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Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing: Complementary?

Account-based marketing et Inbound marketing: complémentaires?

Every entrepreneur or business development representative has once said to themselves: “If only I could get this account, or sign this enterprise as a client, it would make all the difference!” Now, with the help of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategic account marketing, this wish can become a reality with a good strategy and the right tools!

Most qualified leads are the fruit of a strong B2B marketing strategy. Account-based Marketing and Inbound marketing are often the two different approaches that enterprises use to gain new clients. Which strategy is the best for you? Maybe you should use both?

What is Account-based marketing?

At its origin, Account-based marketing played the role of a key accounts manager completely dedicated to client enterprise. Its objective was to create and maintain the relationship and bond of trust throughout time. This strategy has evolved over the years and is now much more structured and accessible.

ABM consists of concentrating one’s efforts on a well-defined number of high value-adding prospects with the help of personalized marketing tactics. These prospects are the enterprises that are most susceptible to be converted into buyers, become partners, or simply enterprises that you want to win over.

During the ABM process, the marketing and sales teams’ actions are harmonized and oriented towards the same predetermined target accounts. The combination of these two teams’ work will produce the desired performance. This means that you can reach the key deciders in a more direct way. This strategy must include more personalized content which you will broadcast on strategically-chosen channels according to what your target identifies with.

The ABM strategy works best if you are part of a specific B2B market. It is easier to find the accounts you want to work with, find the most efficient ways to reach them, attract new accounts, and as a result generate the creation of new leads. Account-based marketing will specifically target the prospect that the enterprise wants to win over and create hyper-personalized content to maintain the relationship until conversion.

ABM works in the opposite way of Inbound marketing. To put it simply, the objective of Inbound Marketing is to create pertinent content in order to attract prospects towards your enterprise, to then invite them to engage with your brand and grow the relationship through pertinent and useful content. The goal will then be to refine targeting and bring a large portion of these contacts to become prospects, and, ultimately, loyal customers and brand ambassadors.

abm vs inbound - pyramids english

Steps to Follow for a Winning ABM Strategy

The success of an Account-based marketing strategy is determined by its structure. The marketing and sales teams’ have to bring their efforts together in order to reach a common objective. ABM requires personalized treatment. Here are some quick tips to help you get started.

1. Clearly Define the Target Accounts

First of all, you have to determine the target accounts that you want to reach and establish your objectives upstream. The more you know about your target, the more personalized your campaign will be. It is therefore very important to find out everything there is to know about the enterprise and its deciders. All the demographic data (industry, size of the enterprise, location, revenues, etc.) have to be researched, the strategic data and the probability of the deciders being interested by the solutions proposed as well.

A little bit of research on Google, LinkedIn, or on specialized websites will allow you to identify the deciders and influencers of these key target accounts. Ultimately, these enterprises need to be treated like personas. It is clear that good quality, convincing, and personalized content will play a crucial role in reaching your objectives.

2. Choose the right Channels for your Targets

You know who you want to reach, you’ve done your research, and you now understand where they spend their time online: it’s time to build a good strategy! It is very important to identify what your targets consume in terms of social media, blogs, research platforms, and other digital products. It’s up to you to properly determine how you will target them and on which channel it is most appropriate to do so.

The objective is to be present and visible where it is pertinent to be; you need the right message at the right time. In B2B marketing, LinkedIn often represents a channel of choice, but it is up to you to do your homework and properly analyze your target contacts’ behavior. Make sure you promote your content well on the adequate channels.

3. Produce Quality and Personalized Content

Account-based Marketing requires you to propose personalized content to your target enterprises and their deciders in order to align with their needs and expectations. ABM’s success mainly relies on the creation and broadcasting of hyper-personalized content. Creativity is key in an ABM strategy. Your content must speak directly to the problems your prospects have. It illustrates how you can resolve their current problems. You will need to find the right angle of approach and format (emails, blog articles, case studies, white paper, video, webinar, infographics, etc.).

It is extremely important to reach the right person at the right time. Creating a unique experience will make you stand out positively from your competitors and will make you more memorable to your target. They must feel like every one of your messages was written specifically for them.

An issue you will face will be to always keep in mind the multiple personas of your targets and deciders. Concentrate on your main ones to start with, and with time you will be able to create more content for a larger number of key players. Writing personalized emails and using automation and personalization tools will be your greatest allies in the preparation of your content strategy.

 

4. Measure the Results Obtained

As for every marketing campaign, you have determined the objectives to reach from the start, ideally basing yourself on the S.M.A.R.T model (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and temporally defined). Here are some ideas of points to analyze:

  • Website visits starting from the target account 
  • Content engagement rate
  • The number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
  • Length of the sales cycle
  • The return on investment
  • Concluded transaction rate
  • Average size of the transactions 
  • % of new inscriptions to the newsletter
  • Number of meetings obtained by the representatives
  • % of emails opened per campaign
  • % increase in sales revenues, etc.

Powerful tools are available to allow you to track and analyze the results in real time. Analyzing the data, ROI, and KPIs will give you the best information possible on the return of your Account-based marketing campaigns and allow you to determine what works and what needs to be adjusted.

5. Restart!

Once you have properly analyzed the first campaign, you will be able to identify the actions that worked best and what you need to improve. Don’t think everything will be perfect on the first try! Keep in mind that ABM is a long-term investment; one of the keys to its success is consistency. Account-based marketing has the potential to produce impressive results and drive your growth.

Why not pair the two B2B marketing strategies?

If you are a B2B enterprise, maybe you are wondering if an ABM or Inbound Marketing strategy is more appropriate. With a good methodology, the two approaches can coexist and even complete each other in order to produce great results.

When we look at the Inbound marketing funnel, we attract a larger number of prospects to then maintain and convert. Whereas with ABM, we specially select the targets we want to maintain and convert. The combination of these two strategies is the perfect scenario if you want to increase the number of prospects while building privileged relationships with certain of them.

Furthermore, your marketing content can easily be reused in other strategies with a few modifications according to the case. This way of doing things will assuredly reduce costs, as all the efforts will be directed towards the targets that are already interested.

In this scenario, Inbound marketing will generate a large quantity of leads and ABM will be able to focus on the highest-value prospects. By combining the two strategies, you will have the best of both worlds. Regardless of the approach you adopt, the most important thing is to always keep the client at the center of your strategy and make them feel understood, considered, and unique.

Having the right tools to drive the success of your campaigns

In a world where everything is connected, from consumers to enterprises, it is very important to be able to collect the right data and use it to its full potential in order to produce conclusive results during your campaigns. The sales and marketing teams have to come together and share the information they collect. They have to work together. This can take up a lot of your time and resources. A platform that regroups prospect management and sales, as well as the marketing campaigns and their tools, is ideal to be able to properly administer and optimize your resources. Finding a tool that will allow you to automate more marketing actions, personalize your content, and collect as much information as possible is the ultimate software to implement for your teams.

Combining Marketing Hub and Sales Hub from HubSpot is the ideal solution. The functionalities of the two softwares will allow you to execute a perfect marketing campaign!

Sign up for a free HubSpot demonstration!

Finally, why limit yourself when good strategies, marketing automation tools, and content creation tools could allow you to increase your number of leads? They also provide more personalized targeting for your value-added accounts. The experts at Globalia will help you to build your hybrid strategy using HubSpot Sales and Marketing in order to generate leads and personalize your approach with your prospects. You will be giving yourself everything you need to ensure that you reach your objectives!