picture of the abm playbook

How to Build an ABM Practice for Your Agency

Adding account-based marketing (ABM) to your marketing agency's services gives you the unique opportunity to introduce a new, effective product to your client base. ABM is a powerful modern strategy that helps your clients target their ideal customers and drive more revenue. The results are tangible and can be witnessed within 30 days of launching the first campaign, and, as a relationship-driven approach, it can provide even the smallest organizations with a way to gain a toe-hold in their respective industries, helping them build brand visibility and engagement.
As a marketing agency, adding ABM into your service offering can be a win-win for both you and your clients. Today, we'll explain why ABM would be a great addition to your service offering. More importantly, we'll reveal some important aspects of ABM that you need to consider before rolling out this new product to clients. 
If your organization is ready to offer ABM services to your clients, start here to set yourself up for success.

Why ABM is a Powerful Tool for Marketing Agencies

Modern marketing approaches require organizations to build personalized experiences for their audiences. In this regard, ABM stands out as a powerful tool. Unlike traditional marketing approaches that cast a wide net, ABM focuses on specific, high-value accounts, enabling a more personalized and targeted approach. This enhances the customer experience and increases the likelihood of conversion.

ABM is particularly useful in B2B scenarios, where understanding and engaging with critical decision-makers is crucial. And, by tailoring marketing efforts to target accounts' unique needs and pain points, agencies can demonstrate a higher return on investment for their clients.

Moreover, ABM aligns seamlessly with data-focused marketing trends. The ability to leverage data and insights to identify and engage with the most valuable prospects - and deliver tangible results that have the power to drive revenue - makes ABM a strategic addition to any agency's services.

Best Practices for Successful ABM Integration

While ABM shares some principles with traditional marketing, it comes with its own nuances. ABM is all about engagement and relationship building over time and is effective at warming up leads for sales while providing them with valuable context for outreach. However, because ABM is excellent at targeting and building more personalized campaigns, there's more emphasis placed on who you're targeting and what that messaging will be. 

With that in mind, here are six key aspects to consider when integrating ABM into your agency's services:

1. Understand Your Client's Goals

Before you start offering ABM services, it's essential to understand your client's goals. What are they trying to achieve? Are they looking to generate leads? Increase sales? Improve customer retention? Once you know their goals, you can better market your services and tailor your ABM strategy to meet their needs.

2. Identify Target Accounts

ABM is excellent at targeting very specific (or niche) audiences. Once you understand your client's goals, the next step is to identify your client's target accounts. Who are their ideal customers? What industries do they serve? What are the job titles of the decision-makers they want to reach? With this information, you'll be able to start building a list of target accounts.

3. Align Sales and Marketing

As a marketing agency, you'll want to develop a way to seamlessly deliver warmed leads to your client's sales team. Part of your offering must entail seamless collaboration between the sales and marketing teams. After all, ABM is most effective when both teams are aligned in their efforts. Part of your offering should include ways you'll be able to share insights and data while gathering feedback to continuously optimize the strategy you develop with your client.

4. Choose the Right ABM Vendor

Choosing the right ABM vendor is critical to the success of your ABM strategy. There are several vendors to choose from, but some of the most popular include Demandbase and 6sense. However, these can be intimidating options, due to the generally high price tag and level of complexity.

If you're working with small/niche B2B teams, consider a vendor that offers ease of use and affordable pricing. Propensity is an excellent option to explore, as the platform provides a robust ABM platform tailored for small teams. This is integral to ABM's overall success. If you choose something too expensive, too complex, or offer a solution that requires the participation of too many specialized individuals, ABM could prove to be a hard sell.

5. Create Personalized Content and Messaging

One of the benefits of leveraging ABM is that it provides highly personalized content and messaging for your clients' target accounts. This can help you stand out from the competition and grow engagement with your clients' ideal customers.

By studying your target audience, you'll be able to understand what questions a customer is seeking answers to or what motivates a sale. That way, you can advise your client on what content to create and how to market it to build engagement.

6. Build Omnichannel Campaigns

ABM’s most impressive results are realized when campaigns are built for niche audiences and delivered across channels. Therefore, when you're pitching ABM to your clients (and building campaigns), you must emphasize the need to spread your ABM messaging across different types of outreach. This includes:

  • Email
  • Direct Mail
  • Programmatic ads
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Facebook ads
  • etc.

By going omnichannel, brands can expand visibility while encouraging engagement on the platforms that resonate most with targeted accounts. 

7. Measure and Optimize Your Results

It's necessary to measure the success of your ABM strategy and make adjustments as needed. You can use analytics to track engagement levels, conversion rates, and other vital metrics. This will help you optimize your strategy and get the best results for your clients. It will also help you demonstrate to your clients the level of success you are achieving and project future gains. 

These vital statistics make the case for ABM investment for current clients and give you the insights you need to build case studies that you can take to other clients to grow the ABM arm of your service offering. 

Make Money on ABM Services 

ABM isn't just a practical marketing tool for your customer base - it can be a great money-maker for your agency as well.

Once you have ABM campaigns on the books, your customers will need help with: 

Therefore, there is excellent potential to add revenue from any one of these services. After all, each new ABM cohort will need new content, creative, and updated messaging catering to each audience's interests. Your client likely already trusts your marketing prowess, so adding ABM will act as a natural extension of your existing marketing strategy.

Within your ABM offering, create a list of add-ons that will make the addition of ABM frictionless for your clients. This menu of options can also serve as an ongoing revenue stream for your agency throughout the lifecycle of your client's ABM campaigns.

Using ABM to Fuel Growth

In conclusion, following these tips can add ABM to your marketing agency's services and help your clients achieve their goals. ABM's personalized and targeted approach aligns with the evolving market needs, making it a valuable addition to your service offerings. Remember, success in ABM requires a deep understanding of your client's goals, effective collaboration between teams, the right technology, and a commitment to continuous optimization. As you embark on this journey, leverage the power of ABM to meet and exceed your clients' expectations and fuel the growth of your agency and your clients' businesses.