When customers feel heard, they begin to trust you, refer you to friends and family, and spend more on you. One-on-one customer relationships can build life-long loyalty, but unfortunately, many of these campaigns are doomed to fail when companies do not adequately prepare.
One of the most valuable ways to target and relate to customers is by implementing account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a strategy involving the use of Marketing and Sales to build personalized customer relationships.
ABM makes one-to-one relationships more efficient by targeting only the customers most likely to buy from you. By utilizing this “zero-waste” strategy, you won’t be using up valuable time or resources on mere possibilities. It’s also grounded in personalized messaging, which is essential for building brand loyalty.
That’s why ABM is the integral foundation on which to build your one-to-one strategy. Look at what marketers are saying:
- 87% say ABM outperforms other marketing ventures
- 80% say it increases customer lifetime
- 86% say it improves win rates
- 76% say it brings higher ROI
Additionally, their 20% opportunity rate gives you a significant leg-up on competitors.
You want deeper customer relationships that will bring higher ROI, loyalty, and efficiency—but first, you need ABM.
How to Build Customer Relationships with ABM
A one-to-one strategy combined with inbound marketing is the most rewarding. You should begin with inbound marketing to acquire a broad target market, use ABM to select specific customers within that market, and then adjust your products and services to meet their needs. Without each of the following steps, an ABM strategy will not lead to valuable customer relationships.
1. Define Your ABM Goals
The first action in any campaign is to define goals related to your ABM strategy. Some goals might include:
- Higher revenue
- Higher value from existing customers
- More engagement
- New target market segment
- Successful launch of a new product or service
To successfully measure goals, attach KPIs to each one. With goals in mind throughout the entire campaign, you can mold every action thereafter to achieve the returns you want.
2. Specify and Prioritize Target Market
After identifying a target market from your inbound strategy, narrow your focus with ABM. Make a list of individual customers that fit the broad or “average” target market. Then select the customers that provide the most value for your company. Those people are your new “accounts”—the people most worth the marketing investment.
3. Build a Tech Stack
ABM is built on data analysis. In a study by Televerde, respondents that had not implemented an ABM strategy lacked adequate technical resources. For any ABM campaign, tools for identifying accounts, tracking data, and measuring relationships are a must.
Get started with these:
- Data technology: Identify broad types of accounts
- Predictive software: Select and prioritize accounts
- CRM platforms: Create, manage, and track customer relationships
- Marketing automation and email platforms: Reach out to your customers
- Targeted advertising tools: Hone in on your desired audience
4. Align Sales and Marketing
When sales and marketing don’t align, a company often will not achieve its ABM goals.
While sales refers to activities that facilitate a sale, marketing refers to actions that create interest in your business. Sales understands the audience but needs brand awareness; marketing can bring brand awareness but needs to understand the audience. To merge the expertise of both, encourage sales and marketing teams to collaborate on account plans.
5. Talk to Your Customers
One-to-one ABM campaigns are built on discovering customer needs. While there are many ways to do this, Jenny Magic said it best: “The best way to figure out what your buyers really need is to talk to them directly.” Survey them and conduct A/B tests. Most importantly, remember that you are responding to the needs of a handful of high-value customers—they will appreciate the attention.
6. Adjust Your Business to Customer Needs
With every customer conversation, the customer should learn to trust your brand over competitors’, and you should learn how best to serve their needs—but don’t stop at learning. With each new piece of knowledge gained, you should also improve and personalize your product, service, or business.
7. Create Personalized, High-value Content
Combining inbound marketing with ABM is powerful. On its own, quality content generates three times more leads than paid advertising and costs 62% less, making it worth the investment.
High-quality content has:
- A clear goal, topic, and strategy
- A powerful headline and hook
- Keyword optimization
- Consistent frequency
When you begin with the customer in mind, you create personalized content. Every blog, sales page, webinar, or newsletter will be highly relevant and valuable to the customer, creating a more positive experience and greater loyalty to you.
8. Use Personalized Emails
Email is still a powerful tool. They generate 40 times more customers than social media, and ROI is an astounding 4,400%. The key to that ROI is writing emails that customers will actually want to open.
To leave an impression and make the connection, personalize the email for your customer. Try the following:
- Create powerful subject lines
- Greet the customer by name
- Close with your name
- Include relevant and appealing offers
- Be timely—don’t spam!
- Use images
- Offer tips for how to use your product
9. Measure Results
Revisit your ABM goals: did you earn the revenue you wanted? How much did engagement increase? What was your conversion rate? Did you accurately interpret customer needs, and were you able to meet them? If you did not reach these goals, re-evaluate your strategy.
Successful one-to-one marketing relies heavily on ABM, and with inbound strategies already in place, customer relationships will be even stronger. To support one-to-one relationships, ABM must have clear goals, aligned sales and marketing, proper technology, a foundation for customer connection, and a way to measure engagement, pipeline, and sales.
Do you want to improve your one-to-one ABM strategy? Televerde can help. As a global sales and marketing company, our experienced staff can help you with demand generation, best lead generation, pipeline boosting, and sales growth.
For more information about strategy and more, explore Televerde’s resources and events hub today.