What was the last advertisement you saw?
Was it relevant to you or was it a classic example of a budget badly spent?
The Downfall of Generalised Marketing
When businesses are trying to cater to a mass audience, segmenting, targeting, and positioning aren’t easy. In these situations, marketers likely have to generalise a group of people and make assumptions that aren’t usually true. Have you ever heard the phrase, “speak to everyone, and you speak to no one?
It’s a particularly relevant statement in our current marketing climate - where relevancy seems key to success, and 71% of our customers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal (Source: Forbes)... but how can you make an advert speak to one person when it needs to talk to hundreds?
Take, for example, a designer brand like Yeezy. One day, when sales are low, they might decide to publish an advert about sneakers, targeting it at young men between the age of 18-30. However, not every man that sees their advert is going to be interested in shoes - let alone fancy ones with a high price tag.
Yeezy might lose money - much like you are every time you generalise your audience.
The Progression of Targeting in Marketing
Although the technology to pinpoint high-intent leads is indeed getting smarter, thanks to the help of AI and Machine Learning, there’s still a long way to go.
In 2022, on average, UK businesses are wasting around 41% of their overall budget (Source: Content Technology). That’s a lot, but, luckily, there are alternatives - especially in the B2B industry.
So, next time you launch a marketing campaign, instead of wasting money trying to cater to a broad category of people; narrow your focus through account-based marketing.
(Source: Neil Patel)
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing is a digital strategy where B2B firms identify specific organisations (titled “accounts”) that they’d like to become customers. They then spend time and resources publishing content that would best resonate with them, targeting them with adverts, and, over time, building a relationship with that business with the hope of making a sale.
The Purpose of Account-Based Marketing
Have you ever celebrated when a prospective lead has shown interest in your product, only to discover they aren’t a good fit for your company?
It happens to all of us.
We splash our marketing budget on targeting general professional profiles on LinkedIn and hope that our messaging will draw in our dream clients. Sometimes, we get lucky. Sometimes, the targeting is misaligned and the only responses we get don’t have much potential.
Either we’re speaking to the wrong person in the company, or the person who reaches out has no budget and wants us to work for half the price. That’s the reality in a world where businesses can get in trouble for storing personal identification information (PII).
It’s tough, and, in most cases, leads to an expensive marketing cost with little to no return.
After all, you’ve already spent time (and possibly money) reaching that lead, only to discover there’s no chance of making a sale… all the while, your CPA continues to increase.
Account-based marketing, on the other hand, was specifically designed to combat this scenario. It’s a honed-in, narrowed-down strategy for B2B businesses looking to convert prospects into paying customers.
Example of Account-Based Marketing
Say, for example, you’re a SaaS business that sells human resource management software. You use the limited targeting capabilities available to you on Google Ads to rank for a variety of relevant search queries and keywords. Only, your traffic isn’t converting.
You’ve managed to reach business owners, but most only have 2-5 employees - rather than the 30+ that your product is designed for. Say goodbye to your marketing budget.
Now, imagine you did some research.
Instead of generalising your audience and targeting business owners with employees in your area, you decided to make a list of specific clients you’d like to work with. Ones that you know already have the right number of employees, are profitable, and would likely benefit from your product.
From there, you can start to employ a strategy that is designed to specifically reach the owner of that business - whether that’s through email or on social media. As such, you only spend money on high-value leads that are likely to convert.
The Main Advantages of Account-Based Marketing
What does this mean for you?
Well, it’s rather simple - and can be summed up in three short words…return on investment. Not only should you have lower costs (which is natural when you start aiming for quality not quantity), but your conversion rates and CLV should both increase.
Additionally, you can:
Personalise customer experiences, leading to higher satisfaction.
Align your marketing with your sales goals.
Waste fewer resources - including time.
Reduce your “time to convert” for stronger cash flow.
As Marketo said best, “account-based marketing flips the usual marketing and sales funnel on its head. Instead of potential clients being led through the funnel, you can look at the accounts you want, target them directly with personalised content, and then convert them into clients.”
B2B Account-Based Marketing in 2022
Account-based marketing certainly isn’t a new concept. In fact, its roots go all the way back to the 1990s, so you might be wondering why we’re discussing it now.
Well, as the marketing industry continues to evolve… this could be a critical strategy for B2B businesses in 2022 and beyond.
General Data Privacy Regulations are getting stricter across the UK.
Google has promised to eventually remove third-party cookies.
Millions of advertisements and new pieces of content are going live each day.
Whilst this certainly is positive news for us as consumers, as marketers, it’s a little scary.
Not only could we be losing the tools used to target customers, but we’re doing so in a crowded market where it’s already challenging enough to make sales as it is.
You need to get smarter - and account-based marketing might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
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