ABM and AI: the way to win B2B marketing challenge

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Account-Based Marketing is the new generation of marketing, aimed to have a meaningful conversation with qualified leads.

In an inbound marketing strategy, the target audience reads your content, feels engaged and become a prospect or a customer. It’s a funnel-shaped path that ends with lead generation.

Account-based marketing flips the funnel over and changes the point of view.

It is a B2B strategy in which your prospects are companies and even their most exciting employees. It has several steps, and AI technology can help it perform even better.

In this article, you will learn why account-based marketing is a disruptive technology for a B2B strategy, and how Artificial Intelligence can power it up to make it almost invincible.

man looking
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Topics

  1. Account Based Marketing: The Revolution Of Inbound Marketing
  2. How You Can Apply AI To Account Based Marketing Strategy
  3. Sources

Account Based Marketing: The Boost Of Inbound Marketing

Account-Based Marketing (ABM, also known as key account marketing) is an innovative technique in b2b field. It can be considered as an evolution of inbound marketing. In ABM marketing, companies aren’t an abstract concept. Instead, marketers see employees of those companies as valuable prospects and try to engage them most effectively.

Marketing and sales department point to have a common strategy to create strong communication.

Marketers can focus on smaller groups of prospects which are more interested in the offer and, by consequence, that are more likely to become valuable leads for the Sales team.

In inbound marketing, you focus on creating high-quality contents to bring people to your company. Building a healthy relationship is an essential part of the funnel.

Usually, in a classic marketing funnel, marketing activity aims to reach as many people as possible. This process consents a natural selection of the target, and sales can focus only on the most profitable accounts – the ones that suit best the final customers.

The main difference between ABM Marketing and Inbound Marketing strategy, to over-simplify the concept, is all about in which order you do the same things. ABM marketing focuses on every single prospect from the first moment, giving you information to ultra-personalizing the contents you craft for them.

In Account-Based Marketing strategy, your first move is to create lists of prospect, and THEN you build relations.
Here’s how you can create an effective Account-Based Marketing strategy:

  • Select the target: even in a b2b market, it’s essential to build some buyer personas for your goal. You can do this by creating a so-called Ideal Customer Profile, based on real data of the companies. Some of those data can be the company’s dimensions and geographical position, turnover, and the number of employees, grade of influence on the market.
  • Find prospects and stakeholders: once you select the primary target, you go to find decision-makers and stakeholders to engage via personalized messages.
  • Select the channels: the aim is to reach the right people, and you have to look for them on the proper channels. Different people like a different way of communication. Different people have different preferences in terms of channels, and you need to find them where they are.

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  • Create your content: all the contents you are going to create must follow your prospects’ interests. They must be custom and well designed to adapt to the company’s professional figures. In this particular phase, ABM and inbound marketing play in the same team. For example, at this stage, you could show your prospects personalized landing pages, that fit everyone’s interests and needs.
  • Engage your prospects: once you have strategy, contents and channels, you have to create several touchpoints. Do that through different ways, from email marketing to online advertising, following the path you designed with your entire strategy. Messages must be coherent and well distributed. It’s essential to keep in mind that this kind of target is smaller than the one you would have in the case of the classic funnel.
  • Land and expand: it’s a curious terminology that means the necessity to develop all the next moves carefully, form up-selling to cross-selling, to achieve your goal and impress the target.
  • Measurement and optimization: there’s no marketing campaign if there’s no measurement. After all these steps, marketers need to analyze them and their ROI. The analysis is useful to refine strategies and convert prospects in clients with a better conversion rate. They have to check if the activity is producing the results as expected.

ABM marketing is a long process that requires many fundamental steps to acquire new customers.
Recent studies show how much ABM is an exceptionally powerful method.

It is perfect but time-consuming.

There is any way, tool or technology that we can use to shortcut some of the steps?
Here we come to the point. Artificial Intelligence can support marketing department and marketing agencies to go with a more efficient and less expensive ABM strategy.

How You Can Apply AI To Account Based Marketing Strategy

How can AI technology be a resource to boost Account-Based Marketing strategies?
B2B marketing strategies can be a little more complicated than B2C. With B2B, you can’t leverage popularity or influencers. There are fewer data and far less engagement.

However, AI can help. Account-Based Marketing strategies are most known for their high level of personalization, as well as AI, is famous for delivering an extreme and people-focused level of customization.

  • AI Lead Scoring. AI can help by filtering accounts more deeply only to pick the most likely leads to convert, even in an already highly narrowed group. AI can classify stakeholders and prospects, segment characteristics and assign a score to the leads.
  • Social Listening and Social Monitoring. Listening what our prospects are discussing, how they see our brand or our competitor, is helpful to find conversation points in common or even personalize what to say. Doing Social Listening using AI tools, as well as doing Social Monitoring using AI tools, can save us a lot of time and keep us effective in a real-time marketing strategy.

Takeaways

  • ABM is an innovative technique in b2b field. It’s an evolution of inbound marketing and focus on smaller groups of prospects, the ones which are more interested in the offer.
  • The main difference between ABM and Inbound Marketing strategy is in which order marketers do the different steps. In ABM you focus on every single prospect from the first moment, and then you create personalized content to engage them.
  • AI can help ABM because of his high level of customization. It can be useful in many different steps of the process, from lead scoring to social listening and social monitoring.
Sources

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