Imagine a world where you could start the sales process by selling your product or services to your best-fit, highest value accounts. You’ll be able to save time by avoiding leads who are not the right fit for your business. It means you can move straight into the phase of engaging and delighting your target accounts.
Talk about efficiency, right?
Account-based marketing (ABM) allows you to eliminate less valuable accounts early on. It ensures marketing and sales are in complete alignment – in return, your team can leap into the critical processes of finding and engaging the right accounts much faster.
However, the way most businesses have been practicing ABM shows that brands are reaching out to accounts that had no interest. It’s not great for the sales team or the customer.
A major difference between B2C and B2B marketing today is their core nature. B2C marketing focus on customer-centricity and customer experience. B2B marketing still remains sales-focused at its core, even today, for many businesses. This problem has been solved with ABM where target accounts are handpicked, then nurtured in a predictable and efficient manner.
ABM has its own flaws, however. The approach businesses take with ABM is not as personalized as it should be and the focus is not on customer experience. That’s where Account-Based Experience (ABX) comes into play.
While ABX is not a substitute for ABM, it is a desired enhancement that leverages customer experience. ABX revolutionizes revenue generation by combining engagement and traditional demand generation tactics with the precision and targeting of ABM. It’s a bigger umbrella that embraces all of the different departments, rather than implying that it’s all down to marketing.
In this blog post, we’ll explore everything about building an effective ABX strategy, and how AI can empower your ABM & ABX strategies. So, let’s dive right in!
ABM and ABX Demystified
While ABM focuses on targeted marketing efforts toward key accounts, ABX takes a more holistic approach by prioritizing personalized experiences across all touchpoints of the customer journey.
ABX recognizes that customers interact with various departments and channels, and aligns marketing, sales, and customer success to deliver cohesive, tailored experiences.
By breaking down organizational silos, ABX fosters a customer-centric mindset and ensures consistent messaging, resulting in long-term loyalty and better ROI.
How to Build an Effective ABX Strategy?
An effective ABX strategy is the building block of your ABX campaign. So, work through the following list to ensure your ABX efforts and investment are successful.
1. Build Your Account Data Foundation
It can be challenging to create an effective ABX strategy if you don’t have a single view of the accounts. When your critical data is scattered across the CRM, email, and other systems, marketing, and sales will not have a shared view of what is going on. To overcome this challenge, gather all of your first-party data (your campaigns, leads, contacts, and activities). Then add this to your third-party data, including information such as industry, location, company size, etc. Intent data is crucial as it reveals the research activities and market interest of accounts, helping you identify potential opportunities.
2. Identify and Prioritize Key Accounts
Begin by analyzing your customer base and identifying accounts with high potential value. Prioritize those that align with your ideal customer profile and have the greatest potential for growth. You can use two key strategies to ensure you’re focusing on the best accounts. These are:
- Determining various styles of ABX (basic ABX, segmented ABX, tiered ABX, one-to-one ABX) based on account value
- Segmenting/rotating/triggering account focus
3. Engage Accounts with Personalized Interactions
Effective account interactions hinge on relevance. Gather insights about the account’s buyer journey, intent, technologies, and competitors to achieve this. Then, you can ensure that interactions occur through personalized channels like SDR (Sales Development Representative) outreach and direct mail, as well as scalable channels like digital advertising and website personalization. Balancing both approaches is key to a successful ABX strategy.
4. Engage Accounts with Account-Based Advertising
First, you need to optimize account-based advertising across accounts. Traditional advertising solutions often allocate impressions based on the size of the account, leading to a disproportionate allocation of budget towards the top 10% of accounts. This approach can result in smaller accounts being overlooked and suboptimal use of resources.
To address this challenge, it is advisable to leverage a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) that allows for even budget allocation across accounts. By allocating budgets evenly, regardless of account size, you ensure a fair distribution of impressions and investment across your target accounts. This approach allows you to maintain a balanced and strategic approach to your account-based advertising efforts.
5. Close Deals by Aligning Sales and Marketing
Successful account-based strategies require close collaboration between marketing and sales to drive deal closure. Unlike traditional demand generation, this collaboration resembles a soccer team, with the continuous ball passing throughout the game. There are three levels of alignment:
- Aligning data, to ensure both teams are on the same page
- Enabling the sales team to do their job better by sharing insights
- Coordinating interactions, and working together for better results
By embracing these three levels of alignment—data, insights sharing, and coordinated interactions—marketing and sales can synergize their efforts and achieve better results in their account-based strategies.
6. Measure Your Account-Based Program
Measuring your ABX campaign success should be about quality, not quantity.
Are you engaging with the right businesses with the right accounts?
One way to measure success is by tracking web visits from target accounts and observing how ABX efforts impact account activity. Analyzing the channels, personas, segments, and territories that generate the most engagement provides deeper insights. Additionally, evaluating the four V metrics (Value, Volume, Conversion, and Velocity) at each stage of the account journey.
- Value: How many accounts do you have in each stage?
- Volume: How many accounts are moving from one stage to the next in a month?
- Conversion: What is the conversion rate from stage to stage?
- Velocity: How quickly are those accounts moving through the journey?
These metrics should be regularly monitored to understand the impact of account-based strategies and drive improvements.
How AI Will Help Empower Your ABM & ABX Strategies in 2023 & Beyond
ABM is well understood and tested strategy which is here to stay. ABX is still in its early stages. However, with advancements in technology facilitating its implementation, it’s only a matter of time before ABX becomes the norm in B2B transactions.
In addition to that, with AI-powered technologies, organizations can enhance their targeting, personalization, and engagement efforts to drive better outcomes.
Here’s how AI will help empower ABM and ABX strategies:
- AI can analyze vast amounts of data from various sources to identify patterns, uncover valuable insights, and segment accounts more effectively.
- AI-powered predictive analytics models can forecast account behavior, such as the likelihood of conversion or churn.
- AI can help in creating workflows and automate the process of personalizing content and messaging for individual accounts.
- AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide real-time, personalized interactions with accounts, answering queries, and guiding them through their buyer journey.
- AI can analyze historical data, demographic information, and engagement patterns to provide accurate lead scoring.
- AI can help create websites, email templates, landing pages, apps, etc.
The Bottom Line
While implementing ABX, think big but start small and move quickly.
Begin by identifying accounts that match your ICP, prioritize based on intent, pilot account-based advertising, and ensure a strong account data infrastructure.
Utilizing personalized marketing and fostering meaningful relationships with customers by aligning sales, marketing, and customer success is a winning combination. With the right set of tools and strategies, you can get started with ABX in no time.