The 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report shows that account-based marketing (ABM) is the most popular tactic B2B marketers are adding to their campaigns for next year.
While ABM isn’t a new marketing tactic, modern channels and platforms offer the potential to leverage digital content more effectively, allow marketers to reimagine what’s possible, and extract phenomenal results. B2B marketing strategies need to grab the attention of key decision-makers and stakeholders who, traditionally, can be challenging to gain access to. But, the opportunities enabled by modern ABM make it much easier to develop and nurture these valuable business connections.
Perhaps nowhere in B2B are the benefits of ABM clearer than the competitive world of manufacturing.
In this blog, we strengthen our understanding of what ABM is and see how B2B marketing and sales teams use it to build more valuable partnerships between manufacturers and their ideal clients.
What are ABM Campaigns?
ABM campaigns are carefully targeted, thoroughly planned growth strategies where marketing and sales teams collaborate on building customized experiences for individual accounts. By directly targeting key stakeholders who influence purchasing decisions, we can better orchestrate the entire journey, from prospect to sale, for any specific type of buyer account. Maybe best of all, your existing inbound marketing tactics help identify which accounts are the most valuable and offer clear direction on how to optimize and accelerate the buyer’s journey for those accounts.
As with most marketing strategies, integration is the key to success. ABM campaigns can help you maximize your ROI by supplementing a well-rounded suite of tactics. ABM can be applied at any point in a customer relationship to best suit your objectives.
ABM in Manufacturing
Manufacturing runs on B2B connections, and every decision-maker at every stage wants to increase the value of their investments for themselves and their customers. Even the largest companies in the world rely on the specialties of others, including their competitors, to create products that fill certain niches.
Take a company like Samsung, an electronics manufacturer that produces many components for their own devices while also maintaining a B2B operation that sells those same components to other product manufacturers who wish to develop their own devices. Manufacturers who lack the means or desire to make proprietary electronics like touch panels, strictly regulated items such as batteries, or complex subassembly procedures, are perfect candidates for an ABM approach. Compared to B2C sales, a B2B contract for even a single component can take significant time to come to fruition, but this time offers marketing and sales the opportunities they need to nurture accounts with sophisticated ABM strategies.
Your Basic ABM Framework
- Gather data and research the accounts that fit your ideal buyer profile
- Rank your accounts based on how closely they match your ideal buyer to focus on the top 15%-20%
- Make informed predictions of how your products and services solve challenges for each stakeholder
- Strategize the tactics, channels, and execution that will best resonate with those top accounts
- Execute your ABM strategy with the combined efforts of your sales and marketing teams
- Evaluate your results with clear KPIs and close the loop on successful and unsuccessful tactics
ABM Tactics That Grab the Attention of Manufacturing Industry Specialists
Now that you have an idea of what ABM is, how it works, and why it’s effective in building B2B relationships among manufacturers, let’s look at some of the real-world ABM tactics that marketing and sales teams are investing in for 2021.
Paid Social Media Promotion
Sponsored ads and other paid promotion techniques on social media can broadcast your best resources to select account audiences. For most B2B companies, including manufacturers, LinkedIn is the social platform of choice with tools like Matched Audiences, which targets companies and individuals to share industry-specific articles, case studies, and other content assets.
Social Media Outreach
Initiate manual one-on-one engagement with prospects through professional channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s InMail feature is the best way to contact other professionals directly. Pay close attention to the delivery and tone of your messages, so they precisely address the pain points of your target accounts.
Personalized ABM email campaigns help nurture leads and offer an excellent opportunity to get additional value out of existing materials from past and current marketing campaigns. Send relevant new content pieces, recent blog posts, and thought leadership articles to your accounts and ask for their thoughts or opinions to initiate a discussion and show them how you can improve their lives.
Whether you’re starting on step one or step four of the ABM framework, it’s vital to make the right choices about which accounts to focus on, how best to reach them, and how to guide them to the sale as quickly as possible. The 2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report goes into greater detail on the tactics and strategies that generate the most leads and sales and can help manufacturers of all sizes and specialties identify the best engagement methods to attract, convert, and maintain their ideal accounts.