Account based marketing (ABM), also referred to as key account marketing, can be described as a strategic approach to business marketing where a firm takes on communication with customer and prospective accounts as a market of one. Many companies have adapted this successfully since the mid 1990’s as they adapt more targeted approaches instead of mass marketing. This is where an organization tries to sell as many products as possible to a single customer meaning that the marketing efforts are channeled to individual accounts.
This plays a very important role in terms of expanding business with a customer who already has an account with the organization. In cases where initial sales might have taken several months for the simple reasons that mass marketing did not appeal to the customer, account-based marketing has been reported to deliver a dramatic increase when it comes to long term value of the existing client. This can also be applied to a prospect account to support the first sale. Research shows that there are many buyers who look for their suppliers to keep them updated with all relevant propositions but seldom get this. With ABM, each account is handled individually which means that marketing activities are more accurately targeted which can help to create a great relationship between the customer and suppliers and can also bring in more sales.
Role of Marketing Teams
Account-based marketing shows a strong example of the alignments that happen to the sales and marketing teams. Using an aligned model, marketing efforts have defined sales goals and they also use feedback from sales made to identify any new potential markets. For the strategy to be successful, close working relationships and joint workshops are essential between the marketing and sales team. The marketing team also has to take on the role of developing intelligence on all the key accounts.
ABM and IT
One of the industries that have benefited a lot from account-based marketing has got to be the IT industry. Due to the complex propositions, large customer base and long sale cycles the strategy really works out well for the customers. It is however spreading well to the other sectors as suppliers realize that it will also work well for them. They are also coming up with new methods that can be used to make the strategy even better and bring in more returns.
Selecting the Key Accounts
Key accounts are normally identified within an organization as the point of focus for account-based marketing. It is important to note that not all the accounts normally meet the requirements to be set aside as key or strategic account. Organizations therefore need to be very carefully while selecting the accounts they will settle on. Failure to do this can put them at risk of losing valuable clients. Some of the things that should be considered when choosing the accounts include account history, revenue history, profitability margins and the viability of the client under review to know if the client is interested in a long term relationship. The organizations should also ask what the company and the client have in common to help in solidifying the relationship so that clients don’t think of giving the business elsewhere.