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Is Account-Based Marketing Right for Manufacturers?

As a digital marketing professional, you’ve probably heard the term Account-Based Marketing (ABM) before. According to ITSMA, almost 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach.1

As you’re gearing up for next year's planning and finalizing your marketing strategy, chances are you’ve had conversations about adding account-based marketing to your manufacturing organization’s current approach. But, with all the hype surrounding account-based marketing or key-account strategy, how do you know if it’s a fit for your organization?

Four Questions to Determine if Account-Based Marketing is the Right Fit

1) Do You Have a List of Targeted Key Accounts & Prospects?

Identifying the best-fit accounts with the largest revenue potential is the first step to building an account-based marketing strategy. Why? Because in an account-based marketing approach, your sales and marketing teams will be focusing on targeting specific accounts, with highly personalized interactions.

Through these personalized, one-to-one interactions, you ensure that your organization’s resources are allocated to the most lucrative and deserving prospects.

Maybe your organization has a list of untouched opportunities you have been wanting to retarget and nurture, or perhaps you have an idea of 30 companies in your region that are an ideal customer. Knowing the companies or individuals that you want to target who are a good fit for your business model is a crucial component to building a successful account-based marketing strategy for manufacturers.

2) Is Your Data Accurate & Clean?

Most organizations have many different technology systems and departments that house their customer and prospect data. For your account-based marketing strategy to be successful, that data needs to be accurate and up to date before you launch your first ABM campaign.

With the one-to-one effort, your marketing and sales teams will be investing in your ABM program, you want to ensure that their time is spent nurturing the best contacts, not calling on bad or dead-end leads. Your account-based marketing strategy may include various forms of touchpoints such as emails, whitepapers, or eBooks, but they all should feel personalized to the targeted account. To practice this highly targeted and personalized marketing strategy, your data must be clean.

Data-driven account-based marketing ensures manufacturers that their team has 360-degree visibility of their target prospects and accounts to deliver the right messages, to the right targets, at the right time.

And with the right data upkeep, you can even monitor your target prospect’s activity from their first point of engagement until they sign on the dotted line.

3) Are Your Sales & Marketing Teams Aligned?

Without sales & marketing alignment, account-based marketing success is unlikely. Your sales and marketing teams must work closely together to ensure they have the same view of the customer and are ultimately nurturing the same version of a prospect. With a coordinated sales and marketing department, the relationships you form with your top-tier prospects will be deeper, and the customer can receive the relevant and right information about your organization throughout their buyer journey.

When you look at a ‘one-to-many’ marketing campaign, your sales team spends the bulk of their time qualifying each lead that makes it through the pipeline. One of the benefits of implementing an account-based marketing strategy is that your leads are qualified at the beginning before they are even passed on to sales.

When account-based marketing is done right, there is almost no chance that sales will touch an unqualified lead, because sales and marketing have been aligned from the get-go, selecting target accounts together.

4) Does Your Technology Stack Support Account-Based Marketing?

Having the right technology in place is not essential to launching an account-based marketing campaign, but it can help ensure you’re set for success.

With the level of involvement that goes into it, you can expect your sales and marketing teams to leverage and interact on multiple channels. CRM, marketing automation, and account-based marketing software platforms can help keep your information organized and prevent data from being organized in silos, so your target prospects and accounts aren’t receiving duplicated touchpoints or content.

With your account-based marketing campaign being your first chance to deliver your target accounts an exceptional customer experience, you’ll want every message, piece of content, workflow, and sequence to be mapped out and aligned with your sales and marketing team.

While sales may not be directly working in your marketing automation or account-based marketing platform, they should be trained in how to personalize messages and email communications that align with marketing’s content. They need to know how to push feedback, track metrics, and successes, and record their progress in a way that gives insight into how the campaign is performing. Without proper training in your CRM or account-based marketing software tools, you're setting your sales team up for failure.


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