ABM for ManufacturingAccount Based Marketing for Manufacturers
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy that places the targeted account at the center of B2B marketing and sales efforts. All marketing efforts are solely derived from perceived account needs. ABM differs from traditional marketing strategies, which typically involve “casting a wide net” to attract prospects, with the goal of producing leads. In ABM, the prospect is identified upfront, and is pursued with a set of strategies and tactics.
Here are basic steps of the ABM process:
1. Identify accounts.
2. Identify people within each account and categorize as decision makers, influencers, etc.
3. Develop messaging based on the pain points of the individuals within each account.
4. Deliver the messaging to the various principals via the appropriate channel, i.e., social, email, telephone call, direct mail, etc.
5. Measure results.
6. Iterate. Depending on the response or overall plan, the process is iterated and adjusted.
ABM campaigns can last for days, months, or even years. For very large accounts, with significant potential, messaging should be customized to each individual within the account. For smaller accounts or vertical accounts, personas can be developed to communicate similar messages to similar individual roles within each account. In most cases, sales reps and marketing personnel work together on the creation and execution of the ABM program.
Unique Challenges for Manufacturing Organizations
Marketing can be a challenge for many B2B manufacturers. Sales cycles can be long and complex. Prospects can be large, opaque organizations with many tentacles of unknown influencers and surprise decision makers. In some cases, manufacturers don’t even control the sales process. It is outsourced to rep organizations and/or distributors.
How ABM Can Work for Manufacturers
Account Based Based marketing can be an excellent fit for manufacturing organizations. Since ABM focuses on specific accounts, the strategy is a natural for manufacturers with a limited number of prospects. Additionally, ABM can really pay off when just a few prospects have the potential for significant revenue. Utilizing an ABM strategy for accounts with significant potential is a very efficient method of deploying marketing investment.
Even if there are more than just a few high potential accounts, ABM can still be an advantageous strategy. By identifying similarities with decision makers and influencers, personas can be developed. A persona is a unique set of characteristics that are shared by individuals in similar roles, i.e., financial decision makers typically have an accounting background and are concerned about costs, return on on investment and value. User decision makers are typically concerned about features and usability.
For manufacturers utilizing outsourced sales rep firms, ABM can still be effective. Account Based Marketing’s key component is the creation of teams involving both sales and marketing. Typically sales reps have certain skills that can be beneficial for account penetration. Relationships, industry knowledge and closing ability are all positive attributes of a professional sales rep. Similarly, marketing can have complimentary capabilities, including writing, communications, web design and email marketing. It’s the combination of marketing and sales working in tandem that can drive success with ABM. Moreover, an effective ABM strategy is a competency, every bit as important as engineering or operations. ABM can pay ongoing dividends in the form of new customers or it can result in deeper relationships with current customers.
Benefits of ABM
Some benefits Account Based Marketing include:
ABM is all about efficiency. All investment or effort is extremely targeted. Account size and potential are assessed. Then, investment in time, effort and treasure is decided based on the account potential.
Less Reliance on External Lead Generation
Advertising, even in the digital age, is unreliable and expensive. With ABM, you control and own the process. It is determined in-house, and as learning takes place during the process, the tactics are perfected. This is a much better situation than relying on Google or trade magazines for exposure.
By targeting the highest potential accounts with specific resources, an ABM strategy can produce significant revenue increases.
With an intensive focus on the specific needs and personalities within high potential accounts, sales cycles are often compressed.
Account Based Marketing is an excellent fit for manufacturers. The targeted nature of the strategy can help manufacturing organizations to focus their marketing efforts on the best prospects, with the most potential for revenue. Shorter sales cycles, efficient distribution of marketing investment and increased revenue are the rewards for a well executed ABM program. For a personal assessment of how ABM can work for your business, click here to contact us.