It’s been awhile since we discussed the importance of Account-Based Marketing, otherwise known as ABM; first what ABM is, and then how Spire and other companies have seen success in implementing ABM. But now we’re back, and rightfully so, as ABM continues to be one of B2B marketing’s hottest trends and proves to be more important than ever.
A Shift in the Customer Mindset
COVID-19 certainly spurred the accelerated adoption of ABM. During an unprecedented year when people everywhere were forced to shift most aspects of daily life and business, the B2B buying process shifted along with it. More than ever, customers are craving a connection on an emotional level, even in the B2B space.
According to SRI, “the ability to connect with your customers on an emotional level to ease their concerns and strengthen their preferences for your brand has many benefits in B2B sales.” Furthermore, emotionally connected customers will tend to:
- Buy more from you, driving recurring revenue
- Visit your website more often
- Care less about price
- Pay more attention to your communication
- Follow your advice
- Recommend you to others
Understanding Your Buyer > Personalization
This shift in the B2B buyer mindset lends itself nicely to the continuing rise of ABM, which goes beyond simply hyper-personalizing materials to your customer; (e.g., “Dear John Doe” at the beginning of a direct mail letter that will likely be sent to their mostly closed office rather than directly to them) to hyper-understanding your customer, then customizing and acting on their specific needs. What is their business objective / what are they looking for in a partner? How can we become an integral part of solving this problem, above and beyond their current provider?
In the words of Forbes, “Custom content is more than jarring personalization where you add their name to a landing page—it’s about doing the legwork for your accounts so they don’t have to sift through your content and information to figure out where you can add value to their business.”
Not only has the adoption of ABM steadily increased over the past year, but many of the marketers who have already implemented and use this tactic have shifted their focus from solely customer acquisition to including pipeline acceleration and customer retention as well, citing budget shifts and the need to be more customer-oriented due to the pandemic as their reasoning.
Seeing is Believing
If we haven’t been able to convince you of the importance of ABM yet, hopefully these metrics will do the trick:
- 42% of firms citing the buying process is becoming much harder to navigate.
- The 2020 State of ABM Report says 94.2% of respondents now have an active ABM program (up from 77% in 2019).
- Mature ABM programs drove an average of 73% of their companies’ total revenue.
So, if you haven’t considered ABM as part of your marketing efforts yet, it may be time to set your sights (both business development and client retention) on personalization for your ideal customer.
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