Account-based marketing (ABM) is not a new approach. It’s been around for years. But as we enter an economic downturn, many B2Bs are now turning to ABM to capture more high-quality leads, get a higher ROI from the marketing spend and shorten the sales cycle. In addition, ABM has emerged as an effective marketing technique in the chemical sector. It combines the best of old-school relationship-building tactics with modern marketing tools.
ABM marketers in the chemical industry have a distinct advantage: manufacturers that use a large amount of chemicals are easy to identify. Targeting those companies can accelerate your business growth and bring you the best return for your marketing investment.
In this article, we explore a few tactics to boost your ABM strategy.
Data is the key to effective ABM. It helps you to determine which companies – or accounts – to target, who to target within those companies and where they are in their customer journey. You also need data to evaluate actions that indicate intent. The good news is that data already exists. You use data from:
Your Martech stack – Customer data from your CRM and marketing platforms serves multiple purposes. For example, you can use it to align your marketing efforts to the online actions taken by current and former customers. This helps you to recognize intent so that you can upsell and cross-sell at the right stage in the buyer’s journey. You can even use it to prevent churn (which we explore in detail later).
You can use your CRM data to classify the attributes of your top customers. This helps you to create your ideal customer profile (ICP) that you’ll use to identify best-fit accounts and create segmented lists.
ABM platform – Today’s privacy restrictions and data protections make effective ABM a challenge, even for the most seasoned marketers. An ABM platform, such as DemandBase, gathers intelligence on your target accounts and scores the online actions they take. These actions may take place on your website and digital channels – or elsewhere. They may even take place on a competitor’s website. When an ABM platform is used as a stand-alone system, it simply records the buying signals your accounts are sending. It lets you know where your accounts are in the buying journey so you can serve up the right information through your marketing software.
Integrated ABM and Martech – Ideally, you’ll integrate your ABM platform with your CRM and your marketing platforms.
When you do this, you ensure your ABM platform has the most complete and current data to analyze intent and interpret buying signals. Your ABM system can then match your data to their data to create more accurate account profiles and use their AI to deliver actionable insights and identify bigger opportunities to you. Integrating your ABM and marketing tech also allows you to automate your account-based advertising and marketing tactics – and to nurture accounts early in the buying cycle.
Use an ABX approach
Sales already lean in the ABM direction, nurturing qualified leads that show intent. But a traditional demand gen approach sweeps all prospective leads into the funnel. This approach invests a large amount of marketing spend on anonymous web traffic. Unfortunately, much of that spend is wasted on prospects who aren’t a good fit for your solution.
The accounts-based experience (ABX) aligns your sales and marketing efforts with an intent-based approach. It uses insights to de-anonymize targeted in-market accounts that show intent. Then it aligns subsequent interactions to the needs of clients and prospects – increasing relevancy and gaining their attention. It improves the buyer experience and the customer experience, so not only does it bring in new business, but it also helps you to retain the customers you have.
ABX isn’t an alternative to ABM. Instead, it is ABM on steroids.
Source: The ABM Agency
Target the entire buying-committee, early on
In the Chemical Industry, B2B decisions are typically made by a committee of 6-10 decision-makers, who come from different departments and have done their research independently of each other. When you nurture leads, instead of an organization, you’re leaving the other decision-makers to navigate the buyer’s journey on their own. And it’s a long journey. If you wait until the sales conversation to get their buy-in, you’re putting your sales at risk. Instead, with a data-backed, ABX approach you can involve all the decision-makers, early on.
Use your social channels
Before you ever reach out directly to your accounts, you can target them on your social channels. Leverage non-sales connections to engage with them in industry-related groups. Ask a mutual connection for an introduction. Invite them to connect. Foster that connection with industry support, resources and genuine conversations. Have your c-suite inbox their c-suite to kick-start a one-to-one conversation.
Target customers before they churn
As we mentioned earlier, ABM automation can help you to prevent churn before it happens. An ABM platform can use data to identify accounts that may churn based on:
- Renewal dates
- Average customer lifespan
- Actions that show intent to churn
With this knowledge in hand, you can market to customers before they churn. For example, you can send marketing materials their way three months before their renewal dates. If a customer has been shopping on your competitor’s website, you can send them a comparison chart or other material that explains why your premium product is better than your competitor’s cost-saving product.
Partner with B2B chemical industry marketing experts
Elevation Marketing has over 20 years of marketing experience in the chemical and composites sector. With our experience creating and implementing ABM strategies, we can accelerate immediate and long-term revenue growth for your business. As a full-service marketing agency, Elevation Marketing provides a comprehensive suite of ABM-related services that get results for your business:
- Higher quality leads
- Shorter sales cycle
- Higher retention rate
- Higher close rate
- Higher ROI
Contact us for a free consultation regarding your chemical businesses ABM needs.