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How Can Account-Based Marketing Generate New Leads?

Your company may produce high-quality products and services, but none of that is helpful if you’re not getting the clients and exposure that you deserve. Return on investment (ROI) can help identify the strengths of your marketing campaigns, but it can only tell you so much.

How can you attract new accounts? What are the best marketing strategies?

You want to stand out from your competitors and attract accounts that align with your core values. Digital marketing has evolved over the years and it’s an exciting time to find what works well for you and your company.

Marketing strategies come and go, but the last few years has seen account-based marketing (ABM) increase in popularity. In a LinkedIn article published last year, 86% of B2B (business to business) companies said ABM improved their win rates.

How can account-based marketing generate new leads?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is an approach that combines sales and marketing to target specific clients and companies. This process helps to identify accounts that will fit and benefit your clients’ requirements. Key stakeholders are targeted within the business and solutions are found to appeal to their individual needs.

ABM can result in a faster sales process because you are targeting accounts with tailor-made programmes. This means that your campaigns are more likely to prove successful as you know what your clients are looking for. Rather than casting a wide net in the hopes of gaining new clients and companies, ABM can help you target your absolute ideal accounts.

The accounts to target with ABM are those that epitomise your ideal client. This is because your company will be investing a lot of time and resources into the marketing strategy and it’s important that you receive successful end results that showcase the effort.

In this article, we’ll explain how ABM can help to generate new leads and increase the success rate of your company.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is a concept used in marketing to encourage interest in a company’s business and products. The leads could be used to increase sales, build a customer list and drive visits to your website.

There are two popular methods to generate leads, account-based marketing and inbound marketing. Most companies have their preferences, which usually depends on what they’re trying to achieve. Account-based marketing targets specific companies and accounts. It then prioritises engagement and outreach with these specific high-value accounts.

Inbound marketing works in a sales funnel that focuses on broader areas than ABM. The goal is usually to generate lots of leads and then filter at a later stage for ideal customers.

The following is a more detailed explanation of both lead generation methods.

Account-based marketing

ABM is effective because your marketing and sales teams work closely together to target specific accounts. The two departments can individually tailor content to appeal to potential new accounts. The end goal is to gain new clients, but also to build solid relationships along the way. This is a popular choice for B2B marketing.

Despite the initial effort and cost of creating tailored campaigns for your clients, you will soon see a greater ROI and greater customer loyalty and retention.

An example of a creative account-based marketing strategy involves researching the executive team and stakeholders of the account and sending them their favourite food or drinks. This will immediately attract their attention and will prove that you are dedicated to research and going the extra mile. You could also create custom landing pages and videos to mark a product launch and interact with potential clients.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is in many ways the opposite of ABM. Rather than researching the specifics of each company, inbound marketing is often used to achieve quantity over quality. The overall goal is to quickly generate lots of leads and then filter until the relevant leads are left. This is a popular choice for B2C marketing.

Inbound marketing has lower start-up costs as it does not require so much research, it is also far less timing consuming. For example, your company could utilise social media and set up a website to post blogs. However, this can quickly become time-consuming without guaranteed results. It can also be hard to make your company stand out in a market that is full of competitors producing the same content as you.

Inbound marketing often builds long-term relationships between customers and businesses by appealing to a full industry or market. Some businesses find that using inbound marketing and ABM in partnership can work well for a powerful marketing strategy.

For example, inbound marketing can attract clients through organic outreach and ABM can speed up the process with a tailored customer experience.

Why should I use account-based marketing?

You can easily monitor the success of an account-based marketing strategy. Your sales and marketing teams can work together on a smaller number of accounts and collect data on the various components of the campaigns. Your business won’t have to waste time chasing leads that aren’t likely to go anywhere.

The personalised marketing approach is less risky than trying to catch the attention of people that may or may not be relevant to you. Instead, your ABM campaign can nurture a relationship with the decision-makers of your ideal accounts.

ABM can also help to nurture relationships within your business itself. Sales and marketing teams are able to help each other recognise their goals and keep on track.

This marketing strategy also helps staff to become experts on each client because they are dedicating their time to learning what the clients are looking for and why. Rather than stretching your resources too thin, your business can target the right accounts with the right knowledge.

A 2020 State of ABM report found that 94.2% of respondents now have an active ABM programme. If nothing else, your business should strongly consider using ABM to keep up with your competitors. You may find that other businesses are gaining new leads at a much faster rate than you simply because they have a better marketing strategy in place.

How much does account-based marketing cost?

The cost of ABM is often cheaper than you might think. Once you have established who you are trying to target, you can hone your campaign strategies to suit the individual accounts to get the best results. This can prove more cost-effective than a ‘spray and pray’ method, where you aren’t guaranteed to see the results you want because of diluted tactics.

Targeting multiple accounts may require a bigger budget, however, you can adjust your strategy appropriately for this. It’s important that you set a budget in the first place as it can be easy to get overwhelmed by exciting campaign ideas. Find quality that is in alignment with your marketing budget.

Focusing on a small group of accounts can reduce wasted time and resources because your marketing team will be able to easily track important stages of the funnel. This means that you won’t have to backtrack or lose clients at a critical stage.

Your team can still aim for big accounts, but it’s important to remember that you’re trying to deliver consistent levels of work. There’s no use giving one client an amazing service if you’re sacrificing your other accounts in the meantime.

How can I create account-based marketing strategies?

We cover an exact step by step approach on how to target your ideal accounts here. In a nutshell, you will first want to determine the type of ABM campaign you intend to run (one-to-one, one-to-few or one-to-many), you then need to locate and define your target accounts, plan content to target them directly, identify the channels that they leverage and then run your targeted campaigns directly to them. Following this, you need to measure, learn and optimise what has worked.

Some of the best marketing strategies involve thinking outside of the box. Target accounts with personalised content that is based on careful research. The objective is to be memorable, but professional.

Some tactics you can utilise to target accounts include:

  • Events – even if you have a great product, your clients need to feel a connection to it in order to invest. Hosting both virtual and in-person events can add a personal perspective.
  • Paid advertising and retargeting ads- attract your clients with personalised advertising that targets their exact pain points. Direct them to customised landing pages to build the ‘know, like and trust’.
  • Email campaigns – attract your ideal account with valuable content that speaks to them directly

When will I see the benefits of account-based marketing?

There are several ways to measure the success of your ABM campaigns. For example, you can track increased account engagement, lead conversion rates, sales and so on. This is a good time to consider whether you are targeting the right accounts. If you’re not seeing much interaction, it could be that you need to further investigate your target accounts and re-assess how you are approaching them. For example, are you leveraging their chosen channels of communication?

Your account-based marketing target accounts are given more time and attention. They are considered high value because they are your absolute ideal customers and as such are a great asset that should convert into sales. However, if they are not converting into sales then you should consider who is on your account-based marketing list of accounts and why.

The only way you can hope to see the long-term benefits of your account-based marketing strategy is to measure and track your ROI, client satisfaction and the number of leads you generate. You can then lean into what works to optimise your ABM strategy.

How can I improve my account-based marketing lead generation?

The simplest and perhaps most effective way to make sure your ABM efforts generate new leads is communication. Your company’s marketing and sales team need to work together to identify a suitable plan of action to make sure your company is getting the best coverage it can.

As with most business transactions, it’s always good to network first. You can build up trusting relationships with existing customers and hope that they will spread the word about your company. One of the best ways to build trust is to consistently deliver a high standard of service.

You will be able to measure the return on investment and evaluate the areas that have been a success, as well as areas that need improvement. Regular reflective and strategizing sessions can help your company stay on target with your account-based marketing efforts.