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ABM and inbound marketing: A combined approach

B2B marketing specialists leverage a variety of strategic programmes and tactical campaigns to enable an organisation to achieve its goals.

ABM marketing


Strategies are ongoing and iterative in nature and must change depending on the needs of the organisation and the customer. One type of strategic programme is account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is best defined by B2B Marketing as “a strategic marketing approach jointly implemented by sales and marketing that focuses on key, targeted accounts (whether they’re existing customers or not)”.

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Tactical campaigns are bound by time and have a specific end date; they are used by marketing to achieve the objectives of a strategic programme. Inbound marketing is a type of tactical campaign defined by Responsify as “the method that brings customers to your business on their own accord, through meaningful content that the consumer finds value throughout their buyer journey”.

When an ABM strategy is selected, inbound marketing may be used as a tactic. Inbound marketing is selected over outbound marketing when an organisation has identified certain attributes of their target audience, such as demographics, firmographics or psychographics. Outbound marketing as a tactic is adopted when an organisation has specific details about the target audience such as names and email addresses.

LinkedIn


An effective B2B platform used to combine both inbound marketing and ABM efforts is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows marketers to upload a list of identified accounts into the platform. A target audience can then be created by overlaying this list of accounts with LinkedIn audience criteria such as job function, job title or seniority to attract the right person from the right account.

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The platform also allows marketers to package content in a variety of ways – including sponsored content ads or InMails – increasing the chances of audience engagement.

Marketers have the ability to redirect LinkedIn members to their own webpages. A well-executed ABM programme will make use of co-branded pages containing a unique value proposition. This allows the organisation to collect first-party data from website visits and form completions using a marketing automation platform.

Visitors and contacts would then be mapped to accounts and nurtured using highly-relevant outbound communication. Account scoring can be implemented based on the activity of associated contacts. This allows for greater alignment between marketing and sales and ultimately for consistent user experience.

When leveraged as a combined initiative, ABM and inbound marketing can provide a real competitive advantage for organisations on their journey towards achieving a post-modern marketing position.
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