Do I Have To Choose Between Lead Based And Account Based Marketing?

July 11, 2016 12:31:54 PM | By Matt Benati

The short answer is NO.

While a lot of sales and marketing teams who make the switch to an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy do leave many of their old lead based strategies behind, you don’t have to. In fact, a smart mix of the two might just be the best strategy for your business!

Different Strategies Achieve Different Results

Your sales team likely already has multiple strategies in place to address various groups within your sales funnel. Your messaging and how you connect with leads, prospects and customers should be different throughout your sales cycle — so it only makes sense that your marketing team would employ multiple strategies as well.

For example, an account based (account first) strategy targets multiple personas within your best-fit accounts. Everyone from your day-to-day user all the way up to the CEO might have a say in the purchasing decision, so your messaging should also resonate with each of these very different personas.

In contrast, a lead based (persona first) strategy leverages the power of numbers. The more leads generated, the more likely you are to identify sales opportunities. Your messaging should focus on what will attract the most people to join your list.

When sales and marketing teams are aligned, lead based and account based strategies can both be used effectively — each achieving different results with different benefits and drawbacks. The key is choosing the strategies that support your business goals.

Lead Based Marketing

Lead based, or persona based marketing, focuses on the traditional marketing funnel. That is, getting as many new leads into your database as possible through content marketing. (Many inbound marketing strategies naturally lend themselves to a lead based marketing approach.) The goal is to get people to give you their contact info in exchange for something valuable, like a free checklist or download such as a PDF, eBook, or whitepaper. Or, simply providing consistent, useful content, engaging on social media and encouraging people to sign up for your updates.

Because the focus is on the quantity of leads rather than quality, there is often little friction getting people to sign up. Meaning, your sales team gets the bare minimum on each lead – usually just a name and email address. This generates many unqualified leads to filter, and sales teams will often employ “hunters,” who will take generic leads and follow up with them. These reps work with large quantities of leads and know precisely how to quickly and effectively dig in, identifying those that are best-fits and nurturing them through what may be a long sales cycle.

Account Based Marketing

If you’re a B2B company with a focus on large, enterprise accounts, you likely already employ account based strategies to some degree. Because enterprise accounts will produce more revenue, many businesses find that they are able to dedicate the time, money and resources to create Account Based Marketing campaigns that are highly personalized and focused on these best-fit accounts.

Jon Miller, CEO and co-founder of Engagio, likens lead based (namely, traditional demand generation, top of funnel, inbound strategies), to “fishing with a net.” And he goes on to say that, “there’s a whole set of marketers who are realizing that they care which fish they catch.” Using an ABM strategy to identify these best-fit ‘fish’ and going after them with highly targeted messaging is what Jon calls, “fishing with a spear.”

For sales and marketing teams fishing with a spear, outbound strategies are naturally a faster, more efficient way of reaching the right people in the right accounts. Once their best-fit accounts are identified, the teams can work together to create content and campaigns that specifically target those accounts, and then reach out via phone, email, video, social media, or whatever platforms their leads are already using.

The main difference between lead based and ABM strategies is that account based models move away from the generic one-off marketing pieces that net a lot of casual leads, and instead focus on creating high-quality, personalized content meant to spear the handful of qualified leads and expand within already identified accounts.

LeadGnome Plays An Essential Role In Both Strategies

Using LeadGnome to leverage campaign reply emails benefits both approaches. LeadGnome mines campaign reply emails – at scale – to uncover valuable Account Based Intelligence (ABI) about your leads.

Some of the key benefits for marketing teams using a lead based strategy are 1) adding valuable details to each lead, such as company, title, phone, and 2) identifying whether any of these inbound contacts are within your key accounts.

For account based marketing strategies generating more targeted email campaigns, LeadGnome mines data-rich replies such as Out of Office, Left the Company, and Change of Title, allowing you to expand your reach within key accounts, better personalize your messaging, identify trigger events and discover up-sell/cross-sell opportunities.

Whether seamlessly integrated with Marketo, your CRM or just through the LeadGnome platform itself, you’re able to see your top accounts and identify changes within those accounts. Our clients say the account based intelligence LeadGnome uncovers gives them the edge over their competition.

To see what LeadGnome can do for your lead based or account based marketing strategy, sign up for your FREE trial today!

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