If like most B2B marketers, you are in the middle of planning budgets for 2023 and thinking about including an account-based marketing strategy, you might be wondering where to start and what help you will need. After all, for account-based marketing (ABM) you need to be wearing many hats!
When it comes to choosing an ABM agency, it can be a challenge to know where to start.
What should you be looking for? Will the agency be the right fit for you? If it’s true what the 84% of marketers are saying, that ABM delivers a higher ROI than any other marketing strategy, then can an agency deliver that?
Let’s consider the key factors when making your decision. Over the last 10-15 years, ABM has become a popular way to market to enterprise companies, where there are large deal sizes and opportunity, buying cycles are long and complex, and typically, there are extensive groups of decision makers.
Today, there are many agencies that offer a plethora of ABM services and can support marketing efforts to such large and complex accounts. Let’s see how to choose the right one!
What’s an ABM Agency and why you should use one?
Account-based marketing agencies focus on working with clients to create custom campaigns targeting a specific account or set of accounts. To succeed in ABM requires more than conventional marketing skills. It demands business knowledge, an intimate understanding of sales and account needs, and expert consultative and leaderships skills.
ABM agencies are specialists!
They have teams of experts who are experienced in B2B marketing and sales, at a senior level, and experience in delivering the integral pieces necessary for success in ABM.
Some of the most critical skills for an ABM marketer include: account planning and discovery, data visualisation, developing winning ABM strategies, value proposition and message development, asset creation, tech stack integration and multi-channel execution. These can all be delivered by ABM agencies.
What to look for when choosing an Account-Based Marketing agency?
The first step on your journey to finding the right ABM agency is to ensure the agency will be a good partner and that they are able and willing to collaborate with your internal teams. They are able to fill in any gaps where you need help, and they can use their expertise to provide you advice. In B2B Marketing’s ABM Census for 2022, they stated that 22% of marketers surveyed use ABM agencies for a multitude of services that best suits them, from strategy support, to creating content and execution.
By working together, you will create ABM campaigns tailored specifically for your needs and provide success.
Here are some other helpful factors you might consider when making your agency selection:
Does the agency follow the ABM 5-stage process? Do they deliver smart ABM strategies?
For B2B firms, an effective ABM strategy begins with a measured plan. The agency you select should ideally follow the ABM 5 stage process.
They should be able to help you with account selection and planning, research and insights, messaging and propositions, content and communications, execution and engagement.
They should also be able to help you define all personas in the purchasing committee, create a buyer’s journey from awareness, consideration through to purchase, and collaborate on assets for each stage with message consistency across all teams, platforms and channels. They should also be able to help provide provide content audits to see which existing marketing assets and be used and personalised. Finally, they should help you track, monitor, and measure the success of your ABM campaigns.
Creating hyper-personalised content across channels
Successful ABM also comes down to a mix of producing quality and personalised content and being very creative. After all, ABM content needs to breakout from the normal B2B marketing noise.
As we know we need the WOW factor, in order to grab a decision maker’s attention and win business. This comes from having hyper-personalised content. According to McKinsey’s Next In Personalisation Report in 2021, 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from brands that personalise the experience for them.
Whilst this may have focused on the generic consumer, the same rings true in ABM and reaching your key decision makers!
To achieve a greater ROI, you need hyper- focused assets for each account, on every platform at each stage of the sales funnel. This personalised experience engages and pushes target accounts down the funnel.
Unless your potential customers see the content specifically created, then ABM won’t work.
When choosing an ABM agency, the agency you select will help you use a mixture of channels to serve the personalised content.
So, if you want to accelerate your B2B marketing in 2023, but don’t know where to begin with ABM, then perhaps look at using a specialist ABM agency to help get your pilot programmes off the ground.