According to Similarweb data, the term ‘ABM’ records over 100,000 monthly searches on Google, marking a 25% increase compared to 2021. This surge indicates significant interest in this approach, which remains, according to a DemandSpring study, the marketing tactic ‘that generates the most revenue’
In this guide, the editorial team discusses three critical mistakes to avoid for a successful ABM campaign in 2023.
1. “Overloading” in the First ABM Campaign
Sales and marketing teams looking to delve into Account-Based Marketing often fall into the trap of excess. They produce too much content, implement complex tactics, and use too many channels. This approach has two significant drawbacks: A heavy, time-consuming, and costly first campaign may not necessarily encourage the management to continue funding this lever;
- A heavy, time-consuming, and costly first campaign may not necessarily encourage the management to continue funding this lever;
- By definition, teams initiating ABM do not yet have historical benchmarks to compare results and identify best practices. Multiplying channels, tactics, and content complicates reporting and deprives them of the learning effect.
Start simple. For a first campaign, you will likely have more success by deploying one or two tactics, with some quality content and three classic channels. You may not necessarily need an ABM platform for your first campaigns. A CRM will be sufficient to measure the engagement and account progression in the funnel, and platforms like LinkedIn or AdRoll will allow you to manage your advertising campaigns. Here’s an example of a “pilot” ABM campaign:
- Engage sales and marketing managers to identify 5 to 10 target accounts or opportunities that did not materialize. The goal of this first ABM campaign will be to re-engage these accounts;
- Create a well-crafted landing page ;
- 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 could be, for example, the engagement rate of these accounts and/or the number of accounts progressing in the funnel at the end of the campaign. Once you have demonstrated the potential of ABM for your sales performance, you can strengthen your technological stack and diversify your content.
2. Only Doing “One-to-One ABM”
There are three ways to approach Account-Based Marketing, each with its own advantages and drawbacks:
- The “One-to-One” approach involves targeting and personalizing content, channels, and tactics for a specific account based on its demographic, firmographic, and behavioural data ;
- The “One-to-Few” approach involves targeting a handful of similar accounts, usually belonging to the same industry or having similar needs, with a customized marketing strategy for each group of accounts ;
- The “One-to-Many” approach involves targeting a large number of accounts, usually several dozen, with a broadly adapted marketing strategy for each segment.
The best strategy usually involves a mix of:
- “One-to-Few,” which strikes the best balance between resources deployed and expected results;
- “One-to-One,” in “sprint” mode, to engage high-potential accounts on which the company can risk a relatively high acquisition cost.
Teams that limit themselves to One-to-One may be missing an opportunity to pool resources and smooth out costs, directly impacting the ROI of ABM (and therefore the ability to allocate budgets to progress in this area).
The One-to-Many approach generally requires a significant technological stack, including tools like Reverse IP tracking, advanced marketing automation, and legal support to ensure the legality of various data privacy tactics. 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 looking to launch or expand an ABM strategy must obtain the “enthusiastic” endorsement of their leadership for two reasons:
- Unlocking sufficient resources to carry out ABM campaigns;
- Engaging senior executives in executive-to-executive tactics.
To do this, they must pitch the project with a relevant presentation that includes:
- A comprehensive action plan;
- An initial list of high-potential target accounts;
- Statistics demonstrating the importance of ABM for sales performance. Example: according to the State of Account-Based Marketing conducted by DemandSpring, 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 executives in the execution of ABM campaigns, especially in terms of appointments, has a measurable impact on the length of the sales cycle as well as the size of transactions.