In the B2B world, more marketing teams are embracing the idea of account-based marketing — a strategy that involves targeting personalized campaigns at specific accounts and individuals — and seeing positive results. Statistics show that nearly 85 percent of marketers who measure their ROI describe account-based marketing (ABM) as providing greater returns than any other techniques.
While account-based marketing has a successful track record, it all starts with building the right foundation. Here are four steps to take before you start with an ABM program.
When businesses try to have conversations with everyone, their messages often fail to resonate with any one. That’s why it’s important for companies to move away from vague and undefined targets — a common problem when serving multiple markets — to a more defined vision of the ideal customer.
In the case of ABM, sales and marketing teams need to join forces to paint a clear picture of what their ideal account looks like. What types of organizations are these? How large are they in size?
Once you have a clear idea of this, you’ll want to consider some more specific factors. What are the job titles of key decision makers? How can your product or solution help address their business challenges?
Combining intuition and experience with data will help you answer these questions and steer your account-based marketing efforts in the right direction.
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, the next step is to do your homework on specific accounts. You can essentially treat these companies like buyer personas on an organizational level.
The best place to start is with your internal team. Based on previous experiences, they may be able to provide you with insight into the structure of companies as well as who their key players are.
In other cases, research might be the go-to route. (That’s not to say it can’t also complement in-house knowledge). Through channels like LinkedIn, you can get a snapshot of information about the company from their number of employees to which ones are the decision makers. You can also get a feel for news the company shares and what’s important to them.
Work with your marketing and sales teams to create a list of preferred prospects in your CRM.
You’ve learned a lot about your targets already. But do you know where they live online? This is insight you’ll need for your account-based marketing to pay off.
Say you are targeting financial managers. Through interviews and customer surveys, you might find that these executives are active on LinkedIn and turn to Business Insider for news. As a multilevel approach, ABM can be leveraged on both channels via LinkedIn and Google Display ads.
These paid advertisements can be paired with other valuable marketing channels like direct mail or email campaigns. Rather than using a single template to reach your audience, you should tailor messages to speak to specific companies and individuals, generating more meaningful conversations with recipients.
Repeated exposure helps you engage with your audience on a more regular basis and increase your chances of marketing success.
Before targets are ready to engage with you, they want to know you understand their needs. That’s why it’s so important to construct messaging that aligns with the pain points of businesses and employees.
With account-based marketing, you have the flexibility to personalize content for this purpose. Say you are a 3PL provider looking to target logistics managers and CEOs. Your message to logistics managers might focus on streamlining processes, while your message to CEOs might emphasize improving profitability.
This messaging can be made even more personalized with industry-specific campaigns that speak directly to the companies’ pain points and goals. For instance, you could create one email campaign around the challenges of domestic freight shipments and another around the challenges of international freight shipments.
As you customize content across various platforms, be sure to keep your messaging and branding consistent to build proper connections throughout organizations.
Personalized marketing is growing in popularity. As it does, more businesses are putting account-based marketing into practice. To generate conversations that fuel the most success, take the time to build a solid foundation that supports your marketing efforts.