Maybe you’ve stumbled across this term before. Maybe you’re grabbing your marketing dictionary (I’ll save you the trouble, don’t worry!). What is account-based marketing (ABM)? What does it replace? Does it replace anything at all? Can a B2B marketing agency use it?
As people change, so too must marketing. Marketing, the process of selling a product or service, requires adaptation.
With the creation of the mail system, telephones, TVs and email, mass marketing grew. Blasting the same message to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people became possible.
Don’t get me wrong — saving time and money is great. But as mass marketing continues to grow, so does the chance of your message getting diluted. Message focus and audience size are inversely related — to reach more people less often, you need an accessible message. But to reach fewer people more, you need a focused message.
So, what’s better? Depending on your situation, both are viable. Generally speaking, consumer marketing thrives on mass marketing. But, B2B can too!
How B2B differs from B2C
There’s more at stake for B2B buyers than B2C consumers. If B2B buyers choose the wrong solution or product, they could lose their job. That means they do plenty of research before making a decision. They want to work with a company they can trust — a company that will follow through on its promises. And, most important, they need to know that the company’s product offering will meet their exact needs.
Is account-based marketing right for a B2B marketing agency?
Alright, time to answer the question. Why should a B2B marketing agency (or any B2B marketer) move to account-based marketing? ABM focuses on individual prospects, offering them customized messaging and related service offerings.
For a B2B marketing agency, this means taking an individual account, thoroughly analyzing its market and position, and offering something of significant value. For example, you could offer an analysis of the client’s competition, a website redesign, etc.
Compared to mass marketing, account-based marketing will require a larger investment of time and money. But the results are worth it. By customizing your marketing materials to buyer needs, you engage in a more meaningful conversation and gain the trust of your prospects. You show them how your products or solutions directly meet their needs.
An individualized strategy
Account-based marketing plays into the trend of individualized attention. You individually focus on targeted accounts, rather than casting a wide marketing net.
ABM is not the be-all and end-all of B2B marketing, though. It’s a single strategy. Mass marketing (outbound marketing) is still needed. Inbound marketing — attracting prospects to you — is still needed. These strategies are not contradictory; they’re complementary. For a B2B marketing agency, using inbound and outbound gives you much more flexibility and ultimately makes your tactics more effective.