ABM and Inbound Marketing: The Future of B2B Marketing

Account Based Marketing is a practice wherein, the potential customers (which comprise of all the decision makers within a target company) are segmented primarily on the basis of their technographic & firmographic data & deliver highly personalized experiences, based on the awareness of their accounts. This strategic business marketing approach, to target an account or a company instead of individual buyers, creates better chances for conversions by shortening the buyers’ journey which boosts the Return on Investment (ROI). 92% of B2B marketers agree that ABM is “extremely’ or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts. (Source: SiriusDecisions). According to a study by Forrester, 74% of buyers conduct more than half of their business research online, yet 89.5% of the total sales closures are completed by a salesperson. ABM focuses on optimizing marketing mediums by focusing on individual accounts rather than leads, channels or products through the unification of the entire buyers’ journey from online research to (re) purchase, to advocacy. Inbound Marketing, on the other hand, also focuses on identifying & targeting a buyer persona through multiple channels which include different websites & social media platforms (Source: SiriusDecisisons) but it has a wider scope than ABM. Segmentation of potential buyers is often done on the basis of demographic, psychographic, technographic, firmographic & “fit data” of the buyer persona, after discovering the persona. The visitors are attracted, their pain areas are addressed to convert them into leads, which are nurtured & finally converted to sales. Account-Based Marketing & Inbound methodologies when used in conjunction are ideal for B2B marketers to increase their Return on Investment (ROI).  Both these methods are focused on identifying & addressing the pain points of the customers & convincing them that the marketers have a product or service to help solve the problematic areas of the customers. Once the customers are convinced that the marketers have the resources to resolve their difficulties & the human elements of the interaction are kept intact, not only their journeys through the sales funnel gets expedited but the marketers also cultivate a loyal group of customers who act as the brand ambassadors of their company further bringing in more customers via means of positive word-of-mouth interactions.

Benefits of Integrating ABM & Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing practices have outlasted outbound ones a long time ago. According to a study conducted by Hubspot in 2018, it was deduced that only 18% of marketers agree that outbound practices provide the highest quality leads for sales. On the other hand, 87% of marketers measuring their ROI stated that ABM outperforms other marketing investments (Source: ITSMA). Following are some of the paybacks of coalescing ABM & Inbound Marketing: 1. Personalized Content: ABM emphasizes on individual prospects or existing accounts & consists of the following steps:
  1. Identification of relevant accounts
  2. Expansion of marketing endeavors to key decision makers within the organization & creating relevant content that appeals to the company
  3. Engagement with decision makers in the organization across multiple channels
  4. Finding stakeholders within the organization who can serve as advocates for B2B marketers within the organization
  5. Measurement of ABM efforts; qualitatively & quantitatively.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on great quality content in order to bring them to the B2B customers & virtually supplements each stage of ABM. It also helps in discovering new accounts through leads by focusing on individual leads which in turn helps ABM. ABM & Inbound Marketing supplement each other and are integral parts of marketing & sales endeavors for the most successful B2B companies. 2. Sales & Marketing Alignment: ABM requires the marketing team to think from the sales perspective so that the accounts can be targeted for sales. Inbound marketing also focuses on bridging the gap between sales & marketing so as to develop a comprehensive strategy to expedite sales based on the intent-data, fit-data & psychographic analysis of potential buyers. 3. Promotion of Content Across Multiple Channels: Whether it is ABM or Inbound Marketing, the personalized content created for accounts or leads have to be promoted across multiple social channels including the 5 major social media platforms – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter. Every person consumes information in different ways & on a different platform so that marketers need to tap into all the possible niches. According to a study by HubSpot, about 67% of Americans use Facebook or Twitter as their prime sources of news. 4. Running Personalized & Non-Conflicting Campaigns : Sending the right pieces of content to potential customers is important in both ABM & Inbound Marketing. So, marketers need to be careful doing this so that no conflicting information or repetitive information is sent to the stakeholders in the account or the leads. This is a difficult task. According to Demandbase, 82% of the visitors on B2B websites aren’t actual customers. So, reaching the inboxes of the potential clients by leveraging ABM & Inbound Marketing is imperative for B2B marketers. 5. Customer Satisfaction, Retention & opportunities to Upsell: While ABM focuses on integrating marketing & sales endeavors to focus on a few most important accounts, inbound marketing has a larger scope & philosophizes human-friendly marketing & sales where marketers adjust to the way people want to buy. When ABM & Inbound Marketing work in synchronization, they lead to greater customer satisfaction, retention (by focusing on after-sales services) & opportunities to upsell (primarily by positive word-of-mouth interactions or existing customers opting in for more services in due course). Conclusion: ABM & Inbound Marketing methodologies are highly compatible.
While 75% of the B2B tech companies prioritize Inbound Marketing (source: penguinstrategies.com) more than 90% of B2B marketers believe that ABM is essential to B2B marketing (Source: SiriusDecisions).
62% of marketers say that growing revenue from existing accounts is the top priority of ABM while 50% also consider ABM to be useful in unifying marketing & sales endeavors (Source: komarketing.com). As Inbound Marketing relevancy has always been important, so has been the need to create keystone or evergreen content. Benchmarking the competition & integrating video-based content are also important to inbound marketers of today. As ABM & Inbound marketing co-evolve, they equip marketers to grow qualified leads & sales. Measuring ROI form overall inbound marketing endeavors is imperative to the success of B2B marketers, which in turn, helps them fix the loopholes in their content, SEO, marketing, sales & website design. Astonishingly, about 67% of Chief Marketing Officers have trouble proving an ROI for their marketing efforts (Source: demandbase.com). We at, Valasys Media, help our customers with ABM services & inbound marketing. Apart from this we also have well-synchronized content syndication strategies. Our services are designed to help our customers acquire new leads, engage with them across multiple channels, nurture them & finally convert those leads to sales in order to optimize the revenue for our customers. For more information on our services, feel free to contact us.

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