Account-based execution software helps marketers create and deliver the custom messaging they need to execute an account-based marketing strategy. A narrowly focused form of B2B marketing, account-based marketing (ABM) brings marketing and sales departments together to identify key target accounts and implement tailored marketing strategies to convert them into customers.
In a traditional marketing approach, marketers generate leads by creating content that will capture the widest audience possible. They will then nurture these leads through the customer’s decision-making process, often referred to as the marketing funnel, with the hope that the customer will eventually purchase their company’s product or service. However, many leads fall out of the funnel and never reach the purchasing stage of the journey. Account-based marketing solves this dilemma by prioritizing and targeting the highest quality leads, so salespeople and marketers can focus their efforts on engaging the prospective customers that are most likely to buy.
To facilitate an ABM strategy, marketers use account-based execution software to deliver campaigns tailored to their target accounts. This messaging can take several forms, such as email, website personalization, targeted advertising, direct mail, events, and more.
Key Benefits of Account-Based Execution Software
Generally speaking, marketing messages have a greater impact when they’re personalized. But tailoring content for multiple accounts can be a tedious and lengthy process. Account-based execution software enables marketers to easily create hyper-personalized campaigns and deploy them on an account-by-account basis, making the marketing process more efficient and effective.
Account-based execution software becomes even more powerful when it is combined with other ABM tools, like marketing account intelligence software or marketing account management software. Often, these tools are either built into a broader ABM platform or can be integrated with a standalone account-based execution product.
One of ABM’s most appealing qualities is its ability to scale based on a company’s size, resources, and goals. Over the years, three distinct tactics have emerged to help address a company’s specific needs and budget for their account-based marketing plans. Account-based execution tools can help marketers implement campaigns using any of these three tactics.
Strategic ABM: one-to-one — The original and best-known approach to account-based marketing, strategic ABM, focuses on highly personalized one-to-one marketing campaigns. This method requires the most resources but delivers the highest return on investment, and as such, it is typically reserved for a select few of the company’s highest-value accounts.
Marketers pull out all the stops for a strategic ABM plan, inviting customers to VIP dinners and sending lavish gifts. However, the most successful strategic ABM campaigns will also incorporate online channels, such as digital advertising, web personalization, and email marketing. Different types of account-based execution software can help marketers with the creation and deployment of this customized content, while others provide marketers with the tools needed to deliver swag and corporate gifts that will make an impression on their accounts.
ABM lite: one-to-few — ABM lite is a one-to-few approach in which marketers target small groups of key accounts that share similar needs and challenges. These accounts should still have a relatively large opportunity for high revenue or upsell value but not the same opportunity size as accounts targeted with strategic ABM. In this approach, marketers primarily use account-based execution software to create custom content, website personalization, hyper-personalized email campaigns, and targeted ads.
Programmatic ABM: one-to-many — The newest approach to account-based marketing, programmatic ABM is the practice of scaling ABM to a higher volume of accounts that share common traits. Marketers who wish to implement the one-to-many method of ABM will benefit greatly from account-based execution software that enables them to segment target lists, automate marketing communications, and track campaign results.
Because account-based marketing strategies require such a high level of personalization, they typically cost more to implement than traditional marketing methods. As a result, enterprise and mid-market companies are more likely to use account-based marketing software than small businesses. However, advances in technology have made ABM tools beneficial for any company looking to secure and retain high-value customers.
For similar reasons, account-based execution software is best suited for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. B2B companies usually sell specific products and services to specific businesses. With account-based execution software, a B2B marketer is able to create hyper-targeted content for small, specialized audiences, helping sales win a select number of high-value accounts to drive revenue.
With account-based execution software, marketing content can be distributed across a multitude of different channels, both online and offline. When comparing account-based execution software, marketers should consider what tools and functionality the products offer and whether those tools will support the channel or channels through which they plan to market.
For example, some account-based execution software tools will only support offline channels by delivering direct mail or swag to accounts. Marketers should consider their long-term marketing plans and whether future campaigns will require broader functionality. However, if the marketer doesn’t plan on expanding their strategy in the future, it may be more sensible to stick to an option with narrower functionality because generally that will be more cost-effective.
Segmentation — An important feature for digital account-based marketing, segmentation allows marketers to create distinct lists of customers and prospects. Armed with account-based execution software and firmographic data, marketers can build ideal customer profiles and create target account lists of companies with similar characteristics and needs. When audiences are segmented, marketers can identify how their company’s product or service will best address the accounts’ particular business challenges—and this will help make their marketing messages more effective.
Personalized campaigns — ABM is all about hyper-personalization. Account-based execution software allows users to create highly customized marketing content to be delivered to their target audience through the desired channels. These messages can be driven through offline channels, such as direct mail or company swag, or through online channels, such as digital advertising, email marketing, website personalization, or digital content like white papers, videos, and podcasts.
Account metrics — Many account-based execution tools have the capability of tracking campaign metrics and identifying trends at the account level. Not only can these features help users determine which accounts have the highest or lowest opportunity to convert to customers, but they will also tell marketers the best way to engage with customers or prospects through specific content.
Integrations — Some account-based execution software can integrate with third-party sales, marketing, or advertising applications, such as marketing automation software and customer relationship management or CRM software. These integrations contribute to the seamless execution of marketing strategies and enable users to more easily prioritize and target key accounts.
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