what is account based marketing

Account Based Marketing, ABM and Key Account Marketing – you can call it what you want, but what exactly does this term mean and how does it fit into your marketing strategy? 

Let's start with the most essential: account based marketing (ABM) is a marketing strategy that helps you reach specific people in the companies you are most interested in collaborating with.

This way, ABM fits well within any inbound marketing campaign because the focus is on attracting the right people using custom and personalised content – not by pushing a message into their face.

Account Based Marketing is a strategy where you target your decision makers and individuals in a business by sending them relevant content. You use inbound techniques to spark the recipient's interest, regardless of the business you're targeting, business size, geographic location, budget, or other factors.

Combining account based marketing with inbound marketing and inbound sales helps you find the companies you want to work with, and start collaborating with them.


Inbound Marketing and Account Based Marketing – How Are They Connected?

Key account targeting, as it was called earlier, has long been considered a relatively costly and labour-intensive way of selling the business to potential customers. However, many have included it as part of their strategy because it opens up for the chance to work with valuable customers and build stronger relationships with them.

Combining ABM with inbound marketing gives you a strategy that makes the process more affordable and efficient – focusing on generating high-quality leads, improving communication toward prospects, and building relationships in a way that isn’t perceived as interfering with the recipient.

"Instead of looking at all the people you want to attract, focus on specific businesses and individuals you think will get as much benefit from working with you as you will get from working with them."

There are many advantages to using an account based marketing strategy along with an inbound strategy:

  • Better collaboration between the marketing department and the sales department

  • Building stronger relationships with customers who are considered to be the most valuable for your business

  • Setting up better-targeted campaigns with a greater focus on ROI

  • Reducing the time it takes to market and care for your most valuable leads

  • Reducing the time it takes to guide a lead through the full sales funnel

One of the biggest challenges many businesses face is the collaboration between marketing and sales. This is the very core of inbound sales: to get the two departments to work together to achieve better results together.

And here, account based sales (ABS) come into play. What is the difference between inbound sales and ABS? While a typical inbound sales strategy is aimed at improving sales performance and productivity in the sales department by working closely with the marketing department to ensure more qualified and educated leads, account based sales involve the following:

  • Identifying decision makers in specific businesses and finding out which people are best to contact – i.e. those who can say yes to a collaboration

  • While creating content is also essential in the inbound process, ABS is even more about personalising the communication with various decision makers in the company to spark their interest through landing pages, videos, blogs and more.

  • Building relationships on decision makers' terms through discrete outreach techniques, such as social selling where you provide relevant content to specific individuals in different businesses you want to work with.


Which businesses can benefit from account based marketing?

Is account based marketing a good fit for all businesses? Probably not, but it suits many.

Account based marketing fits particularly well for those companies that already have a basic understanding of inbound marketing. Why? Because they can build on this strategy by merging it with account based marketing.

Larger B2B companies often also see great benefits from implementing account based marketing. They typically have longer sales processes and ABM can, therefore. help them better target the most valuable prospects that are a good match for the company. This provides better collaboration, more qualified prospects, and shorter sales processes.

For large companies that have both long and complex sales processes, account based marketing can help them become more efficient and attract companies of their own size.

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