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Account-Based Strategy in Pharma Marketing

account-based strategy in pharma marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that brings marketing and sales together. Its primary focus is to target groups of customers that have a direct impact on the business’ growth. In pharma marketing, this approach can prove to be highly effective and beneficial. 

By the end of 2020, B2B marketers started to consider ABM programs to be a part of their strategies. This helps save time that companies normally waste on unqualified leads that are not fit for a business and the products/ services it provides. Furthermore, it has the potential to boost revenue while enabling exponential growth in the long run. It is all about nurturing the right, high-value customers. 

Dive on in to learn more about the potential of account-based strategies in pharma marketing.

Account-based Pharma marketing:

Mixing it all together

Account-based marketing: Definition and business benefits

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a growth strategy that focuses on the creation of tailored customer experiences for a set of identified high-value accounts. In it, marketing and sales departments work together toward a single common goal.

Through ABM, companies may put aside the accounts that hold less value from an early stage. Then, concentrate their efforts on the engagement and delight of the most valuable potential customers. Thus, generating a positive impact on loyalty and return on investment (ROI).

It’s almost like developing each of those accounts as individual markets. Tailoring every communication, content, and campaign within a personalized buyer’s journey.

Other strategies…

The outcome of an ABM strategy is even greater when combined with other strategies. Particularly, with approaches that comprehend most marketing fundamentals.

One of the strategies that are similar in some ways and complements an account-based strategy is inbound marketing. The combination with the inbound approach ensures a strong foundation and enables a highly-targeted ABM and a productive resource allocation.

Inbound marketing is crucial for context, personalization, and added-value content. And through personalized interactions and tailored content, ABM uses the mindset and added-value content practices of inbound marketing on a larger scale.

Within the concept and approach of an ABM strategy, there’s also an active integration of Outbound Marketing. Not relying solely on organic leads, there’s a direct reach to prospects for greater impact. 

One example of this is an email campaign targeting a list of high-value contacts or digital ads that are account-focused. This means a direct promotion to the selected accounts followed by inbound nurturing campaigns if effective engagement occurs.

Only positive things can come from balancing inbound and outbound marketing with an ABM strategy. This way, you ensure that you target high-value accounts with tailored communications and relevant added-value content. Thus, building by extent customers’ trust and loyalty.

ABM structure:

Vital components

Account-based marketing comprehends 2 core components – data insights and content marketing. However, its landscape and scope cannot and must not be resumed to these tools. To remember, this strategy’s structure is built within a comprehensive methodology.

ABM differentiates itself from other approaches. At its core, it seeks organized coordination of a comprehensive set of activities and strategies (i.e., inbound and outbound marketing) within an optimized structure. For that, account-based marketing is extremely effective for complex buyer collectives and large-scale marketing campaigns. This only makes it a perfect fit for healthcare audiences. 

The methodology

So, what does building an ABM strategy contemplate? Knowing that it’s a powerful model to use, here are the stages of its comprehensive methodology.

  • Identifying target high-value accounts or businesses to sell to;
  • Researching the accounts to identify the personas and key players in the buyer collective;
  • Formulating a hypothesis based on the collected data and conclusions of the more adequate and effective tactics;
  • Implementing the tactic and tailoring for the account profile, having content creation and sharing as a priority;
  • Gather data to overview the impact and effect of methods application;
  • Continuously monitoring and analysis for identifying the audience trends and reactively optimizing;
  • Have full alignment between marketing and sales departments;
  • Applicability of the model expansion to similar high-value accounts with the needed adjustments and personalization.

To effectively benefit from an ABM strategy, the plenitude of steps within the methodology must be followed, implemented, and maintained.

The evolution:

Account-based engagement

ABM strategies are evolving, and there is now an even more tailored approach focused on delivering holistic experiences – Account-based engagement (ABE). ABE brings together marketing, sales, and customer service/relations departments. Therefore, expanding reach to current active customers and potential new high-value accounts.

This approach paves the way for a layered engagement strategy. Meaning, one that combines all the departments with the most customer knowledge. This comes with the goal to achieve a hyper-personalized holistic experience that provides extra-tailored content. 

Knowing pharma’s competitive atmosphere, ABE can help build faster and higher impact relationships with the audiences. Why? Account-based engagement is supported by a model that longs for much more than just selling a product or promoting a brand.  

Through an account-based engagement strategy, companies can increase retention rates and expand new account acquisition. Even more so, they can stand out from the crowd in a competitive landscape.

account-based-engagement
Source: PharmaIntelligence
ABE: The planning stage

Besides sharing ABM’s main goals, ABE planning activities should include:

  • Identifying cross-functional team members throughout sales, customer service, and marketing departments. It can also be productive to go beyond this sphere and include subject-matter experts from other teams. These can contribute to customers’ knowledge related to behaviors and preferences, thus leading to fit-to-size optimization.
  • A data-driven approach that acts upon insights gathered from performance measurement of past campaigns/interactions to conclude what works better. One can actively use it for product rebranding/relaunch and net promoter score increase.
  • The creation of relevant, added-value, engaging content is a crucial piece of the strategy and the factor that will differentiate the company from the competition. For prospects, leads, or customers, meaningful educational resources such as Whitepapers or Reports, are seen as added value. These can have a direct impact on lead generation increase, high-value accounts database expansion, and brand awareness. In the end, it is all about providing the information the audience wants, when they need it and in a format that is digestible and understandable.

Performance: Measurement and analytics

It is vital to continuously track, monitor, and analyze the performance and overall results of your campaigns and initiatives. This is a good practice that allows you to identify where improvement or adjustment is needed. Therefore, enabling an agile and proactive engagement strategy. 

It’s a win-win situation. You just have to be in line with the audience’s needs, expectations, preferences, and business goals. Some important metrics to consider for account-based marketing valuable data-driven insights are:

  • Deal creation;
  • Account expansion (new contacts added to an account network);
  • Engagement rate;
  • Deal-to-close timeline;
  • Net-profit revenue;
  • Deals effective closure.