What is account-based marketing?

What is account-based marketing?

In a short span of time, strategies to attract and engage customers have enormously changed. Consumers now have a multitude of technologies and digital platforms to research brands, products, and customer reviews before making big-ticket purchasing decisions. However, when dealing with high-priced and complex sales, only relying on digital marketing to engage with customers is ineffective, and it’s why account-based marketing has in recent years become one of the most popular strategies for business and revenue growth. 


What does account-based marketing mean?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing and growth strategy where marketing and sales work together to create personalized buying experiences for your most high-valued customers. 

Rather than trying to extend your reach to as many people as possible, account-based marketing focuses its efforts on a select group of people that represent significant growth opportunities and have a greater likelihood of converting into high-value paying customers. 


Account-based Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

Often when ABM is discussed, it is compared and contrasted to inbound marketing with an inevitable debate on which strategy is most effective. The truth is, you do not need to choose one or the other. In fact, account-based marketing can largely complement the efforts of a well-executed inbound marketing strategy. 

Inbound marketing attracts customers by creating valuable content that is tailored to a semi-fictional buyer persona that represents your ideal customer including age, gender, income, beliefs, interests, family status, and more. The specialized content you create drives your persona to engage with your brand on your website, social media, or on other channels, and then hopefully, purchase your products. 

An ABM strategy can be implemented at this stage, taking this identified group of engaged people and beginning research and analysis to determine if these interested consumers are considered higher value customers or personas.

Account-based marketing also uses buyer personas but unlike inbound marketing, ABM personas are based on data rather than assumptions. Companies using ABM strategies do not engage with people because they feel they’re an ideal or more probable customer, they focus on a specific demographic that possesses a set of behaviours that have proven to be most profitable.


Why is account-based marketing important for startups?

Survey data collected by Gartner in 2020 showed that businesses that launched ABM strategies showed increases in marketing and sales. The marketing data shows improved conversion rates, increased web traffic, and better advertising and email performance, and sales data showed increased wins, faster sales cycles, and larger deals.

As a startup business, account-based marketing may seem time-consuming when you have a million things on your plate, but ultimately it makes your marketing efforts and dollars more targeted. It also makes your highest value customers feel important and more catered to, setting your business up for a reputation of exceptional customer experience – an invaluable thing when trying to achieve startup business growth

Most importantly, research shows that 97 percent of businesses using an ABM approach see higher ROIs than with other marketing strategies.

How to create an ABM strategy for your startup


1. Get everyone on the same page

If your startup has been following a particular marketing strategy, the best way to get your team and investors to support a switch to ABM is to present data to show how switching strategies will increase revenue and make better use of your resources.


2. Align sales and marketing 

Historically, sales and marketing teams have had an ongoing feud where both teams blame the other when revenue is not increasing. ABM bridges the gap between the two teams and has everyone working together. As a collective, have sales and marketing agree on a shared set of metrics and goals for your ABM campaign.


3. Identify your high-value accounts

Analyze your sales history by talking to your sales team. Which type of interested consumer is the easiest to convert into a paying customer? Check your CRM to identify traits that all of your hot leads have in common. This will provide insight into the type of person you should focus on.


4. Create content and select channels

Once your target accounts have been identified, you need to create tailored content and decide which channels will be most successful in reaching them. Your content should speak to specific pain points that they have.


5. Launch your ABM campaign

Publish your content to convert prospective buyers into leads. By your sales team engaging with these leads in a strategic way, there is a high chance of them closing deals.


6. Review, evaluate, and adjust

This last step is ongoing and is crucial for all marketing strategies. Once you have launched your account-based marketing campaign, review how it is performing, evaluate your sales, and make adjustments to your strategy as needed.



In conclusion, account-based marketing is about placing greater importance on quality over quantity; focusing on a much smaller group of people who will accelerate your startup’s growth.

Your ABM strategy can be woven into other marketing strategies such as inbound marketing as previously mentioned, or a digital marketing plan. If your startup is not yet ready to hire a designated marketing professional, consider finding a startup mentor who has marketing expertise and can help put you on the right track to implementing an ABM strategy that yields attractive results. 

How do you begin creating a digital marketing plan for startups?

How do you begin creating a digital marketing plan for startups?

It is no secret that marketing is essential for a company’s success. But what remains a mystery for many startup businesses is how to start. Creating a digital marketing plan is an important first step, and you do not need a fat budget to achieve optimal results. What it does require is dedication, time, and creative thinking. Learning how to create a digital marketing plan for a startup is one of the most valuable things you can do to ensure that your business will attract customers, generate revenue, and continue to grow in its earliest stages.

What is a digital marketing plan and why is it important for startups?  

A digital marketing plan outlines a company’s digital marketing goals with the associated strategies, timelines, tactics, channels, and budgets they will use to achieve them.

Taking the time to build a digital marketing plan will keep you on track and focused as you juggle an array of other important functions that are necessary for your business.

Having a digital marketing plan will make better use of your time and resources, and align your team to work toward the same objectives. 


What are the components of a digital marketing plan?

Every company’s marketing goals and strategies will look different, but there are some standard elements that every digital marketing plan should include:

  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Web analytics 

What are the 5 steps to follow to have an effective digital marketing plan?


Creating a digital marketing plan is not just a matter of brainstorming ideas for social media or emails. There are steps that your startup business should take to ensure all of your plan’s components are strategic, align with your company’s goals, and ultimately yield the best results.


1. Conduct Research

Reliable and credible research can reveal a lot about the marketing direction your startup should take. Learning about historical market trends, current industry practices, competitor analyses, and what consumers want can be the most invaluable tool you have to create a phenomenal digital marketing plan. 

Research can include primary research (conducting surveys, interviews, polls, etc.) or secondary research such as published reports.


2. Develop a Deep Understanding of your Brand

Understanding your own brand will set the foundation for everything else that follows. Start by thinking about popular brands that you would to be comparable to. Is your brand like Apple or is it like Microsoft? Is your brand a Tesla or is it Ford? This is a great way to start shaping what your brand is, how consumers will perceive you, and discovering your brand archetype which are all crucial to know before defining your target audience or style of communication.


3. Define Your Target Audience

Knowing exactly the type of consumers you will be targeting will make it much easier to define your messaging, what digital channels you should use, and the type of content you need to develop to establish a connection with your audience. 

What is your target’s demographic, lifestyle, worries, wants, and needs? Your marketing efforts need to be tailored to your target audience because marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. Spending time developing buyer personas – semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers – will help you tremendously with all marketing efforts moving forward.


4. Create Clear Messaging 

Consumers want clear messaging on what your product is and how it will benefit them. If people are left questioning what you do, chances are they will not become a paying customer. You also need to define a messaging style or brand voice, which leads back to having a deep understanding of your brand. What does your brand sound like? Is it laid back and relaxed? Is it professional and sophisticated? Determining your style of communication will also help you reach your target audience much more effectively.


5. Define Your Digital Marketing Goals, Timelines, and Budget

If you do not set tangible goals, timelines, and budgets it is much harder to track and measure your progress. The goals you set should be realistic and obtainable, yet provide enough of a challenge so you feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach them. 

Setting a detailed, itemized budget for your digital marketing plan will keep you organized, and allow you to easily see if you are spending too much or too little on particular initiatives. It will also keep you on track with your overall startup budget for the company.


Following these five steps are critical before you can dive deeper into specifics such as what channels you will use (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) or what type of strategy you will follow for paid advertising. You need to lay a foundation for your digital marketing plan to thrive.

Working with a startup incubator is a great way to receive high-quality mentorship on digital marketing plans, low-cost marketing strategies, and a long list of other entrepreneurial needs. 


Web 3.0 Business Opportunities: How You Can Stay Ahead of the Curve

Web 3.0 Business Opportunities: How You Can Stay Ahead of the Curve

These days, technology seems to evolve and become more advanced in the blink of an eye. It can be hard to stay on top of it. The one upcoming advancement that will make the most significant impact on the world is Web 3.0. Unlike the internet’s earliest version Web 1.0, and today’s Web 2.0, the next phase of the web will be decentralized, user-generated and governed, and integrate sophisticated forms of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a business owner trying to grow a startup or small company, being educated on Web 3.0 and how you will be able to use it to your advantage is what will keep your business relevant and successful, and differentiate you from competitors. 


What are Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?


The best way to begin explaining Web 3.0 is to look at the web’s previous and current versions.

Web 1.0 was the earliest version that lasted from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. This was read-only where users consumed static content in text or graphic format that was created by web developers. In Web 1.0, there was little interaction from users on web pages.

Web 2.0 took off in the mid-2000s and although it has evolved tremendously since we are still using Web 2.0 today. Web 2.0 is an interactive social web where users are heavy content creators as well as consumers. The easiest examples we see are on popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where content is created, shared and commented on by the platforms’ userbase.


What is the problem with Web 2.0?


At the beginning of Web 2.0, allowing users to consume as well as create content was a huge advancement from where the world wide web started. However, as time showed, huge problems surfaced surrounding the lack of legal protection of users when it came to ownership of personal data, privacy, and surveillance. The content created by users on Web 2.0 is centralized and controlled by large tech corporations’ websites where people share content, such as on Facebook and Instagram. For many years this allowed tech giants to use users’ personal content and data to generate massive profits.


What is Web 3.0?


Web 3.0 is a decentralized web that will allow users to participate in not only content development, but also own and govern their materials.

Rather than have content centralized and owned by large corporations, Web 3.0’s decentralized infrastructure will protect individuals’ content and privacy, putting more power in the hands of the user and less in the hands of the tech giants. 


Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0


The major differentiator between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is the latter will be powered by blockchain technology, using cryptocurrency, AI, IoT, augmented reality, virtual reality, and machine learning technologies.

Blockchain technology is a decentralized network of numerous peer-to-peer nodes (servers), that alleviates central servers from controlling an entire network.

Web 3.0 will enable websites and apps to process information in a human-like way, actually understanding content, therefore, making it more sophisticated and secure.  


How will Web 3.0 present new business opportunities?


Using Web 3.0, brands will be able to connect with their target audiences on a much deeper level and earn their trust much more easily, allowing highly-tailored content to reach the consumer directly from your business.

Web 3.0’s decentralized infrastructure will also make cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) more accessible to the masses, adding a further level of consumer security and trust as it is based on peer-to-peer transactions using blockchain.

Proactively becoming educated on the latest developments in Web 3.0 by being a lifelong learner will give you an opportunity to participate in Web 3.0 once it is available and not fall behind your competitors. Continuing your knowledge base will allow you to connect with audiences better than ever, which is an invaluable asset as an entrepreneur in today’s ever-evolving technology era. 

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