Account-based Marketing (ABM) is increasingly becoming a popular business strategy in the Middle East. So what are the challenges and opportunities?
Marketing is everywhere! Reading this article is part of a marketing strategy. You walk down a street, and billboards bombard you with marketing content watching a YouTube video without a 5-second ad interrupting the video, seems impossible now. Brands and marketers are working hard to make sure you see their message.
However, this format of mass-communication is becoming less effective as consumers are becoming more empowered with information. They do not want to be treated like everyone else or be spoken to like another number. They want to be treated uniquely; made to feel special. It which inadvertently led to Account-based Marketing (ABM).
Increasingly marketers are now adopting ABM to reach the key decision makers in targeted companies. However, while more B2B marketers are inclined towards ABM, they also realise the obstacles and challenges they might need to overcome to benefit from this thriving strategy truly. So what are the opportunities of ABM, the challenges marketers face, and how to overcome them?
Delivering a valuable content experience that keeps your audience engaged and interested in your brand long enough to result in a ‘buy’.
A recent survey found that 51 per cent of marketers in the Middle East feel that their biggest challenge was marketing in Arabic.
The way to go ahead would be to spend enough time in understanding the essence of the Middle Eastern culture and sensibilities and then creating content that resonates with it.
The inherent need to reach out to every possible account is huge, but only when you can develop a manageable process that helps you identify the right account for your efforts will ABM work for you.
The Middle East market is growing dynamically with a tech-savvy and business-oriented population. This also means there’s an ongoing race to market to them. This competitive nature of the market leads to unfocused efforts at targeting accounts.
If you are already carrying out inbound activities, it is advisable to use your inbound leads to identify the best-fit opportunities for ABM. This process will ensure you are focusing and nurturing the right accounts while you have the right amount to scale your activities.
ABM marketing is about delivering a researched and personalised experience. Thus B2B marketers need to find a way to connect with the consumers by offering persuasive and significant messages across all channels.
Arabs, in general, are more conservative by nature and would not like to reveal too much information about themselves. Thus using traditional methods to survey or get to know them might not work as effectively, as it does in other markets.
Monitoring trends and tracking their social media behaviour might be a more effective way to identify their interests and key motivations.
Your website is the first interface between you and your customer. Delivering a focused website experience will improve your engagement.
Websites do not spend enough time gathering metrics and information to create user-centric website experiences. Localising of a home page or product page is not carried out as significantly as it should be.
In ABM, the ultimate goal is always to make every user feel unique by personalising their buying journey with you. Thus, customising your website to be more focused on the customer than the brand itself will help.
Marketing and Sales
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand; one must follow the other, or you will lose an engaged customer.
Often times we notice that the sales and marketing teams are one and the same in the Middle East, or sometimes these departments aren’t synced to the same goal that ABM requires.
Both departments need to understand the goals and metrics to drive the best approach. ABM is a full funnel activity, hence tracking and measuring every aspect of an ABM campaign is critical.
An open and transparent approach of showing the customers what he is buying will go a long way in lead conversion rather than keeping details hidden or having too many clauses.
Buyers or decision-makers in the Middle East are very wary of speaking to sales teams unless they are at the point of making a decision. They will only step in to make a decision when their teams have a complete understanding of the context and know the ‘ins and outs’ of everything.
To reach the key decision maker, you must use a transparent and open approach. Integrity and honesty shown by your brand will create a loyal bond with the decision maker for future business.
Rounding up, relying on a great product might not work anymore. It would be best if you found ways to communicate the benefits in a more personal fashion, i.e. through Account-based Marketing.
If you’re thinking ‘where do I begin’, then start by reshaping your marketing message to provide a compelling one. Next, be realistic and market only what you can deliver. Don’t focus on going viral with the masses instead focus on building more effective and personalised experiences? And lastly, gear up sales and marketing teams to gather data effectively and get the CRM team connected with online analytics for a deeper understanding of your buyer’s persona.
Account Based Marketing in the Middle East has its challenges and understanding the consumer doesn’t come from published statistics or by conducting standard surveys; it requires running intensive groundwork and relationship building. Nevertheless, the market is eager and young and is open to being surprised or entertained in a unique, personalised manner.