Building your bank's trust with account based marketing
BUILDING TRUST WITH
By Kevin Bobowski
CMO, Act-On Software
Marketing has always been a more dynamic discipline
than most — its gaze often trained on techniques and
technologies at the cutting edge — and certainly this is
true of financial services marketing.
The banking industry as a whole has shifted shape quite a
bit in the years since the 2008 financial crisis, as pressure
and scrutiny from various watchdog groups and regulatory
agencies have forced banks to break with old habits and
forge new paths forward.
Between stiffer requirements for capital and the current
squeeze on net interest margins, today's financial
services marketers face an increasing number of
obstacles in courting corporate clients, and their best
hope for clearing these hurdles, it seems, is to look
forward at the trends shaping the broader marketing
Specifically, it's time they rethink their respective
approaches to the purchasing process and put in place
strategies that are tailored to the unique journeys their
B2B buyers travel. More to the point: It's time they take
account-based marketing (ABM) seriously.
WHY B2B FINANCIAL SERVICES
BENEFIT FROM ABM
ABM gives financial services marketers a framework for
prioritizing larger accounts ahead of individual contacts
(and consolidating opportunities in the process).
It allows banks to zero in on the customers and prospects
that are likely to bring them the most consistent business,
and gives them a way to enrich and expand these
It's a methodology that ensures the financial services a
bank may offer (loans, lines of credit, 401k matching, debt
relief) cater to the particular needs of its most valuable
(and often its most loyal) corporate clientele.
And it's plenty lucrative as a stream for revenue:
According to ITSMA, a research and advisory
organization serving B2B service marketers, 80% of
marketers report that ABM outperforms their other
marketing investments in ROI.
But better still, it's one of the rare banking strategies that
considers the long-term projections on a customer's
health and growth, which, as this Bain & Co brief notes, is
crucial as a mode of outreach:
"Any strategy should take into account the starting point
and the customer, competitive, technological and
regulatory trends affecting a bank and its markets.
It should also ... be explicit about the risk exposures
decided and how to adjust those exposures throughout
Some of the immediate benefits of the approach in broad
ABM DELIVERS EFFICIENT AND
When you have the means to structure your outreach
around predetermined profiles of your customers —
personas you've built over time based on the pain points,
habits and behaviors you've observed in your average
client — you're bound to be more productive in your
You'll know, after all, who your buyers are and where to
find them, and this, in turn, can save you time and money
that might have otherwise been wasted on seeking out
potential customers individually and responding to their
You'll be able to anticipate, for instance, when a business
with a corporate account at your institution might require
an additional line of credit, or perhaps a commercial loan.
By focusing on accounts rather than contacts, you're sure
to attract a particular and consistent type of customer —
someone for whom your services are essentially tailor-
This is because ABM eliminates much of the guesswork
that can come with identifying your ideal customer, while
also standardizing many of your usual communications
and processes for engagement.
It yields a customer base made up of businesses and
individuals with needs, attributes and pain points in common
— businesses you've pre-screened based on, say, rounds of
funding they've raised previously, their financial valuations
and their interactions with other financial institutions (if, for
instance, they've open accounts with or loans from competing
banks). These are businesses likely to thank you with their
renewals in the long term.
ABM GUARANTEES MORE REVENUES
PER INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMER.
Using an ABM strategy, you'll be quicker to spot and
capitalize on opportunities for cross-sell and upsell within
your customer base — situations where a particular action
(a financial investment of some kind) warrants follow-up
and possibly access to a different service in your arsenal,
if not a higher tier of service.
It's behavior-based upsell, loyalty programs built around
customers' specific needs and constraints.
What this might look like, in practice: You might be alerted
to a customer in good standing (a business with a history
of regular payments and activity) that has suddenly made
a sizable deposit in their account — a lump sum indicating
recent financing, or perhaps an acquisition.
This might indicate to you that the customer is a strong
contender for another of your services (access to your
trading networks, perhaps, or localized cash management
to support the business's growth) and might encourage
you to send along compliments to the customer for their
continued business, with the tailored offer attached.
Like any mode of outreach, however, ABM requires tight
alignment across the organization to be successful.
There must be consensus within your organization on the
accounts and assets worth prioritizing, a collective effort
on a bank's part (from management down) to track and
continue communications long after an account is won.
This is where a technology like marketing automation is
crucial, serving as an ABM command center of sorts that
can orchestrate customer touch points across the
With marketing automation driving their ABM efforts,
marketers can strengthen and streamline their messaging
for more tailored, timely and relevant content, and can
track engagement over time for a clearer picture of buyer
preferences — something of a necessity today, given
buyers' tendency to evaluate offerings on their own time,
via social media and elsewhere.
But most importantly, a marketing automation-driven ABM
strategy ensures that marketers still market to individuals,
albeit within a given account.
The technology gives marketers the ability to score
accounts and leads on predetermined actions and
attributes, and this, in turn, can help to indicate an
account's overall health and readiness to purchase.
If ABM constitutes the oars that convey your business'
ship across uncertain waters, marketing automation is the
sail buffeting challenging headwinds and gathering the
Together, they make your company's journey successful.
About the Author: Kevin Bobowski is the Chief Marketing Officer of Act-On Software, a
marketing automation company. Kevin is responsible for shaping the company's go-to-
market strategy and leading its global marketing effort: building the brand, driving demand,
and expanding customer relationships.
About FPS: FPS develops, and distributes custom business content on behalf of banks
and other financial services marketers. We specialize in marketing consulting, e-
newsletters, conference presentations, client meeting editorial support, white papers, case
studies, multimedia demos and tutorials, and bylined article writing and placement
For more information, contact: FPS President Vince DiPaolo at 847-858-9566 or
email@example.com or FPS Operations Director Ventsi Petrova at 847-501-4120 x2 or