Attracting visitors, converting them into leads, turning them into customers, and then keeping them loyal is the lifeblood of every B2B company. Today, they have various marketing strategies that are particularly effective in creating a formidable conversion tunnel. Among these, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has a prominent place. Far from being a fad, this marketing practice has been proven to convert your leads into customers by objectively focusing on accounts named by sector of activity.
Let's take a closer look at ABM, a real performance lever for qualifying, converting and turning your prospects into customers.
What is Account-Based Marketing or ABM?
A complementary strategy to Inbound Marketing, and specific to B2B, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is based on three fundamental axes: targeting, content and continuity.
At the crossroads between Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Inbound Sales, ABM aims to target a limited number of high value-added leads in an ultra-personalised way to increase their conversion rate. By targeting these famous strategic accounts with real personalisation, you have a targeted list of companies – including the names of the contacts with whom you wish to establish a link and the key roles of each within the organisation.
Of course, this strategy is an active one. It requires a lot of background work to obtain a targeted list of key accounts or accounts with high potential.
As the leads are highly personalised, you are able to know the decision-makers and influencers, their academic and professional backgrounds, but also their needs and priorities.
Account-Based Marketing is generally used when the sales cycle is long (e.g., in the case of a complex sale), and/or when there are a large number of people involved in the decision-making process.
ABM, a real spearhead of B2B marketing
Account-Based Marketing aims to launch digital campaigns that focus on a defined number of high-value leads.
Although ABM is not a revolutionary technique in itself (it has existed for many years), it is now coming back to the forefront thanks to the availability of numerous digital tools (content marketing, social selling strategy, use of CRM software, implementation of marketing automation, etc.).
These tools facilitate the collection of data and the personalisation of communications, the identification of a reduced number of ideal customers, the creation and personalisation of content, and the alignment of marketing and sales.
And, as proof, 92% of B2B marketers would consider Account-Based Marketing as "extremely or very important in their marketing action plan"! (source: SiriusDecisions). And 96% of marketing professionals would say that ABM has a positive impact on the success of their digital strategy (source: Demandbase).
What are the differences between Inbound Marketing and ABM?
While both techniques are effective, and the links between them clearly proven, both Inbound Marketing and ABM strategies can exist without each other.
Inbound Marketing is, above all, the art of attracting prospects to your website via a content marketing strategy, in order to convert them into leads thanks to, among other things, marketing automation.
If it makes it easier to identify a certain number of qualified leads with precision, Inbound Marketing can indeed feed ABM effectively.
However, although content marketing links these two practices, Inbound Marketing and ABM do not work according to the same principles of conversion funnels:
Inbound Marketing is about attracting by producing and sharing relevant content, interacting via lead nurturing or, for example, scoring tools in the hope of building customer loyalty, whereas Account-Based Marketing aims to identify a relevant number of ideal customers, create and personalise specific content for them, and align marketing and sales to build a long-term trusting relationship.
While this alignment between sales and marketing teams is widely favoured in an Inbound Marketing strategy, it is also particularly encouraged in an ABM approach to achieve good results in terms of lead conversion. A great way to ensure long-term success!