Just how powerful is account-based marketing?
Well, according to a survey by 87% of b2b marketers surveyed by ITSMA, account-based marketing out-performs all other marketing strategies.
And 91% of companies surveyed by Sirius Decisions say that account-based marketing increases deal size.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what account based marketing (ABM) is, how it compares to traditional marketing strategies, and how you can leverage a gifting program to rise above the noise and convert prospects to customers at a high rate.
What is Account Based Marketing?
ABM is a marketing strategy that allows marketers to deploy their resources to target a few individuals, companies, or accounts, who will dramatically move the revenue needle for the company.
For instance, a software company that sells “seats” may target 10 companies that have 1,000 or more seats to sell to.
A marketing agency may target 5 CMOs of fortune 500 companies to sign up as clients.
Or an ecommerce brand may target buyers at the top 10 retail outlets for their category.
Where traditional marketing is a one to many approach, ABM is more of a 1 to 1 relationship building approach.
“Account-based marketing focuses on a few large and important accounts or those potential accounts that hold the greatest promise of adding to your bottom line,” says Elyse Flynn Meyer, President and founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions. “That’s why it’s so critical to have a high-touch and highly targeted message to these individuals, because of their revenue potential and impact to sales and marketing.”
ABM vs Traditional Marketing Strategies
Let’s start with traditional marketing strategies.
First of all, the goal of a traditional marketing strategy is to get your message, products, services, and company in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible.
To do this, you’ll use paid advertising networks, sponsor industry newsletters, send emails, direct mail, and even radio and television ads.
With this kind of marketing approach, it’s a numbers game. If a small percentage of your overall target market sees your message and converts into a paying customer, then you’ll have a successful marketing campaign.
In most of these tactics, the payment metric is $ per thousand eyeballs.
Conversely, an with ABM marketing approach, you’re pouring all of your time and resources into trying to reach 10, 20… 100 organizations at most.
It’s marketing personalization on steroids.
You’re going to know the decision-makers in those organizations as well as they know themselves.
You’re not custom tailoring your marketing message and delivery to individual customer segments, you’re custom tailoring your marketing message and delivery to the individual themselves.
How Most Companies Execute an ABM Strategy
Before we get into gifting, I want to share with you some steps on how most companies execute their ABM strategy.
Identify your Accounts
In the first step of your ABM strategy, you’re going to Identify the accounts that you want to target.
Who are the individuals that are most able to move the needle for your company?
Chet Holmes famously coined the term Dream 100. We don’t suggest finding any more than 100 dream clients for your first go-round.
Know Your Customers
Once you know who those 100 or so people are that you want to target, you’ll then want to get to know who they are.
You’ll want to know what platforms they log in to, what publications they read, and what groups they belong to. You’ll even want to know which trade organizations they attend regularly.
Personalize the Message
Next you’re going to personalize the message. Because you’re target market is defined to 100 people at most, you can get REALLY personal here.
Decide on the Delivery Mechanism
Then you’re going to decide on a delivery mechanism.
In other words, how do you want to reach your prospects?
With ABM, you can actually do this multiple ways. You can set up a ppc program targeted at the individuals of their company. Then you can do a mail campaign that reaches the buyer directly.
You can blanket your accounts with your personalized message with the hope that one of them sticks.
Test and Measure Results
Last but not least, you want to measure your results. How many meetings are your sales team booking because of your marketing efforts?
How GIFTOLOGY does Account-Based Marketing
As you might have guessed, we do ABM just a bit differently.
We do all the things like define your 100 prospects, we’ll get to know your prospects, and we’ll help you create a personalized message that will resonate with your client.
But from there, we aren’t going to blanket them and their team with ads, or direct mail campaigns.
We don’t want to annoy them into submission.
Instead, we’re going to send highly relevant, personal, and practical gifts to your prospects so that you can build a relationship with them over time.
Let me give you an example of a gifting campaign we ran:
We recently finalized a ‘TOP 100 GIFTING CAMPAIGN’ for a rapidly-becoming known tech company.
The owner’s ROI goal was lead flow (first) and acquisition (second). The lucky 100 individuals were:
30 circles of influence (the people who KNOW people)
40 current clients (who could be referral partners)
20 prospects (that could pay for the investment 5x over)
And 10 referral sources who have provided numerous leads in the past.
100 recipients, 3 gifts each, spread out every 4 months.
Total gift investment for the year – $49,850
This individual was considering 2 gifts each, which would have cost – ~$34,600.
Another option would be to spend twice that (~70K) if they wanted to go bigger on gifts.
So as you can see, there’s wiggle room based on goals and budget spend.
We’ve done campaigns that cost $5K and campaigns that cost $250K.
And when they do, we hear things like this:
“We’ve shifted our entire marketing budget to gifting and looking after customers. Revenue has catapulted as a result. Anybody who has had the chance to read the book can consider themselves lucky and fortunate. Fantastic work.”
-Jonathan Goodman, founder of The PTDC
Benefits of Gifting in ABM
Here’s some of the biggest benefits that we see in our clients when we’re sending gifts in our account-based marketing programs.
Your Gift Sells for You
The most important thing that we do for a gifting campaign is send practical gifts that the person is going to use 3 to 5 times per week!
None of that swag that is going to be thrown in a drawer. No fancy wine decanters that are just going to be put into storage.
For instance, one thing that we love to send is a beautifully designed cutlery set. Your prospect will be able to use it every single time they prepare a meal.
And when they do, they’re going to think of you, your company, and your products/services. Essentially the gift is going to sell you for you!
Their Spouse Sells for You
One of the hallmarks of a great gifting program is that you include the prospect’s inner circle. This includes family members, assistants, and other folks who have their ear.
When you’ve implemented a great gifting program, then there is the potential for your prospect’s spouse to do the selling for you.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to us and said:
“My wife is your biggest sales advocate. Every time they use the cutlery set, they ask if we’re working with you yet.”
You Build Long Term Relationships
If you want to increase the value of an existing customer, and really, who doesn’t?
Then you’ll want to build a long-term relationship with them. After all, you’ve spent all that time and money implementing your ABM gifting campaign. You want to maximize the ROI, right?
By implementing a gifting strategy after they become a client, you’ll ensure that you and your company will win the client’s hearts and minds for years to come.
Gifting is a powerful way to manage business relationships, especially if you follow the 7 key ingredients outlined in this article.