With Account Based Marketing (ABM), the costs are significantly lower due to the targeted targeting and the conversion rates are often five times as high as with classic B2B marketing. This can be supported by special marketing automation tools geared towards B2B.
ABM automates both online marketing and classic offline channels and is aimed at both marketing and sales managers.
The target group of many B2B companies is so narrow that in the past, classic marketing hardly seemed to make sense for these companies. Marketing often only played a supporting role here. Account managers and business developers with a strong sales DNA have always kept a list of target companies, so-called named target accounts.
Results-oriented CMOs and CSOs work together on a central list – for example in CRM. This is where Account Based Marketing comes in. All marketing measures are tailored to these companies and perfectly individualized for each account.
- How to increase the conversion rate
It is both a blessing and a curse: A small change in the web shop, for example the color adjustment of a button, can have a big impact on the conversion rate. The following tips will help you to carefully – and sustainably – optimize your conversion rate:
- 1. A / B tests
With minor changes in design or wording, it is difficult to predict how your target group will react to the changes. For this reason, you should run A / B tests. Two or more variants of a revised area are tested on your customers. After the test phase has ended, you can implement the draft that led to the highest conversion rate or make further adjustments.
- 2. Keep it simple
In the area of design, especially for web shops: Keep it simple! This includes a uniform color concept, appropriate texts and a clear design language. The overall design should draw the visitor’s focus to the products.
- 4. Product descriptions and reviews
Product descriptions should also be formulated simply and clearly. You should describe the benefits and characteristics of the product so well that they replace a sales pitch. A good addition to this are the product reviews of previous buyers. Positive reviews are the best recommendation for a product and can make a huge contribution to increasing the conversion rate.
- 3. Simple and clear language
What applies to the design can also be transferred to spoken and written. Requests for action should be clearly and unambiguously formulated. Tell your potential customers directly what you expect from them: “Buy now”, “Take part in the study and win” or “Subscribe to newsletter”. Numerous studies have shown that the conversion rate can be increased significantly by direct requests.
- 5. Landing pages
Many users are looking for a specific product and can access your web shop via a search engine. Therefore, offer individual landing pages for the most frequently searched for products. Because if you are looking for a specific drill and come to the home page of a hardware store with its entire product range, you will probably leave the page quickly.
- 6. Search function
Especially in shops with a lot of articles, the search function is often used to get the desired result quickly. A good search function should provide auto-completion and tolerate spelling mistakes. Only then will it help to increase the conversion rate.
- 7. Shipping: Best of all free, definitely transparent
Shipping costs that are only visible in the checkout process are one of the most common reasons for visitors to leave the shopping cart. If possible, you should offer your customers free shipping and place this information in a prominent position. If you are reliant on collecting shipping costs, free shipping can be an effective incentive for first-time customers.
- 8. Shipping time
Ordered today, delivered tomorrow. Market leaders like Zalando or Amazon pamper customers with very short shipping times. Therefore, keep the shipping time as short as possible. If it seems too long to the customer, he will probably order from the competition rather than wait.
- 9. Build trust
The most important factor for the conversion rate is the trustworthiness of a page. Many elements such as professional web design or error-free product descriptions contribute indirectly to this. The direct way to more trustworthiness are quality seals, for example from Trusted Shops. A seal of quality signals security to the customer and should therefore be placed in the head of the page if possible.
- 10. Payment methods
Offer your potential customers as many payment methods as possible, because most have a favorite and are reluctant to change. The most popular payment methods are invoice, PayPal and instant transfer. It is best to display them directly in the footer of the shop.
ABM is often referred to as flipping the sales funnel (flip the funnel). What is meant here is that, unlike in classic marketing, a broad target group of people is not addressed and the right accounts are only filtered out afterwards. Rather, the approach to the ABM is already targeted to named accounts. The measures then ideally lead to contact with several decision-makers in the buying committee.
As in any other area, marketing also benefits from the possibilities of digitization. What is meant here is not simply online marketing but the automation and personalization of large parts of marketing – certainly also in offline channels.
The key steps in ABM include
the selection of the target accounts (Account Selection),
the intelligent personalization of the address as well
the control of suitable marketing measures.
The Martech branch (Marketing Technology) has not least brought a whole range of innovative companies through the market maturity of artificial intelligence. Especially in the USA, some players have established themselves that support marketing and sales managers with various ABM approaches when approaching customers. However, full-service providers are very expensive and the start is very complex.
It is therefore advisable to develop a phase strategy for account based marketing. This includes carefully examining which features promise the greatest benefits during implementation and starting with them. The following features should be introduced one after the other, the effects should be checked and optimized.
Attention: When working with US providers, special attention should be paid to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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Modern software providers for account-based marketing automatically collect a large number of signals from freely available and commercial sources, which could be used as indicators of projects and purchase intentions at the target company. In addition to company data such as size in sales and employees, industry or headquarters (firmographics), data on the use of certain technologies can also be included in the target acc
ount (so-called technographics), especially for providers from the IT industry.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are used to evaluate the large amount of these so-called intent signals. In addition to prioritization, other target accounts can also be suggested by searching for statistical twins.
The personalization is ideally based on company data, the role of the individual in the buying committee and the current status along the customer journey. An IT service provider could, for example, convince the CIO with technical arguments, the buyer with commercial and data protection officers with the appropriate arguments.
If the potential customer with a service still seems to be in a contractual relationship with a competitor, a complementary service could now be the right offer.
Both online and offline channels can be controlled. The website is dynamically adapted to the respective visitor. If it cannot be identified via a cookie, the IP address can provide information about the company.
Reading tip: Tracking Cookies: Cookie Walds – Legal or Illegal?
Online advertisement is IP-based, geo-based or played out via retargeting.
Even individualized post mailings are experiencing a renaissance. Good ABM tools have a connection to the relevant CRMs and to the social networks used in sales such as LinkedIn and Xing. This means that sales can also access the information and contact potential customers at the appropriate time – and make them customers. (bw)