Why it’s time to supercharge your ABM to attract, win and grow more business.
Business challenges are coming thick and fast.
Just as we seem to be finally conquering the pandemic and looking forward to accelerating into the recovery, other challenges come flying our way – from an increasingly crowded and noisy marketplace where it’s never been harder to attract people’s attention, to a rapidly changing economy, where you have to make a more compelling case to get people to buy or invest.
So, there’s no time to lose in honing your marketing and sales superpowers to make sure you attract, win and grow as much business as you can to thwart your latest nemesis and beat your rivals. And be ready for anything else the world throws at you.
To achieve this, you need to mesmerise your customers with your knowledge of their changing market and how you can help them adapt, along with your understanding of their business challenges and how to overcome them. This will show the value you will deliver, helping overcome inertia to change, and ensure they see you – and only you – as their go-to superhero.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is growing in popularity as a way of using forensic research to grab customers’ attention by raising awareness and kicking off dialogue among those who matter the most: key stakeholders and decision makers. In fact, the State of Demand Gen report 2022 revealed that more marketers plan to increase their use of ABM (46%) than any other marketing strategy, showing the growing recognition of the value it brings.
However, now’s the time to supercharge your ABM campaigns by transforming them into account-based experiences or ABX, which directly influences purchasing by reaching far beyond awareness-raising to encompass the entire customer journey. For one client, this approach has increased conversion rates from 20% to 60%.
DOWN TO EXPERIENCE
You’ll no doubt have heard of ABX and read attempts to define it and contrast it with ABM. Here are just a few…
“ABX uses data to curate relevant and trustworthy marketing and sales actions throughout a B2B customer’s lifecycle,” Demandbase CPO and CMO Jon Miller wrote in Forbes last year.
“ABX is where the principles of data-driven engagement extend across every account touchpoint (from onboarding to renewals and account management to customer success) to create a consistent, relevant and high value experience for customers,” explained Jon Clarke in B2B Marketing in 2021.
“ABM pursues target accounts relentlessly, with little regard for whether they want to be pursued at all. In contrast, ABX engages buyers with relevant messages, delivered via a trusted channel, on their terms,” according to Urusha Shrestha at Business Brains.
WHAT TO EXPECT
All fascinating stuff, but what does this mean in practice? To really supercharge your ABM and ensure you attract, win and grow more business both now and in the future, your ABX programme should incorporate the ABM essentials, then build on them, pushing your account-based strategy into new areas. Here are the key actions to take:
Develop a unique customer proposition
Just like you would for ABM, dig deep into your target account’s market and business, defining their challenges and strategic goals. Then identify the outcomes you can drive to meet them and set out how you would do this. Plus, pull out the areas where your businesses align to reinforce your credibility and credentials as a partner. Like ABM, this provides the basis of your ABX campaign.
Engage 1-2-1 from the outset
Borrowing again from best practice ABM, identify the target account’s key stakeholders, decision makers and influencers, carrying out forensic research to build a profile of their individual traits and their personal business challenges and goals, while identifying their position on the customer journey. Then create a unique, relevant, personalised content strategy that will bring the proposition to life for them and ignite or deepen awareness and interest, while growing familiarity and trust. This should then be delivered in the most appropriate and timely way to command their attention.
Apply across the customer journey
This is where pure ABX kicks in. Traditionally, ABM stops at the point awareness and interest has been generated, with the leads passed on to sales. ABX, however, never stops. It extends the forensic ABM approach across the entire buying process, beyond the point of purchase and into customer success management, enhancing the customer experience at every stage of the journey. It helps sales build an open dialogue with stakeholders, advising when and how best to continue engagement, handle responses and develop the conversation towards purchase. It then maintains ongoing engagement through the customer success phase driving contract renewal, upselling and cross-selling. ABX can also drive bid success, disrupting the process by influencing decision makers well in advance of the RFP being issued.
Draw on company-wide expertise
To achieve this, ABX demands going beyond sales and marketing, drawing on expertise across the business. Work with product, proposition, commercial, consultancy and other key teams to bring together your people to better inform the development of solutions tailored to the specific needs of your target account. This adds critical value to optimise the customer experience. What’s more, use the depth of talent at your disposal to provide co-creation opportunities to show you’re the ideal long-term partner.
Elevate customer engagement to new heights
It’s the ‘X’ of ABX that’s key to developing, deepening and personalising the customer relationship. Yes, experience is everything, and you should use every tool and strategy in your creative arsenal to immerse the customer in your solutions and your brand. Tailor more traditional forms of content, like white papers, towards the specific target customer and their challenges. Share unique insight through engagingly designed e-books and regular blogs. Set up a dedicated online portal to host all the content in one place to make it quickly and easily accessible. Create more valuable immersive virtual and physical experiences that really bring your solutions to life, such as live workshops and customer experience centres. In fact, these physical experiences are proving increasingly popular due to their power to excite and inspire customers, and ignite long-term partnerships.
Holistic, insightful, engaging, inspiring, partnership-building and revenue-generating, the right ABX campaign has the superpowers to deliver a platform for ongoing growth. And every business needs that kind of superhero!
- ABM is growing in popularity as a way of engaging key stakeholders among your top prospects to attract, win and grow business.
- ABX supercharges your ABM activity by delivering it across the entire customer journey, increasing conversion rates.
- Start with developing a unique proposition for your top prospects through forensic research into the business and market challenges.
- Then identify and build profiles of key stakeholders in those businesses, so you can target them with relevant content that addresses their individual challenges.
- Apply this across the customer journey using ABX to engage stakeholders, then guide them to the point of purchase and beyond.
- Draw on expertise across your business to inform the development and co-creation of bespoke solutions tailored to solve the needs of your prospect.
- This not only sparks sales, but also forges long-term partnerships that drive ongoing growth.
At JPC, we’ll help you raise your gaze above the sales and marketing parapet, explode the silos and head towards an altogether more holistic company-wide account-based approach. Get in touch if you would like to know more.