Imagine the ease of business when you sell your product to a prospect who is already looking for your product. Such is the principle of Account-Based Marketing – you pitch your product to the best-fitting existing client – no playing around, no wasting time on unqualified leads, only direct business.
Account Based Marketing focuses on high-value accounts in a business. The strategy works by creating personalized buying experiences centered around relationship-building and persistent suggestions to deliver a consistent customer experience and eventually drive conversions. Sounds efficient, right?
However, considering the scale and complexities of B2B marketing, a vanilla ABM strategy is only suitable for some businesses, not all. Accordingly, ABM has been classified into 4 major types to suit different business needs, which we will look into next.
The 4 types of ABM
There are, in fact, more ways than four to categorize ABM strategies, but we will stick to the main types for the sake of our article inclining more toward the B2B market:
1. Strategic ABM (One-to-One):
This is the most personalized and resource-intensive form of ABM. It involves meticulously tailoring campaigns and engagement efforts to individual high-value accounts. Imagine hand-crafting a unique experience for each VIP guest at your event. Think detailed research, personalized content, and dedicated sales and marketing teams catering to specific needs.
2. ABM Lite (One-to-Few):
This is a scaled-down version of strategic ABM, targeting a small group of accounts with similar characteristics and challenges. Campaigns still involve personalization but with a bit more automation and less individualized attention compared to one-to-one. Picture hosting a smaller dinner party for key clients, with some customized elements but a more group-focused approach.
3. Programmatic ABM (One-to-Many):
This type leverages technology and data(programmatic advertising) to target larger segments of accounts with some level of personalization. Think sophisticated online advertising tailored to specific buyer personas within your target audiences. It uses automation and real-time optimization to deliver relevant messages across channels like display, video, and social media.
4. Account-Based Engagement (ABE):
This focuses on nurturing and engaging existing high-value customers to deepen relationships, upsell opportunities, and prevent churn. It’s like treating your loyal patrons to exclusive events and personalized offers to keep them coming back for more. Each type of ABM has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for you will depend on your resources, target accounts, and goals.
A point to note here is that these types aren’t mutually exclusive, and you can often combine elements of different approaches to create a hybrid strategy that’s perfectly tailored to your needs.
Now that we have briefly been introduced to the possibilities of ABM, let’s shift our focus to the hero of this article, Programmatic Account-based Marketing or one-to-many ABM. Since it is not as hyper-personalized as 1-to-1 or 1-to-few accounts and not as broad as ABE, it can be utilized for a wider reach when it comes to the accounts you target. It also offers the most cost-effective option for businesses and it’s great for scaling B2B marketing campaigns. Let’s learn more about Programmatic or one-to-many ABM.
How Can B2B Companies With Large Target Accounts Benefit From Programmatic ABM?
B2B companies with large target accounts can reap significant benefits from programmatic or one-to-many ABM that harnesses programmatic advertising technology to personalize engagement with high-value accounts at scale. Here are some key ways it can be advantageous:
- Hyper-Personalization and Precision:
- Precise Targeting: One-to-many ABM allows granular targeting based on firmographics, technographics, buying intent data, and more. This ensures your ads reach the right decision-makers within your target accounts, minimizing wasted impressions.
- Dynamic Creative Optimization: Programmatic platforms can personalize ad creatives in real-time based on individual accounts or even specific personas within those accounts. Imagine showing case studies relevant to their industry challenges or personalized messaging addressing their pain points.
- Scalability and Efficiency:
- Reach Broadly and Engage Deeply: With programmatic ABM, you can cast a wide net across multiple channels (display, video, social, etc.) while still maintaining personalized experiences for each account. This ensures consistent messaging and brand exposure across their digital touchpoints.
- Optimize Campaign Performance: Programmatic platforms offer data-driven insights into campaign performance, allowing you to continuously refine targeting, messaging, and budget allocation for maximum impact.
- Enhanced Collaboration and ROI:
- Sales and Marketing Alignment: Programmatic ABM fosters closer collaboration between sales and marketing by providing both teams with shared targeting data and real-time campaign performance metrics. This alignment ensures a seamless customer journey for target accounts.
- Measurable Impact and ROI: Programmatic ABM offers clear attribution models, allowing you to track campaign impact on key metrics like website visits, engagement, and ultimately, revenue generated from target accounts. This data-driven approach helps justify budget allocation and demonstrate ROI.
Here are some additional benefits specific to large target accounts:
- Reduce Complexity: Managing ABM campaigns for numerous large accounts can be overwhelming. Programmatic platforms automate many manual tasks, saving time and resources.
- Nurture Multiple Decision-Makers: Large accounts often involve multiple decision-makers. Programmatic ABM allows you to personalize messaging and content for different personas within the same account, ensuring everyone feels heard and engaged.
- Drive Pipeline Acceleration: With efficient lead scoring and nurturing capabilities, programmatic ABM can move qualified leads from target accounts through the sales funnel faster, resulting in quicker deal closures.
What Other Businesses Can Benefit from Programmatic ABM?
Several types of businesses and organizations can benefit from programmatic ABM, depending on their goals and circumstances. Here are some key groups:
- Marketing teams seeking efficiency and scale: If your marketing team is stretched thin but you still want to reach a wider audience with personalized ABM campaigns, programmatic ABM can be a game-changer. The automation and optimization capabilities free up resources for higher-level tasks while still delivering targeted messages.
- Businesses with strong data infrastructure: One-to-many ABM relies heavily on accurate and comprehensive data to identify and segment your target audience. Companies with existing data sets on firmographics, technographics, and online behavior are well-positioned to leverage the potential of programmatic ABM.
- Organizations with established sales and marketing alignment: One-to-many ABM works best when sales and marketing teams are on the same page. Clear communication and understanding of shared goals are crucial to ensure personalized messaging aligns with sales efforts and leads to effective conversion.
- Companies with moderate to high marketing budgets: While programmatic ABM can be more cost-effective than traditional one-to-one ABM in the long run, it still requires an investment in technology and data resources. This may not be feasible for smaller businesses with limited budgets.
Here are some additional situations where programmatic ABM might be particularly beneficial:
- Launching a new product or service targeting specific industries or verticals.
- Re-engaging dormant or lost accounts.
- Building awareness and brand recognition among key decision-makers.
- Supporting existing sales efforts with additional touchpoints and information.
Remember, programmatic ABM is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Carefully evaluate your target audience, resources, and goals before deciding if it’s the right approach for your business.