Over the years, B2C and B2B marketing has switched to P2P, person to person. This change has served B2C marketing well as it has been able to allow marketers to create meaningful connections with the people they are directly marketing and selling to. The P2P approach, however, does not suit B2C marketing as well because of the sheer number of decision-makers involved in the buying decision process. P2P marketing works well when it's one on one, like B2C marketing, but falls short when it's one on more than one because P2P only focuses on the end sale with one client.
The major difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing is that B2C marketing closes people/private citizens but B2B marketing closes accounts that may have multiple people involved.
Lately, the term account-based marketing (ABM) has been thrown into the mix. This marketing strategy is aimed at creating holistic connections with whole accounts, not just people. Think of account-based marketing as P2P marketing for B2B. Instead of focusing on one individual, the marketer is focused on the account and any decision-makers associated with it.
Utilizing an ABM strategy enables businesses to engage clients early by providing personalized communication, increasing the relevance of accounts, and getting better value out of marketing. This is because the most comprehensive account-based marketing strategy involves a lot of specific information about each customer and account, which allows reps to provide a tailored experience for each specific account.
ABM looks at each account as a whole: who makes the decisions? who will be the end user? who are the influencers? Taking in a full view of an account allows the rep to know who to talk to, what to talk about, and what the end result should be.
To make sure your account-based marketing strategy succeeds, follow these tips:
When designing your ABM strategy, make sure you know the rep that is responsible for each account. ABM can fall apart if there is a lack of ownership with accounts. To start the process, assign reps to their account and provide them with any background information that is known. If needed, introduce the rep to the account so that there is a distinct hand-off and everyone knows who is responsible for a specific account.
Account-based marketing can be an overwhelming task if you roll it out over hundreds of accounts overnight. To make sure ABM is right for you, and to make sure it can scale to the size of your company, start small with a few accounts and a few reps and see how the strategy takes. Starting on a small scale allows you to test the strategy and make adjustments as needed before rolling it out company-wide.
As mentioned before, the aim of ABM is to make a personalized experience for everyone involved in a specific account. It is important for reps to use what they know about each individual in order to appeal to the main, specific interests of the account. Make connections, provide personalized information, and be available for questions – these are all things each rep should do for each account that they are responsible for.
Marketing and communication automation platforms can make account-based marketing strategies much easier by automatically collecting information on accounts, dynamically personalizing information, providing an area to make notes on clients, and notifying reps when they need to interact personally with an account.
Marketing automation allows the repetitive communication of ABM strategies to be automated, which allows reps to spend more time on meaningful conversations and tasks as opposed to reminder emails and updates. To see how marketing automation can help your account-based marketing, sign up for a 14-day free trial of SimplyCast 360.