Acquire, Retain, and Repeat — My guide to Account-based Marketing (ABM)

The future is uncertain and its wrath is sometimes unpredictable — and these trying times stand as solid proof. While we all grapple with what tomorrow may bring, there is something that lies in your control — your brand. How can you ensure it weathers this storm? The answer is simple — Account-based Marketing or ABM.

ABM is all about devoting time and resources towards a set of carefully-chosen target audiences or accounts to maintain long-term relationships. What does this mean? Well, the focus here shifts beyond one-time transactions, lead generations, and short-term profits, to solid relationships that count in the bigger scheme of things.

To make this concept more coherent, I often follow a three-step approach — Acquire, Retain, and Repeat. 

Read on to know more.

ACQUIRE by streamlining your marketing activities to be relevant. 

Want to create a loyal customer base that consistently sings your praises? Then I’d say customise, personalise, and maximise all your marketing efforts towards the ones who will need your product or service for a long time. Over the years, I’ve realised that traveling all the way down the marketing funnel along with the customer is essential. This increases the relevancy quotient, as all the brand interactions are tailor-made to address a customers’ problem areas and specifically show them how a product is going to serve them. 

One of the best examples of a great acquisition strategy is that of a popular online British apparel and cosmetics retailer. All their marketing activities are concentrated towards young fashion-conscious adults who constantly look for fashion inspiration in the digital space. The brand’s Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest handles are big on posting relevant content such as memes, OOTDs, pictures of models or influencers they partnered with, and just about anything that resonates with millennials and Gen Z. 

RETAIN by forging strong customer relationships through consistency. 

First, let me begin by saying that this step is the make-or-break part of ABM. Marketing is now all about Customer lifetime value (CLTV). It’s not just about how to attract customers, it’s also about keeping them engaged. Trust me, do it right and you’ll flourish like a palm tree! In ABM, your marketing funnel doesn’t just act as a passage of acquisition. It’s a way of amassing the right kind of audience. But the question is, once you do have a customer base, how will you retain them? I’d say by being consistent — in the way your brand communicates and creates unique customer experiences. After all, it’s no brainer that when you consistently show a customer that you are willing to go the extra mile for them, they are more likely to stick around — and maybe even advocate for you. 

I’ve put together a small set of baseline questions to help you maintain consistency AND relevance throughout your marketing efforts. Whenever in doubt, ask yourself: 

  • Am I providing the latest information about business trends and product developments to my customers? 
  • Am I curating content keeping in mind the changing needs of the consumer?
  • Am I engaging with them on a regular basis — both online and offline? 
  • Am I providing impeccable customer service, every single time?

REPEAT by constantly striving to expand your accounts.

There’s no doubt that ABM is an investment of time and resources towards high-value accounts. However, in the dynamic world we currently live in, obsolescence is a looming threat. And that’s why, brands need to constantly reinvent themselves and repeat the process of acquisition and retention. 

In the last two decades or so, many Indian brands have revamped themselves and expanded their accounts. One great example of a brand that revamped itself and expanded its accounts is a malted milk beverage, which started off with a basic product for kids. Eventually, they tapped into other groups, such as women, toddlers, and fitness enthusiasts. They continually worked on improving their products and tailoring their communication campaigns — and the result? Today, it dominates the Indian health drink market with a 43% share. 

To sum up, ABM helps you create a pool of loyal customers who’ll stand by you through thick or thin. They help stretch the boundaries of the customer circle by providing a testimony of your great service via word-of-mouth. So the moral of the story is — your customers have the power to save you from drowning — so make sure you make them feel as important as they really are!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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