When it comes to marketing approaches for your company, there are several options for you to think about and it can be hard to keep them straight. We see many terms thrown around – ABM, ABX and lead generation. With many terms out there referencing how to get new leads and targets for your business, it is important that you know which is which and what are the key differences between them. In this blog, we will have a look at some of the top strategies and give you a few of the most important points about them to help you decide on the best choice to further your goals and succeed in the long run.
What do ABM, ABX and Lead Gen mean?
To begin with we have to look at each of ABM, ABX and Lead Gen and know exactly what they refer to in terms of strategy. Each proceeds slightly differently to reach their targets and generate the leads you need, so have a look at your options and some information about each.
Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a highly personalised and targeted approach in which every business or account is approached as unique. Instead of a broad and generalised strategy that might be good for many prospective accounts at the same time, each is targeted individually to get the attention and focus they deserve, which improves response. As the name suggests, this is a good choice for a company that caters to a few important accounts, and closes them one by one.
Also known as account-based experience or ABE, ABX is a strategy that places a premium on the customer experience and relationship over simple profits. It builds over time on each previous contact and success to lead to a happier and more beneficial long term connection. When done right ABX will not only give you any old customer but those that are loyal and in it for the long haul.
Lead generation marketing involves targeting customers who have shown an interest in your product or brand and generating leads to create new potential customers. From traditional cold-calling, and relatively low tech work, through to modern technology, data gathering and knowledge of demographics and what people actually want – this approach increases brand awareness and knowledge of your business for wider groups.
What are the key differences between ABX and ABM and Lead Generation?
Now that you have a brief description of each, it is time to look at the key differences between them. There are of course some places where they do cross over and even enhance each other, but in essence here are a few of the ways that they vary to help you find out which meets your specific requirements.
- Lead focus – lead generation is aimed at a large number of people or businesses, while ABM and ABX both look at individual accounts and how to close and leave them satisfied and likely to return. If you are trying to hit quantity, lead gen is probably the better choice while for quality and focus ABM and ABX are your best bet.
- Conversions – you are more likely to have your lead converted into custom with a targeted and singular approach like ABM and with the careful customer focus of ABX than any one account with traditional lead generation. However it can be a numbers game, and with more people seeing and getting the impact of lead gen you could end up with more converted business so again it is a matter of which is more likely to work for you.
- Personalization – it is impossible to appeal to everyone at the same time. There is so much variety and disparity in the world, so a lead gen approach can be a good way to try and reach some of these people at the same time but it naturally cannot therefore be too personalised. The entire aim of ABM and ABX is to make it personal, either to seal the immediate deal or invest in the future, so if this is important to you then it is better to go with one or both of these.
- Quality and value of the deal – as discussed, lead generation is great for finding lots of potential accounts and gaining plenty of opportunities for profit. However, for really big accounts that are likely to pay out dividends individually there is no substitute for account-based methods. It is imperative that these accounts don’t feel like they are unimportant, just one of the group. The personal touch is key to closing this deal and gaining a new and happy high value client.
- Distribution channels – one of the biggest differences between these approaches is how and where they are utilised. Lead generation is generally focused online through social media, blog posts, articles and all the ways you can reach wider audiences. The opposite is true for ABM and ABX. These use direct connections and contact like email, conversations and other ways to make it more one on one.
- Longevity and value to the customer – while lead generation can reach the most people it is really more of a one off or short term strategy. With ABM your customers will feel more involved and with ABX they will be happy and likely to come back again and again.
- Costs – this really depends on how you are going to do it. Lead generation can cost very little, with organic approaches to social media and other actions leading to new customers without great expense. It can be possible to spend a lot on this but it is not needed if done right. An account-based approach can cost a lot more with time and resources invested to give a unique approach. It can pay out more in the long run though, so it depends if you are long or short term focused.
A final word on the differences between ABM and ABX and lead generation
From lead generation with its wider and more popular approach, to finding potential customers, to targeted and specific account-based methods that give your customer a personal and individual focus, there are many great ways to get new leads for your business. Think about what exactly you are looking for, whether quality or quantity are the priority and decide which approach will best work for you.
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