Account-Based Marketing: The Perfect Tool for IT Consultancies
By Brightvision Marketing Team
Are you one of the fortunate ones who gets to market or sell an IT consultancy’s services?
If you're not using Account-Based Marketing (ABM), you're missing out on a powerful tool. Account based marketing can help you build a strong, loyal, and lasting customer relationship.
ABM is a marketing strategy that focuses on building relationships with specific accounts rather than trying to reach a broad audience. This approach can be especially effective for IT consultancy businesses. It allows you to tailor your marketing messages to the specific needs of your target accounts.
In this blog post, you will learn some of the basics about why ABM is so perfect for an IT consultancy. Because the most important thing to do is, actually, to make the decision to start. So, you need to be aware of the benefits.
ABM has already been around for almost 20 years now (since 2004), so there is no shortage of content on it. The challenge is to sift through the noise. So, make sure you get your information from practitioners who have been deeply involved in ABM. At Brightvision, we take our educational responsibility seriously, so you will find all kinds of useful information on our website.
First, a recap:
What is account based marketing? (In less than 30 seconds)
ABM is a strategic approach where you target high-value accounts that are most likely to generate revenue for your business.
You develop personalized content and messaging that resonates with those target accounts, and you use technology to scale it all. By being more efficient and aligning sales and marketing better, you will generate, and nurture leads more effectively.
The three major challenges IT consultancies battle with
If you are like most sales and marketing teams that market IT consultancies, there are three difficult challenges to overcome. We come across these all the time when we work with these types of businesses across Europe. We see over and over again that ABM is a unique opportunity to tackle all these challenges at the same time.
Your sales cycles are longer
When a customer buys your services, there are often a large number of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. And quite often, at least some of them are not used to making this specific type of purchase.
Many of them are often unsure how to communicate around it, organize the buying process, or get consensus.
This is very frustrating for the sales and marketing teams. “Won’t they just sign the document already?”
Your target market is smaller
Compared to most other industries, as an IT consultancy, you have a relatively limited target universe. This means that for each potential client, the stakes are higher (and potentially the competition fiercer). It is not feasible to simply enter a new market without proper planning and preparation. You have to make every account count.
Your pricing models are more complex
If you are a consultancy, it can be hard to explain how much your services cost. It is not sufficient to simply assign prices to service packages on a website. You need to explain your pricing model—or different models for different services.
How ABM solves these challenges
You will most likely face the challenges in the previous chapter as well as many others. The good news is that ABM addresses them all in one way or another. Let’s briefly list some of the ways:
You will be more efficient
The efficiency of ABM is that you focus your efforts on the target accounts. These are most likely to become your customers.
Some of our clients choose to focus on a few high-value accounts, while others choose to have a broader focus. The best approach for a particular client depends on their resources, goals, and market.
There are also plenty of other efficiencies to be found, such as severely reducing the number of unqualified leads floating around.
You can target your customers better
In any effective sales or marketing strategy, you have to start by really knowing your audience and focusing on their goals. ABM does just that, but at an extra deep level, meaning all your sales and marketing will be more efficient. ABM even makes it easier to address that pesky problem with pricing models I mentioned above.
Your sales and marketing teams are better aligned
Sales and marketing will collaborate closely to create a more seamless customer experience. For example, not only will there be more proactive collaboration but also fewer turf wars.
We see miracles happen all the time in this area. Brightvision has an international team of BDRs at our (and your) disposal. This can significantly alleviate the burden on our clients' teams by transferring their workload. It’s an effective alternative channel we are proud to offer that most ABM agencies don’t have.
You will communicate and collaborate better
You will have a formal process for selecting the accounts to go after, for collaborating, and for working with your tool.
And if that wasn’t enough, imagine sales and marketing agreeing on common goals, messaging, and metrics to use!
Your lead generation and nurturing will be more effective
Those seemingly endless sales cycles will become shorter because you will effectively guide your leads through their buyer's journeys.
Along the journey, you will know who you are talking to and what they need. You will have the content and tools to nudge them along faster than ever. We encourage you to explore a variety of tools when seeking to achieve your goals.
Too many companies and agencies focus too much on, for example, digital advertising. That’s why it is important to us to consider a wide range of channels. Test, and see what works for your lead generation and nurturing.
As an IT consultancy you have a superpower—use it
For ABM to work—or any other marketing activity for that matter—you need to provide value to your audience. You need to produce and share high-value content that answers the customers’ questions and makes their work a little easier.
That value comes from knowing how to solve customer problems. It is unlikely that sales or marketing professionals have the necessary expertise, but consultants do. They are the key, and most non-consultancy businesses don’t have that key internally.
So, you would be wise to seize the opportunity you have been blessed with. Use your knack for sales and marketing, your consultant’s subject knowledge, and an experienced ABM partner. These will help you tie it all together.
How to get started with ABM as an IT consultancy
At a very high level, this is what your process will look like:
Identify target accounts—define what your ideal customer profiles are and find the target accounts that fit the profiles.
Create content that your target accounts will find valuable and relevant. Personalize your messaging to address their specific needs and pain points.
Use the right technology to help you scale your marketing efforts. There are a variety of marketing automation and analytics tools that can help you measure and optimize your campaigns.
At each of the three steps, there are a million ways to execute them differently. At every step, there are some great options but also bad ones that make your campaign costly and ineffective.
ABM is all about focusing your resources in the right areas, so you must know what you are doing. For example, being laser-focused is not enough if you are not focused on the right thing.
Errors can rapidly become costly.
Doing it right could be your most cost-effective marketing tactic ever.
Brightvision has been helping IT consultancies achieve their marketing goals for over 20 years. Our Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach has proven to be effective. We are confident that we can help you achieve your business goals.
If you are curious about ABM, we would be happy to set up a quick call. We will go through what your unique ABM journey would look like.