put this into practice, you import your list of target accounts into your ABM tool, which measures account intent based on their behaviour. 

Accounts with a high intent score are your high-value prospects. With this intelligence, you can launch paid media campaigns tailored specifically for accounts already in-market rather than waste time and money on accounts unlikely to need your solution at this time.

Targeting existing accounts and competitor searches

Another strategic advantage of intent-based advertising is the ability to target existing customer accounts that may not be fully engaged with your offerings. 

ABM empowers you to expand into departments or segments within these accounts, effectively maximising your customer lifetime value.

Moreover, you can identify accounts that are actively researching your competitors' brands. This is a goldmine for account management teams looking to prevent churn of existing customers and is valuable when trying to close new accounts by showing your competitive difference compared to other brands.

Personalised experiences: making every interaction count

Now that you know which accounts are displaying intent, it's time to capitalise on this knowledge. Imagine sending tailored messages, content, and experiences to these accounts, addressing their specific pain points and needs.

Website and landing page personalisation

One of the most effective ABM tactics, especially when dealing with a select group of target accounts, is creating personalised landing pages

Picture this scenario: your prospect clicks on an ad and arrives at a landing page designed exclusively for their company. It's akin to rolling out the red carpet and saying, "We've been expecting you."

These personalised landing pages can be manually crafted for each account, or if you're dealing with a larger scale, there are tools and strategies to help automate the process. 

This hyper-personalisation not only grabs your prospect's attention but also significantly increases the chances of conversion. It's about making your potential clients feel special and understood.

Email automation and personalisation

Email remains a powerful communication tool in ABM. By automating your email campaigns and personalising content for different roles within the buyer committee, you can engage with your target accounts effectively. 

This level of personalisation sets you apart from competitors who are still employing generic marketing strategies.

Moreover, consider implementing live chat on your website that's bespoke for your target accounts and routes all conversations to the salesperson with whom they may have already been speaking.

This real-time interaction can further enhance the personalised experience and provide immediate assistance to potential clients.

Realising ABM success: the GCPay case study

To illustrate the tangible impact of ABM in action, let's delve into a real-world case study that exemplifies ABM success:

The GCPay case study

GCPay, a leading provider of cloud-based payment management solutions for the construction industry, partnered with Huble to overcome unique challenges through ABM.

GCPay’s challenges

GCPay faced unique challenges. Historically, the construction sector had been slow to adopt digital solutions, and GCPay had to contend with strong competition from well-established SaaS giants. Their ABM-specific challenges were:

  1. Niche market: GCPay needed to generate marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) within the highly specialised and competitive SaaS segment of construction payment management.
  2. Optimised paid media: The company aimed to strategically use paid media to target ideal-fit accounts that were pre-qualified.
  3. ABM strategy: GCPay sought a clear ABM strategy to engage high-value accounts effectively.

The ABM solution

Huble devised a comprehensive ABM strategy to address GCPay's unique challenges. 

The cornerstone of the strategy was the ABM campaign. Huble developed an ABM campaign that involved building ICP account audiences. 

They leveraged Rollworks intent data to create paid media audiences, providing invaluable sales intelligence. This approach ensured that their marketing efforts were laser-focused on the accounts most likely to convert.

ABM campaign success

Implemented from March to June 2022, the ABM campaign generated 1,760 sessions from target accounts, with 53.85% of them being new visitors. 

This campaign led to a 19% increase in deals for target accounts generated and a significant 46% increase in closed deals compared to non-ABM-generated deals.

The results speak for themselves

GCPay's partnership with Huble in executing ABM strategies yielded impressive results, with a significant increase in deals for target accounts and a remarkable 46% boost in closed deals compared to non-ABM-generated deals.

The success of GCPay's ABM campaign demonstrates the immense potential of account-based marketing in reaching high-value accounts and driving substantial revenue growth. 

Additionally, Huble helped address several other challenges GCPay faced. Read the full GCPay case study to learn more.

How Huble can help you unlock ABM potential

As demonstrated by the GCPay case study, account-based marketing is a potent strategy for reaching high-value accounts and generating substantial revenue growth. 

At Huble, we specialise in helping companies like yours develop and execute ABM strategies that deliver tangible results.

Our marketing consultancy services encompass every aspect of ABM, from identifying ideal customer profiles and account selection to creating personalised content, optimising paid media, and nurturing leads effectively.

We believe that marketing and sales should work in harmony, and our tailored strategies reflect this collaborative approach. If you're looking to unlock the full potential of ABM, reach in-market accounts, and drive revenue growth, Huble is your trusted partner.

Speak with our team to discover how we can tailor ABM ideas and strategies to your unique needs.

Not using HubSpot yet?

Book a demo with our team today.

Latest Insights

Sales & CRM

24 min read

HubSpot HIPAA compliance: everything you need to know

Explore HubSpot's HIPAA compliance. We cover the basics of HIPAA, challenges HubSpot faced, and HubSpot's new tools to meet compliance requirements.

Read more

Marketing & Growth

23 min read

Enhancing your marketing processes with HubSpot AI

Learn how you can integrate HubSpot’s AI assistants into your marketing processes to optimise your efforts and supercharge efficiency. 

Read more

Sales & CRM

27 min read

HubSpot user adoption: a comprehensive guide to boosting CRM adoption

Explore strategies, best practices, and tools to drive user adoption in HubSpot, ensuring a smooth transition and maximising user engagement.

Read more

Sales & CRM

15 min read

How to structure your marketing department for success

To keep ahead of the digital curve, companies are rethinking their marketing department. Learn how best to structure your marketing team.

Read more

Sales & CRM

45 min read

Your ultimate guide to HubSpot Website Design

Should you build your website in the HubSpot CMS? This comprehensive guide explores the benefits of moving your website to HubSpot.

Read more

Sales & CRM

37 min read

An Introduction to CRM and how it can transform your business

The vast majority of businesses aren’t getting the value from their CRM that they could be. Use this guide to make more effective CRM decisions.

Read more

Sales & CRM

31 min read

50 simple HubSpot hacks for guaranteed company growth

As a HubSpot Elite Solutions Partner, we want to make it easier for you to get started with HubSpot: 50 HubSpot hacks that you can use right now!

Read more

Marketing & Growth

10 min read

Why it might be time to consolidate marketing agencies

Learn why & when to consolidate your marketing efforts with an agency specialising in strategy, creative solutions & technical expertise.

Read more

Sales & CRM

21 min read

Business process automation: maximising CRM's growth potential

Business process automation enables your CRM to span marketing, sales & service departments and create a truly customer-centric experience.

Read more

Technical & Integrations

5 min read

HubSpot’s cookie consent banner update: What you need to know

HubSpot is updating its cookie consent banner to version 2 on July 5, 2024. Here’s what you need to know about the update & how to prepare for it.

Read more