If you have studied the key principles and practices of inbound marketing and profitable lead generation, it’s likely that you’ve already got a leg up on the marketing efforts of your competitors.
You know the importance of truly understanding your audience segments, using data-driven insights to learn what makes them tick, then shaping the narrative message of your content around your findings.
But there are some scenarios in which these principles need supporting with a much more targeted approach—that’s where Account Based Marketing comes in.
Account Based Marketing vs Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing works like a magnet—attracting prospects to your brand, then holding their attention and engaging them with resonant advertising messages that speak to their specific needs, wants and motivations.
Ultimately though, this approach works by targeting large groups of people.
In high-ticket B2B sales in the financial markets, securing new business means getting yourself in front of key stakeholders and individual decision makers in order to influence an investment decision.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that aims to do just that.
Put simply, inbound marketing is attracting people to your offerings based on common characteristics and objectives, while ABM is identifying a list of key accounts by name (or at least by organization and job role), before lining them up in the crosshairs.
A more focused approach
Like inbound marketing, ABM still works on the premise of developing a detailed understanding of what makes someone tick, what their pain points are and shaping your marketing message around them.
However, ABM builds on this with a much more pointed approach.
Rather than targeting groups, it involves targeting specific stakeholders within an organization, and treating them as a “market of one”.
By focusing on a specific individual (or individuals), this means ABM has the potential to be even more specific, even more personalized, and even more relevant than your typical inbound marketing approach.
ABM aligns sales and marketing
Another way in which ABM builds upon inbound marketing is that it demands a more unified approach across your sales and marketing functions.
Nine times out of ten, sales teams working in the financial markets have identified potential leads and know the exact stakeholders that they need to speak to in order to close the deal.
The problem is they need a foot in the door.
Delivering highly targeted and personalized marketing content can serve to bridge this gap, engaging the key account in question, gaining their trust and providing persuasive evidence of the value that your service has to offer them.
Then once you’ve pulled them into the inbound funnel and established contact, it’s on your sales team to start the conversation, and work towards closing the deal.
The main thing to bear in mind when aligning your sales and marketing efforts is to think of both departments as different touch points along your key account’s customer journey.
As such, both departments should share the same view of the account, with a shared knowledge of their lead status (ie warm, cold), which marketing activity that has been directed at them, and how successful it’s been at engaging them.
Why there is no alternative to ABM in B2B financial markets
Customers that are typically a good fit for an Account Based Marketing strategy are those that sell complex, high-value products or services to other businesses.
Within operations like these, it is very rarely down to one budget holder or decision maker to influence new purchases or investment decisions.
Typically, these decisions are the culmination of input from a number of different senior individuals. They may even be spread widely across the different departments and jurisdictions within the organization.
In situations like this, Account Based Marketing is the most cost effective, accurate and efficient way to get your service offering under the noses of these individuals, before demonstrating how it can address their specific wants and needs, with highly targeted and relevant messaging, developed through thorough research of these key accounts.
It is for these reasons that ABM is the perfect approach for those working within the finance space, and why there really is no alternative.