Wouldn’t it be beneficial if you have a customer whose Lifetime Value (CLV) is worth more than, say, 10 customers? I bet it would. And, if you want to target one such potential customer, would your marketing strategy be the same as that for others? No right! Hence, account based marketing is one such strategy that caters to this need specifically.
When you are in the world of B2B marketing, your marketing strategies have a different approach. B2B target audience is way lesser in numbers than B2C audience.
In B2C marketing, you need to address a vast majority of the crowd. You have to design ways to get to their awareness through all the different channels that are possibly available. The need of setting filters on your target audience is not that crucial. You have to spread the awareness of your SaaS product on every part of the world, either to the direct buyers or to the indirect ones.
But this approach is not useful in B2B marketing. Since your target customer segment is way smaller than B2C, you need to design a specialized marketing strategy for them.
Challenges of B2B marketing
To create an effective marketing strategy you need to overcome the challenges that are a part of its implementation. Few of the challenges that are commonly faced by the marketers in B2B world are:
Unable to measure impact
It has always been a challenge for the companies to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. You never know in what capacity your marketing strategies are making an impact on your potential customers. They go through a series of stages before they decide to contact you for either buying or trying your product.
Digital marketing’s outreach on unknown field
According to a Forrester research, 67% of a buyer’s journey is covered online without any human interaction. There are many analytics tools that provide you the number of visitors and clicks on your backlinks. But, you can never measure what other inbound marketing material played their role in educating them enough to finally click on your landing page.
Addressing all decision makers at the buyer’s side
Often in a B2B scenario, there are 3-4 stakeholders who make the final decision on buying your product. And they are usually at different roles and positions in an organization. So, how do you create your content to address all of them at the same time.
Siloed marketing and sales teams
When you need to address a vast crowd in the marketing process, you cannot keep up with your sales team. When any inbound enquiry comes, your sales team would be on a totally different page than the potential buyer. They are unaware of which solutions of your product that were marketed to them, they liked and were looking for. Understanding their context becomes difficult if marketing is not focused to a particular segment.
How B2B Account based marketing can help?
This type of marketing strategy focuses on a set of high value accounts and creates marketing resources specifically to address them. Companies who are applying this kind of marketing consider the specific challenges their target customers face. Then they design the solution and showcase them in their marketing efforts. The Customer success team has a crucial role to play in this. Let us look at a few benefits of account based marketing in Customer success.
Bespoke Marketing approach
Through the Customer Success function in your company, you would have already got a fair amount of ideas on your customer’s profile. In a B2B account based marketing, the marketing team, with the help of customer success, studies the customer more thoroughly before they design their marketing materials.
They understand their pain-points, their domain knowledge, and all of their other attributes to form the personalized messages. This way you can make sure that your marketing approach hits right at the target and catches your customer’s attention.
Marketing and Sales team’s alignment
It is the prime responsibility of a Customer Success Manager (CSM) to align the marketing and sales team for a particular customer. In your organization, there is no one else who is at a better position to know a customer than a CSM. Hence to target the existing customer for further marketing, the CSM should give orientation to the marketing and sales team so that they both deliver a consistent interaction with the customers.
When a customer finds in their interactions that all the representatives from different teams in your organization are on the same page, their customer experience goes way beyond expectations.
Since you are directly targeting the selective group of customers, it becomes much easier to calculate your return on investment. The amount of time and resources you have put in to sell your products, have you been able to recover that? The answer to that is a clear yes or no.
If you are gaining a good return on investment then you can invest more on nurturing relationships with these customers. You can also identify other similar customers and expand your B2B account based marketing to those as well.
Shorter Sales process
As I mentioned above in the challenges of B2B marketers, how do you create content that appeals to all decision-makers in your target companies. Your CSM can help you do that because they have been interacting with different people at multiple levels in your high value accounts. You can create specific content for each of those decision-makers and your CSM can help them pass it on to the right individuals every time they have a meeting with them.
This will ensure that you are able to influence all the decision makers simultaneously at different levels. And when the time will come for them to consider your marketed product, they would be well prepared to take a decision in a shorter time.
By now, you would have got an idea that account based marketing is all about personalization. The more personalize you can make your marketing strategy, the better result you can achieve. Naturally, for making it more personal, you need to invest more time and resources. Hence, to cover the cost you need to make sure that you identify only the high value customers and invest on them.
This marketing strategy has worked wonders for many SaaS B2B companies. But it can work way more efficiently if you combine it with the benefits of having customer success in your organization. All the opportunities for customer retention, upselling and cross-selling lie primarily with your customer success team. Hence, customizing their marketing efforts for business expansion becomes indispensable for them to achieve greater results.