Account-based marketing, also known as ABM, is a powerful marketing strategy for converting leads into customers. By focusing on strategic key accounts, ABM allows B2B companies to implement personalized actions to convert their core target. Rather than canvassing all of your leads, account-based marketing allows you to focus on the potential customers most likely to engage quickly and generate significant income.
Depending on your objectives, you can choose in turn 3 types of ABM strategies: One to One, One to Few, and One to Many. What are their differences? Which Account-Based Marketing approach to favor? How to deploy them? Answers.
One to one: a tailor-made approach
Account-based marketing one to one: definition
The Account-Based Marketing One to One or Strategic ABM is the most specific approach. This strategic approach consists of individually processing your target accounts with higher potential. You thus start a personal relationship with each key account, so as to offer it a tailor-made service. The marketing plans and programs intended for these privileged prospects are then fully personalized. You thus make sure to perfectly meet their needs and cover all their issues.
One to One or Strategic ABM: what are the advantages?
Strategic ABM is a great way to build a strong personal relationship with your target audience. Each marketing interaction being individual, you demonstrate your understanding of the issues of the key account, which you treat as a single market. Your target is then more inclined to trust you and to start a lasting business relationship with you. In addition to generating better engagement, the one-to-one strategy leads to better business relationships and leads to account loyalty.
One to One ABM: how to set it up?
In the same way, as for a classic ABM strategy, it is first necessary to define its target key accounts. Then select between 5 and 10 strategic accounts, that is to say, the companies that you absolutely want to count among your customers. The implementation of ABM One to One then goes through 5 key stages:
- Establish a personal relationship with the target account. As its name suggests, the ABM One to One is a “face to face” approach, that is to say, individual. To convert your target accounts, it is therefore essential to start a personal relationship with each of them. Your potential customer must feel privileged and pampered! Therefore, do not hesitate to call him personally or offer to meet with you.
- Offer personalized and individual content to each of your target accounts. Emailing, newsletter or sponsored post on social networks, each content offered to your strategic prospects must arouse particular interest. Your mission here is to prove to your target accounts that you have an in-depth knowledge of its issues.
- Deploy a tailor-made online experience. While browsing your website, the key account should have a unique experience and immediately feel concerned by what you offer. To achieve this, you can, for example, include dedicated examples in your blog posts, or mention specific difficulties for a particular account. The objective here is to show your prospect that you have fully understood their problems and that you are able to respond to them effectively.
- Offer special promotions. Keep in mind that your key accounts are the companies that you absolutely want to count among your clients, either because their notoriety will be an asset for your referrals, or because they will directly bring you significant income. Therefore, it may be interesting to offer them a solution at a reduced price: this gesture will quickly pay for itself if it allows you to convert your target account into a customer!
- Retain your target key accounts. Have you managed to convert your strategic accounts into customers? Congratulation! However, do not relax your efforts: now is the time to retain them. Thus, be sure to maintain a close and trusting relationship with your client.
One-to-few: a bundled approach for similar key accounts
Account-based marketing one to few: definition
The Account-Based Marketing One to few or ABM Lite is a broader approach than ABM one-to-one. It consists of processing target accounts no longer individually but in groups, according to their similarities. Marketing actions are thus deployed to accounts that share common issues and needs. You deal with the challenges of your target account groups, which does not prevent the process from being personalized. Everyone feels concerned by the content you offer, which allows you to cover the interests of your targets more broadly.
One to Few or ABM Lite: what are the advantages?
By focusing on customizing actions aimed at a small group of key accounts, ABM one to few allows you to achieve an attractive engagement rate. Prospects with high potential are gathered according to their common characteristics: you save time by applying your strategy on a larger scale, while offering relevant content for everyone.
One to Few ABM: how to set it up?
Account-based marketing one to few focuses on engaging a small group of target accounts. As such, the same personalization levers are used as for ABM one-to-one strategies, they are only extended to a larger number of accounts. Rather than being individualized, actions are personalized based on the similarities of key profiles. The ABM One to Few is then deployed through 5 main actions:
- Define groups of 5 to 10 key accounts sharing common attributes. Issues, challenges, commercial specificities… The groups that you identify must share as many common issues as possible. This way, you make sure to deploy actions that meet the needs of each account, in a single process.
- Establish close collaboration between the sales and marketing teams. While ABM still requires the involvement of these two functions as well as the pooling of skills, this statement is even truer when it comes to the One to Few strategies. The definition of groups and commercial issues to be dealt with indeed gains from being developed in a collaborative manner.
- Provide relevant content for your account groups. As with the ABM one to one, it is essential to offer interesting content with high added value for your key accounts. Thus, if one of your groups is made up of accountants, make sure that your content responds to their specific challenges: the lack of time, the nightmare of Excel files, the race at the end of the month to process the notes of costs… The objective is to reinforce each of your accounts in the idea that you are fully aware of the issues which are specific to them. You can also personalize your website, by offering sectoral sections and content that will only open for your target, such as exit pop-ups.
- Leverage the right channels to deliver your personalized content. The article, white paper, customer case, video … depending on the format of your content, the distribution channel will not necessarily be the same. And the same goes for the group of target accounts to which you are addressing this content. So, take the time to study the means of information privileged by each of your groups of accounts. While some prefer LinkedIn, others are more likely to go to Twitter or Facebook for example. Taking this specificity into account will allow you to carry out effective actions. However, do not hesitate to be present on different channels. In addition to broadening your visibility, this will give you the opportunity to produce reports to subsequently adjust your actions.
- Create lead nurturing scenarios tailored to your key account groups. In addition to direct emails, do not hesitate to rely on a marketing automation solution to deploy intelligent campaigns. Thanks to specific scenarios, you will be able to develop your leads in maturity according to their common attributes.
One to Many: a segmented and automated approach
Account-based marketing one to many: definition
The One to Many or programmatic ABM approach is a broad-spectrum account-based marketing strategy. The personalization of marketing actions and the content offered is carried out transversally and by sector. Here, the targeted accounts can extend to several hundred or even thousands. Account-based marketing one to many is thus based on marketing automation: messages are sent automatically in a lead nurturing process, based on information collected by tracking tools. Lead nurturing consists of maturing leads by feeding them relevant content. The approach is no longer individualized or grouped, but segmented and automated while being personalized.
One to Many or Programmatic ABM: what are the advantages?
One to many ABM lets you take advantage of artificial intelligence. Marketing automation sends the right messages to the right people, at the right time. You thus respect the decision-making process of each of your key accounts and ensure their maturity. Thanks to a segmented approach (horizontal or vertical markets for example), One to Many allows precise targeting and personalization: you are efficient while saving time! Because of its automation, programmatic ABM is indeed less resource intensive, a single specialist can work on the engagement of hundreds of accounts.
One to Many ABM: how to set it up?
Concretely, ABM One to Many involves sending automatic emails that offer the lead content adapted to their progress in the conversion funnel. The content is automatically selected by the marketing automation software, based on the actions previously performed by the lead-in question. Thus, if the key account has read-only two articles on a subject and has filled in its contact details as well as specific information concerning it (profession, sector, type of company, etc.), the marketing automation platform sends it for example by email an article discovered on a similar subject and adapted to his interests. This process thus makes it possible to support key accounts in a targeted manner throughout their decision-making cycle.
One-to-many ABM can also rely on personalized LinkedIn Ads campaigns. This is because you can create targeted ads for a range of accounts and functions only. These personalized campaigns will then only be visible to them, which allows you to push the most relevant offer for a sector. In addition, sending personalized advertising involves retargeting, for example for targets who have seen your sectoral content. This method has two advantages: you contact a prospect who is already interested in your solution, and you save marketing costs.
Which strategy to choose?
One to One, One to Few, or One to Many, each type of ABM responds to specific challenges. So which one to choose? It all really depends on the product or service you want to promote, but more so: the resources you have. Individualizing the One to One relationship takes time, as does define relevant groups in the One to Few approach. The use of marketing automation solutions or the creation of personalized campaigns requires a certain financial investment. Each of the types of ABM thus understands its advantages and disadvantages. Also, the best strategy is to reconcile the different approaches, depending on the opportune moments, to generate the engagement of the most relevant target accounts for your business at a moment’s notice. Depending on your objectives and your priorities, you will then opt sometimes for an individual approach, sometimes for a more global approach.
The undeniable advantages of ABM
1. Generate engagement
Through a personalized approach, ABM increases your chances of resonating with your target accounts. You thus improve the quality and the engagement rate of the most interesting leads for your business. The use of the 3 types of account-based marketing also allows you to always be relevant to your targets: as the accounts move through the conversion funnel, you adjust and personalize your approach so as to meet the needs of each account.
2. Build a relationship of trust and strengthen your reputation
The creation and distribution of relevant and personalized content help to make your company an expert in its field. Indeed, your target accounts trust you more easily when you share your expertise and give them the keys to solving their problems. Your reputation then grows, which leads to a virtuous circle: the more you are trusted in the sector, the more they will want to work with you!
3. Increase your income
Ultimately, your ABM strategies – one to one and one to few in particular – will attract high-value potential customers to you. This allows you to focus on the most promising target accounts while making efficient use of your resources. Your return on investment is thus optimized.
You will understand: the variations of Account-Based Marketing can have a positive effect on your customer acquisition rate, by increasing the engagement of the most strategic customers. This more detailed use of inbound marketing strategies is therefore very advantageous.