You’re just starting out in ABM: avoid these 3 critical mistakes if you want to shine!
According to data from Similarweb, the term “ABM” accounts for more than 100,000 monthly searches on Google, an increase of 25% compared to 2021. This growth reflects a major interest in this approach, which remains, according to a DemandSpring study, the marketing tactic that “generates the most revenue”.
In this guide, the editors take a look at 3 critical mistakes to avoid if you want to succeed with your first ABM campaign in 2023.
1- “Overcharging” for the first ABM campaign
Sales and marketing teams wishing to embrace Account-Based Marketing often fall into the trap of overkill. They produce too much content, implement complex tactics and use far too many channels. This approach has two significant drawbacks:
- A heavy, time-consuming and costly initial campaign will not necessarily encourage management to continue funding this lever;
- By definition, teams new to ABM do not yet have historical benchmarks with which to compare results and identify best practices. Multiplying the number of channels, tactics and content means complicating reporting and missing out on the learning effect.
Start simply. For your first campaign, you’re likely to have more success by deploying one or two tactics, with some quality content and three classic channels. You won’t necessarily need an ABM platform for your first campaigns. A CRM will be more than enough to measure the engagement and the progress of accounts through the funnel, and platforms such as LinkedIn or AdRoll will enable you to manage your advertising campaigns. Here’s an example of a ‘pilot’ ABM campaign:
- Get the sales and marketing managers to work together to identify 5 to 10 target accounts or opportunities that have not been successful. The aim of this first ABM campaign will be to relaunch these accounts;
- Create a landing page according to the rules of the trade;
- Launch a small advertising campaign on LinkedIn with a CTA to your landing page;
- Send an email to the target accounts with the URL of your landing page.
The success indicator for this campaign would be, for example, the rate of engagement of these accounts and/or the number of accounts that progress through the funnel at the end of the campaign. Once you have demonstrated the potential of ABM for your sales performance, you can beef up your technological stack and diversify the content.
2- Only doing “One-to-One ABM”.
There are three ways of doing account-based marketing, each with its advantages and disadvantages:
- The “One-to-One” approach consists of targeting and personalising content, channels and tactics at the level of a particular account, based on its demographic, firmographic and behavioural data;
- The “One-to-Few” approach consists of targeting a handful of similar accounts, generally belonging to the same sector of activity or having similar needs, with a personalised marketing strategy at the level of each group of accounts;
- The “One-to-Many” approach consists of targeting a large number of accounts, generally several dozen, with a generic marketing strategy loosely tailored to each segment.
The best strategy is generally a mix of :
- “One-to-Few”, which offers the best balance between the resources deployed and the results expected;
- “One-to-One”, in “sprint” mode, to engage very high-potential accounts on which the company can risk a relatively high acquisition cost.
Teams that limit themselves to One-to-One are undoubtedly missing an opportunity to pool resources and smooth out costs, which has a direct impact on the ROI of ABM (and therefore the possibility of releasing budgets to make progress in this area).
One-to-Many generally requires a substantial technological stack, with tracking tools such as Reverse IP, advanced marketing automation and legal support to guarantee the legality of the various tactics in terms of data confidentiality. Note: according to DemandGen’s ABM Benchmark Survey, 43% of marketers opt for a hybrid approach combining One-to-Few with One-to-One.
3- Not involving top management in ABM
Marketers who wish to launch or develop an ABM strategy must obtain the ‘enthusiastic’ support of their management for two reasons:
- Release sufficient resources to carry out ABM campaigns;
- Involve senior management in executive-to-executive tactics.
To do this, they have to pitch the project, with a relevant presentation that includes:
- A comprehensive action plan;
- An initial list of high-potential target accounts;
- Statistics showing the importance of ABM for sales performance. For example: according to DemandSpring’s State of Account-Based Marketing the majority of B2B marketers (53%) believe that ABM is the marketing tactic that generates the most revenue.
Note: according to data from Vende Digital, the involvement of senior managers in the execution of ABM campaigns, particularly in terms of appointments, has a measurable impact on the length of the sales cycle and the size of transactions.