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Should SMBs or SMEs do ABM?

Account-based marketing (ABM) can be highly effective for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs), particularly those operating in B2B markets or needing targeted and personalised marketing approaches. 

However, before you start your ABM journey, there are a couple of questions you need to answer.

  1. Are you crystal clear on your target ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)? If not go get your ICP sorted.
  2. Is your average deal size over $10,000 USD per annum? If not, ABM might not be right.

Assuming you have your ICP defined and your Average order value or Deal size is over $10,000, now you want to choose a type of ABM play to go for.

There are multiple ABM approaches to take, the approach you take should depend on the value of your client and the resources you have.

Types of ABM Plays.

There are 3 major types of ABM plays.

Strategic ABM or 1 to 1: One marketer to 5 big accounts.

ABM lite: 1 marketer to 25 accounts.

Programmable ABM or 1 to Many ABM: 1 to 500 or more accounts.

ABM based on customer type or value

Let’s say you sell to the DoD,  the NHS, NATO etc and that customer pays you $100 K per year.

You can afford to dedicate 1 marketer to market to 5 of such accounts (1 to 1 ABM).

If your average deal size is $1,000 per year, then you are better off doing (1 to many ABM) to better use the resources you have.

If your customers are paying you $1,000 per year, then it means you need 500 customers to generate $500,000. If your customers are paying you $10,000 pa, then, you would need only 50 customers.

As you can see, ABM makes sense for SMEs or SMBs, however, the economics has to work for you.

If your customers are paying you less than $1000 per year, then ABM is not for you.

How does an SMB begin ABM? you can begin by targeting an industry.

Now that we know why you might want to go for ABM, lets look at some of the benefits.

  1. Targeted Approach: ABM focuses on identifying and targeting high-value accounts that are most likely to benefit from the product or service. This targeted approach can be more efficient and cost-effective for SMBs, which often have limited marketing budgets.
  2. Personalisation: ABM allows for highly personalised marketing efforts tailored to the specific needs and pain points of each target account. Personalised marketing can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates, which is especially important for SMBs looking to maximise their marketing ROI.
  3. Efficient Resource Allocation: By concentrating resources on a select number of high-potential accounts, SMBs can allocate their limited resources more effectively. This ensures that marketing and sales efforts are directed toward prospects that offer the greatest potential return.
  4. Alignment of Sales and Marketing: ABM fosters closer alignment between sales and marketing teams, as both departments work together to target and nurture specific accounts. This collaboration can enhance the overall effectiveness of the marketing and sales efforts and lead to more cohesive strategies.
  5. Higher ROI: ABM campaigns often yield a higher return on investment compared to traditional broad-based marketing efforts. By focusing on the most promising accounts, SMBs can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources.
  6. Improved Customer Relationships: ABM emphasizes building strong, long-term relationships with key accounts. For SMBs, establishing and maintaining strong customer relationships can lead to repeat business, referrals, and long-term loyalty.
  7. Better Market Understanding: Through ABM, SMBs can gain deeper insights into their target market, understanding the specific needs, challenges, and behaviors of their key accounts. This knowledge can inform future marketing and product development strategies.
  8. Scalability: While ABM can start with a small number of target accounts, it is a scalable strategy. As SMBs grow and their resources increase, they can expand their ABM efforts to include more accounts and more sophisticated campaigns.

Implementing ABM for SMBs

To successfully implement ABM, SMBs can follow these steps:

  1. Identify Target Accounts: Use criteria such as company size, industry, revenue potential, and strategic fit to select high-value accounts.
  2. Research and Insights: Gather detailed information about each target account, including their business challenges, decision-makers, and buying behaviors.
  3. Create Personalised Content: Develop tailored marketing content and campaigns that address the specific needs and pain points of each target account.
  4. Engage Across Channels: Use a mix of marketing channels (email, social media, direct mail, events, etc.) to engage with target accounts and decision-makers.
  5. Align Sales and Marketing: Ensure close collaboration between sales and marketing teams to coordinate efforts and share insights.
  6. Measure and Optimise: Track the performance of ABM campaigns using key metrics such as engagement, conversion rates, and ROI. Continuously refine and optimise strategies based on results.

Looking for help executing an ABM strategy? Let’s have a chat: info@soroni.co.uk.

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