In the dynamic realm of B2B marketing, strategies are evolving to meet the demands of a digital-first world. In this article, we describe how a transformative approach focused on Account-Based Experience (ABX) Marketing is setting new standards.
Standing still in B2B marketing is not an option. Marketers recognise that traditional methods are giving way to innovative approaches that foster deeper connections and deliver human, personal experiences.
The importance of this shift can't be underestimated. More than two-thirds, 67%, of B2B marketers see personalisation as either fundamental or increasingly important for customer engagement, and 83% of B2B buyers believe personalisation enhances their purchasing experiences, according to research from Gitnux.
Meeting this demand isn't easy due to the inherent complexities in B2B marketing. Multiple decision-makers, long sales cycles, and tough negotiations will be familiar territory to anyone in the sector. However, one dynamic strategy is Account-Based Experience (ABX) Marketing, which weaves in the vital element of customer experience.
Understanding the Evolution: from ABM to ABX
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is nothing new. A staple in B2B marketing for years, it focuses on targeting specific high-value accounts with tailored campaigns, fostering a one-to-one approach. However, ABM sometimes falls short when it comes to truly engaging with and nurturing prospects. This is where Account-Based Experience (ABX) comes into play.
ABX builds upon ABM's foundation by adding a layer of personalisation and engagement that was previously missing. It recognises that in today's digital age, B2B buyers expect the same level of seamless experience as they do in their B2C interactions. ABX shifts the focus from selling to creating a holistic experience that resonates across the range of decision-makers of a target account.
The ABX approach also reflects that the B2B funnel has evolved beyond established channels such as email and web-based marketing. Smart business leaders understand the need for a plan that includes both brand building and sales activation to drive growth: In an interconnected world, B2B buyers engage through various channels – from emails to social media, webinars, to events. At Merkle, we understand that a seamless and consistent experience across these touchpoints is paramount. This led us to weave an omnichannel approach into our own ABX strategies.
With this in mind, implementing an ABX strategy delivers clear benefits that include higher conversion rates, enhanced customer engagement, stronger customer loyalty, improved ROI, and deeper insights. Companies that want to be leaders need to evolve their ABM approach and create ABXs that orchestrate the entire customer experience. ABX not only enhances the initial buying experience but also lays the groundwork for upselling, cross-selling, and fostering lasting partnerships. This aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional value at every touchpoint."
The Pillars of Account-Based Experience Marketing
Implementing a successful ABX strategy is based on clear foundations linked directly to strong principles of customer experience. However, obvious organisational challenges arise, which is why a clear, transformative approach, such as that developed at Merkle, is so essential. This delivers against several important goals.
Personal marketing at scale: ABX leverages data and technology to provide personally-relevant content and experiences to each stakeholder within the buying committee. This ensures that every touchpoint addresses their unique pain points, challenges, and aspirations.
Seamless omnichannel engagement: ABX recognizes that B2B buyers engage through multiple channels. It synchronises the messaging and content across various touchpoints, ensuring a consistent and coherent experience. Whether it's email, social media, webinars, or events, the message remains cohesive.
Data-driven insights: ABX requires the integration of data analytics and insights. By tracking and analysing user behaviour, preferences, and interactions, marketers can fine-tune their strategies in real-time, making the experience even more relevant and impactful.
Organisational change: ABX relies on seamless co-operation across departments including marketing, sales, and customer teams. This collaboration ensures that every customer touchpoint, from initial engagement to post-sale support, aligns with the overarching ABX strategy.
Long-term relationship building: Unlike traditional marketing, ABX doesn't stop at the point of sale. It continues to deliver value even after the purchase. This approach builds trust and loyalty, increasing the chances of upselling, cross-selling, and nurturing lasting customer relationships.
Embracing the ABX Revolution
Throughout our transformation from ABM to ABX, we have found that the journey is not only about adopting new technologies. It also requires a shift in mindset. One recognising that in the B2B world experience matters as much, if not more so, than in the B2C space. It's about understanding that a seamless, personal journey is what sets successful businesses apart but also that a greater level of frictionless organisational collaboration is required.
By marrying personal marketing, data-driven insights, and collaborative strategies, ABX marketing has the potential to revolutionise how organisations manage their most valuable accounts. It's time to unleash the power of Account-Based Experience marketing, embrace the organisational challenges required, and take your B2B strategies to new heights.