Manufacturers! Build up your client base with ABM.
A big chunk of sales in manufacturing business depends on high-value customers. ABM for B2B manufacturing companies is the key marketing strategy that focuses on identifying accounts (i.e. companies) that match your ideal clients and targeting the key decision-makers at those companies with personalized messages and content through the marketing and advertising campaigns.
ABM fosters mutual coordination of marketing and sales teams together to direct their efforts on specific accounts, rather than applying conventional targeting methods for promotions.
Instead of casting a wide net with their outbound marketing lead-generation efforts, marketers use ABM to work closely with the sales team and identify key prospects. Customizing programs and messages to the buying team within target accounts is the most essential aspect of ABM.
ABM is like hitting the bulls-eye. A streamlined target is set on spotting, attracting, supporting and selecting the accounts that are perfect potential clients for the company.
Pain Points Of B2B Marketing For Manufacturing Companies
B2B marketing is not easy. It comes with its own set of pain points. Discussed below are the major pain points of B2B marketing prevailing largely across the manufacturing sector.
1. Keeping Up With – and Utilizing – New Technologies
In order to stay relevant and up to date with modern sales techniques, it’s imperative to have ABM for B2B manufacturing companies. Keeping up with the latest marketing and sales methods definitely gives huge returns.
Manufacturers are having a tough time keeping pace with the advancing technology and finding a sweet spot to stay ahead of the rest is a challenging task.
By the time many IT departments have gone through the process of researching, getting approval, purchasing and installing new technology, a faster and more agile solution may have already emerged.
2. Attracting Qualified Leads
Trade exhibitions, print media advertising campaigns and hard-selling tactics are not captivating the audience these days. The traditional marketing efforts by manufacturers have far less impact comparatively. Today, the organizations need to do a lot more than just putting up a website and hoping that their best prospects will stumble across it.
Industrial B2B marketers are required to make a concerted effort to be found organically through online searches and provide information that demonstrates relevance and expertise. They are bound to leverage account based marketing along with SEO tactics by creating targeted content that provides answers to potential customers’ questions and problems.
3. Marketing And Sales Alignment
It is believed that a B2B buyer’s journey is almost 70% completed online. This occurs much before a buyer even reaches out to sales. According to Gartner Research – by 2020, over 85% of the client’s decisions would be made without any human interaction.
The synergy between sales and marketing is good compared to previous decades, but still has a long way to go before the two roles are aligned and working effectively towards the same goals.
4. Maintaining Global Relevance
B2B marketers work hard to keep mark their presence in diverse markets around the world. Sustaining brand standards can be a huge responsibility. Something that resonates in one market might not be received the same way in another.
Global marketing is not just about simple lingual translations. It’s essential to gain the confidence of the audience and understand their challenges.
Creating solutions that help make their lives better is also an equally important aspect.
ABM plays a vital role in resolving the pain point issues of B2B manufacturing companies. The marketing and advertising efforts in ABM are targeted towards the individuals within the potential client organization that will most likely participate in the decision-making process.
It helps align the sales and marketing teams. ABM inherently forces both teams to work together—and the motivation behind doing so is the desire to drive more qualified leads and close bigger deals than usual.
How Does Account Based Marketing Work?
Many times firms fail to understand the real purpose of ABM. Before you fall into the same trap, you need to take a close look at the following key factors involved in Account Based Marketing.
1. Finding Key Decision Makers In The B2B Path to Purchase
B2B buying decisions are dependent on connecting with one person or more, creating a relationship, and then convincing them to make a purchase. It’s a personalized approach to get in touch with the key decision-makers of the ideal client firms. Mainly targeting the heads of departments such as Purchase Officer, Sales Manager, Finance Head, Marketing Director, etc.
Attracting them with infographics and emails, nurturing the relationship and finally closing the deal with successful sales.
The buying decisions of B2B businesses are ‘less influenced’ by the traditional funnel model. The companies engage in extensive research on the internet to ascertain viable options for fueling their needs.
A minimum of five people is involved in a B2B sale in recent times.
The former concept of influencing one decision-maker for sale is obsolete now. Decisions are made on the basis of research done by teams of people and influenced by stakeholders and others.
ABM helps you focus on important aspects by identifying marketing targets in terms of the account, rather than individual leads, with a focus on fit within the organization. An account refers to an organization that consists of multiple stakeholders and an array of roles and influences.
For example, a Marketing Manager may be given the task of researching a new piece of marketing software, but his or her CMO, CFO, and even colleagues may also be part of the overall decision-making process.
2. Adopting Modern Sales Tactics Rather Than Pushy Traditional Methods
In B2B’s scenario, buyers are the kingpin. They don’t rely on brand claims of what’s best for them. They can easily evaluate each of the options that match their requirements through online research. Given the fact that cold calls and outbound emails are becoming increasingly unsuccessful, the customers are generally resistant to traditional sales tactics.
The internet has created an environment of customization and niches. People choose what they want to see, and push everything else away. We infer from content marketing that to seek the attention of ideal clients, we need to build something engaging. ABM helps you in contemplating the “interested” client base, creating your marketing messages according to their specific demand.
Also read: 7 Ways To Make B2B Marketing Interesting
3. Synchronizing Your Sales And Marketing Departments
Traditionally, marketing is judged by the magnitude of generated qualified leads.
In conventional B2B, the leads are generated by marketers, diverting them to sales, which converts them into buyers.
In reality, sales leads do not affect the buying decision alone.
Revenue is a vital influencer for marketing. The ROI needs to be taken into account as well. Marketing needs to be aligned with sales for better conversion and improved targeting. Referrals are also a key force for driving sales.
Remember, 20% of customers are responsible for nearly 80% of the revenue.
The roadmap for engaging in purchases has become increasingly complex. The B2B scenario is rapidly changing. The sales and marketing teams need to be in sync for fostering better revenue generation in this dynamic environment.
4. Emphasis On Data Collection And Analysis
Data on the ideal client profile should be collected to maximize qualified leads. Analyzing the buying patterns of potential clients is comparatively easier. Strong insights can be drawn through account based marketing’s flipped funnel mentality. Search for successful buying patterns with similarities that might exist amongst the clients.
5. Quantify What’s Important
Sales and revenue matter the most in B2B marketing. A few high-value accounts hold significant importance than 1,000 unconverted leads that took a lot of effort and provided no result.
Discuss ABM strategy across the organization to quickly adapt to the dynamic environment.
The following data can be easily acquired in order to measure quantifiable targets.
- Number of targeted accounts
- Number of deals closed with targeted clients
- Revenue generated from the leads
6. Deprecate Inefficient Digital Marketing Tactics
Traditional marketing tactics are becoming obsolete. Display advertising and banners fail to attract customers nowadays.
• Having the ad blitz on all channels whatsoever has become more ineffective and gives lower ROI than ever before.
• Gated content is fading out.
• Ad impressions are now far less beneficial.
• Extensive customization, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are quickly replacing the traditional forms of advertising.
7. Map Your ABM Aims And Targets
To map an ABM strategy, you have to establish the goals of the program. Fix specific targets for increasing the customer base. If you are routing to maintain your existing customer base or boost sales across parallel and vertical markets, the ABM would enable you to design the structure for it.
8. Cherry Picking Targeted Accounts
Start working on what best fulfills your needs.
Who are your ideal clients? Analyze your existing client base.
What makes them optimal for your business?
What benefits would they derive from you? It is essential to know, whom to target and for what purpose.
Plan your strategy for varied accounts. Reach out to the hyper-specific audience through ABM. Send across an attractive message in the form of infographic or email but be cautious about not being too overbearing.
Generating revenue through high-value accounts should be your primary objective.
The following questions would help determine and manage the target accounts:
- How the list will be created?
- Which mode of selection would work?
- Would it be manual, using basic data, advanced data or predictive analytics?
- In what ways would your sales and marketing departments work together to identify target accounts?
- What will the criteria be for selecting targeted accounts (location, vertical market, size, opportunity, relationship, etc.)?
- How many accounts will be targeted?
- Who will have ownership of the accounts?
- By whom and how will the planned engagement be mapped (events, webinars, direct mail, email, advertisements, content placement, live contact, etc.)?
9. Create Your Engagement Strategy
The best way to strategize engagement is by reaching out to influencers and decision-makers for account based marketing. Deploying targeted messages to specific individuals within the targeted accounts would yield higher leverage in a B2B marketing plan.
10. Picking The Best ABM Support Tools
Account based marketing would not be beneficial without the right tools and resources.
There are many strategic approaches that the organizations undertake for account based marketing. The appropriate marketing tools should be selected according to your budget, resources, and requirements. Consider using the following platforms and ABM tools for your organization according to your needs.
- Marketing Automation
1. Terminus: A pure ABM platform that focuses on advertising and analytics. Pick out the accounts you want to target using Terminus’ IP library, specify personas, and run your creative. Then look at how it performs.
2. Engagio: It enables marketers to be aware of ABM tools, work on them and assess the returns derived from them.
3. Marketo: It helps handle your automation needs along with the broader marketing engagement tools.
4. Troblio: This is a cloud-based solution that enables planning with visual effects. It’s easy to view all the different resources at disposal. It is easily accessible remotely.
5. Madison Logic: This is a comprehensive funnel solution that is driven by intent data, so it helps you to identify and target prospects when they are exhibiting purchase behaviors.
11. Paid Media And Advertising Strategy
You may simply change your advertising strategy from broad-based advertising to a focused approach to target client accounts in specific market segments. It is imperative to select the proper accounts since there is a lot at stake. Your time, resources and effort can all go waste if this program doesn’t apply to ideal clients.
Instead of putting your money in one big campaign, multiple campaigns can be launched to target specific client needs. These can be for a limited time span. There are many platforms available to smoothen the process of focused advertising for a specialized client base. The workflow also remains uninterrupted with additional help from automated advertising campaigns.
12. Organizing A Strong Core ABM Team
The core team should be skilled and well-equipped in handling tools and analyzing data in order to figure out the potential target accounts. It is not necessary to have a large number of people employed for it, but a handful of people who are able to deliver good results and leverage revenue for the company would be an added asset.
The Key Benefits Of ABM For B2B Manufacturing Companies
Any strategy is assessed on the basis of its usefulness for the company. ABM is no different for manufacturing companies. Clear observable benefits are put forth for you to adopt this program in your organization as well.
Benefit #1: It results in a higher ROI than any other marketing strategy.
B2B marketing and sales conversions of high-value accounts have shown a significant jump in ROI with ABM. It has remarkable precision, focused customization, and accuracy compared to general inbound and outbound strategies, which also makes it easier to estimate ROI. Here are some more stats to back up those claims, according to Neil Patel:
• Response rates from ABM accounts: 47%
• Online activity from ABM accounts: 39%
• Number of new contacts in ABM accounts: 36%
• Internal stakeholder feedback: 36%
• Participation in all marketing activities: 25%
Benefit #2: More economical and less risky.
The risk is reduced as the majority of it is definitive and technology-driven. The resources are put to correct use curbing the wastages and risk as well.
B2B marketers can handle the world market strategies on their screens without indulging in extensive costs. ABM technology stack enables a single Account Manager to easily handle, target, market and upsell huge contact base. The scope of high-value account generation is vast as compared to any other method.
This indicates there’s much less risk involved. The account handler is not hired or sacked based on how the account is performing. With an effectively functional ABM it’s easy to regain contacts in case you lose one.
Benefit #3: Personalized approach has a positive influence on accounts.
Companies prefer personalized offers and messaging. Relevant information provided to them with customized benefits to help them grow always tend to get a positive response.
ABM is customized according to the demands or needs of particular target clients with potentially attractive accounts.
Even those clients will appreciate your efforts in doing the due research and delivering the desired level of work. Your extensive pursuit will surely pay off.
Benefit #4: Planning and analyzing the campaign is easily facilitated.
Comparisons can be easily drawn with effective campaign analysis. The plans are pin-pointed towards individual target accounts for better conversion probability. It’s easier to play and forecast marketing goals at the end of financial terms.
Benefit #5: Sales and marketing alignment is easier.
ABM marketers use similar lingual styles and possess the same knowledge as the salespeople they work alongside. ABM teams and sales teams work in close quarters to accurately identify target accounts, map them out, and align on sales initiatives. This empowers the company to set up predictive marketing and turnkey advertising to unlock accounts.
Account based marketing is the new reality of B2B marketing, especially for high-value industries like manufacturing. The focused approach enables manufacturers to bag ideal clients easily. The possibilities are unlimited and growth is inevitable with effective ABM strategies.
Finding it interesting? Let’s talk about it today 🙂
Originally published on January 2, 2020. Updated on March 5, 2022.