It may seem like you’re hearing about account-based marketing (ABM) everywhere these days. And with good reason!

ABM is emerging as one of the most effective ways to align sales and marketing efforts to create the most impact for your business. While ABM represents a particular set of tactics and approaches, the underlying principle is a tried and tested business fundamental: meet your customers where they are, listen to what they are saying, and make the marketing process all about them.

In an episode of Tomorrow’s Best Practices Today, Myles Suer, veteran marketer and founder of #CIOChat, spoke with host Bryan Kramer about the importance of centering the customer.

Buyers are looking for authenticity from the brands they do business with. So, the goal for marketers is to move toward a relationship-oriented approach to selling that focuses on the customer’s needs. 

As Myles puts it, “You’re not saying ‘Me, me, me, me, me.’ You’re saying ‘You, you, you, you, you.’”

Let’s Get Personal

In a conversation with Leadtail’s Daniell O’Neil for Agents of Change, digital marketing pro Kelsey Harkins shared key insights for approaching an ABM program. ABM is not industry or vertical marketing, Kelsey says. The data from these sorts of campaigns can be very helpful in informing your content for ABM, but vertical marketing is more about the “one-to-few” approach, rather than the “one-to-one.” 

“ABM is also not slapping your target account’s logo on a generic piece of content,” she says. Even when you have a really great piece of content that seems like it would speak directly to different target accounts, ABM requires further customization and personalization. 

It’s marketing distilled to its essence: understand your audience and learn to speak directly to their needs.

The core feature of ABM is the way it focuses marketing efforts on a specific customer’s needs. Buyers in today’s market expect a personalized experience. They want to know that you’ve taken the time to understand their pain points.

Account-based marketing replaces broadly targeted messaging about your product’s features and benefits with an expertly crafted solution tailored to your customer’s needs.

This approach pays dividends for all of your digital marketing initiatives, Kelsey says. “It might seem really simple on the surface. But, if you’re doing personalization and customization well in ABM campaigns, your engagement rate should improve over your other digital campaigns.” 

Soaking Up the Info

Bliss Marketing vice president Quintin Maidment agrees. The buying process is increasingly individualized and client led, meaning marketers need to become both more intentional and more curious. Get passionate about getting to know your customers, learn their language, and offer them the personalized experience they crave.

How do marketers get there? By becoming “information sponges,” Quintin says.

“I think it comes back to having a mindset that is always thinking: ‘Let’s learn more. Let’s read more. Let’s understand more. Let’s speak to smart people and work with smart people.’ That’s the best advice I have; it’s to try to be an information sponge as much as possible.”

ABM is more than a buzzword. It’s the clear trajectory of marketing across industries. B2B marketers who embrace it will have a massive advantage over their competitors in the new, more personal marketing landscape.

Ready to get started with account-based marketing? Let’s talk!