Is It Time to Give Account-Based Marketing a Try?
by Aden Andrus • July 23, 2020
To succeed at account-based marketing, you have to understand the issues and challenges your customers are facing. Depending on their industry, business size and goals, the decision-makers you’re targeting will have specific problems and priorities you’ll need to keep in mind as you build out your strategy.
For example, both home delivery pharmacies and industrial piping companies need shipping solutions, but they’re not looking for the same products or services. Even if you can meet both of their needs, it’s unlikely that they will both respond well to the same marketing approach.
To further complicate things, customers in different industries expect to be marketed to in different ways. Some prefer email. Some like conferences. Some respond to PPC advertising. Others rely on word-of-mouth referrals.
If you rely on a “one size fits all” approach to B2B marketing, you may be able to land some sales, but you’ll miss out on a lot of potential opportunities.
You’re selling the same basic products, software or services to all of your target accounts, so there will be some overlap in pain points and needs. But, if you don’t understand the priorities, values and problems your customers are dealing with, you’ll never be able to communicate with them effectively.
What Do Your Customers Care About?
First off, you have to take a step back and look at your business from the perspective of your customers. Businesses in different verticals want different things from your business.
Going back to our home delivery pharmacy and industrial piping example, both of these companies need to get their products to a specific destination. They both need shipping containers. They both need their products to arrive safely and on-time.
However, the specifics they’re looking for in each of those three areas are very different.
A home delivery pharmacy is often shipping time- and temperature-sensitive products. The drugs they’re sending out could be worth thousands of dollars and if they are warm for more than an hour or so, they could be ruined.
With that in mind, a home delivery pharmacy is going to be looking for a delivery solution that can reliably get their shipments to their destination within 24 hours. They also need insulated shipping containers and ice packs. Finally, they need to be sure that their shipments won’t be left in a hot van for hours on end.
In contrast, an industrial piping company has very different priorities.
Their products are large, unwieldy and heavy, so they are primarily interested in durable shipping containers and keeping their shipping costs down. They need their products to arrive on time, but they aren’t dealing with strict temperature challenges and their customers generally order well in advance.
As you can probably imagine, trying to appeal to accounts in both of these verticals with some sort of generic messaging would probably fall flat. That’s the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do with account-based marketing. When you try to cut corners and appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one and lose out on potential customers.
To convince your target accounts to work with you, you need to understand the specific problems and challenges they are dealing with. Once you understand the core issues your target accounts are thinking about, figure out how your business can specifically help them with those issues.
A good ABM strategy makes a case for your business in terms that matter to your target account. Think about their situation, adapt your messaging and show them why your business is perfect for their needs.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about account-based marketing and how to put it to work for your B2B business, reach out to us here to get specific tips and advice for your business. Talk to you soon!