ABM can help B2B brands connect more meaningfully with their customers

The B2B buying process more complex and convoluted than B2C. One of the most common traps to fall in to, when navigating the intricacies of B2B marketing, is believing that your communications are aimed at a small group of rational decision-making robots.

While it is true to say that some B2B purchases are as simple as a routine stationery order, most buying journeys are actually longer and way more considered. Therefore, it’s important to continually keep in mind that your audience is not just made up of prospective companies but also people. For many verticals, several people will actually be involved in the final purchase decision. In Automotive, for example, that number averages somewhere between 5 and 6.

The individuals who make up this (potentially virtual) ‘buying team’ may well bring expectations to work from their own experiences with consumer brands outside of work hours. Regardless of whether it’s a personal purchase or a purchase for work, they’re not buying a product or service so much as a solution to a problem. If you want to be on the shortlist next time, you need to provide a great customer experience.

Ted Malone, VP of Consumer Products & Services at TiVo said it best when he said: “Whether we’re selling to businesses or consumers, the big factor driving a purchase is the customer experience, which extends far beyond a single transaction.” For all of these reasons, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) should be seen as a crucial component of the mix with the overarching aim of delivering exceptional experiences to B2B buyers.

ABM is about identifying and focusing on the high value accounts that will drive the most revenue as opposed to more broad-brush approaches where you run a campaign and wait to see who engages with you. At Graymatter, we believe brands should do both broad-brush approaches alongside narrow-cast ones like ABM. We believe you need to simultaneously pick the low hanging fruit while watering the tree.

We believe that with the right blend of strategy, creativity, technology and data, you can make a B2B brand more meaningful and deliver results at the same time. Alongside the target audience for any campaign, we work with our clients to compile a set of criteria for target accounts.

When an account matches those criteria and completes a tracked event, such as repeat visits your website or downloads a specific piece of content, we source up-to-date decision-maker contacts at that organisation and execute a highly targeted ABM campaign. Our approach aims to bring forward the handover from Marketing to the Sales teams to ensure early and effective interaction with prospective buyers.

B2B marketing campaigns are essentially about selling a business case to a decision maker and with an understanding of how their mindset evolves along the path to purchase, you can balance long and short-term KPIs and open more fruitful conversations.

Colin Gray | Head of Marketing Strategy and Behavioural Economics

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