B2B marketing campaigns seek to target potential clients and convert new leads that ultimately generate revenue for their business. But account based marketing (ABM), an oldie but goodie, seeks to target just a handful of accounts based on a set of pinpointed behavioral and demographic criteria. It’s a strategy utilized by B2B marketers to identify and target the accounts their sales teams value most and provide much more qualified leads for sales reps to work.
With ABM, customized marketing strategies are built for these specific accounts, rather than the entire current client database at once. Using ABM technology solutions that include account based data and dynamic content placement, companies can effectively attract, engage, convert, and measure progress.
Account based marketing is vital for B2B marketers who want to break through the digital noise and reach their highest value prospects with targeted messaging that speaks to their specific challenges. By focusing on particular accounts, marketers attract and engage more qualified leads that can be passed to their sales teams. This approach allows marketing teams to spend their budgeted dollars more effectively and use data to advocate for more spend in the future.
Here are three key best practices to follow when implementing an ABM strategy.
Using important client data you’ve collected from both your marketing and sales team (company size, industry, location, annual revenue, annual spend, projected profit margin), identify specific accounts to target with your ABM tactics. When collecting this data, ask questions to segment your accounts by behavioral and demographic characteristics such as “What is the company size of an ideal customer?” or “What industry or industries do the majority of our great customers come from?”. The ultimate deciding factor of the data points you use in your campaign should be an agreement between sales and marketing on the qualities that define a “hot” lead. Based on data gathered, and the attributes of each account, begin segmenting into prioritized lists.
Once you’ve identified target account lists, you then need to build a campaign that engages them with tactics and content that is customized for their specific challenges, needs, and goals. With ABM, developing personalized content relevant to each account is key. It requires effort and time, but with marketing automation options from email personalization to dynamic content blocks, it gets much easier. Do some research to choose or build content that immediately resonates with your target audience to achieve a much higher ROI. Your target accounts are more likely to engage with marketing efforts that are aimed directly at them throughout every stage of the buyer journey.
Don’t forget to involve your sales team! They play a key role in content creation because ABM bears more relation to a sales-focused, consultative endeavor, rather than a traditional marketing campaign that is designed to pull people in with a broader message. Stay away from the sales pitch and craft a message that meets your prospect where they are in the process. For example, if your client is a business looking to attract new customers, explain how your software can help them reach qualified leads.
An ABM strategy isn’t likely to be perfect right from the start. In order to refine the process and improve ROI, collect and analyze data throughout the entire lifecycle. Connect data across marketing automation platforms and sales CRMs so you have a full picture. Doing so can give you great insight into how best to revise and improve your strategy, and better prepare you for future ABM campaigns.
Using analytics will also yield clearer results than they would when attempting to analyze a complete marketing campaign aimed at a broad market. Because the analytics are focused on just one particular account, the metrics are more precise, helping you to better optimize your program.
By shifting some of your marketing efforts to ABM, you’ll learn how to effectively manage your marketing resources while also attracting higher quality leads that are ready for a sales conversation. And when measuring your results, be sure to keep an eye on the right metrics. Some ideas on how to track success are the number of free trial downloads, scheduled sales demos, or new revenue generated from target accounts. Know what you are trying to achieve with each client. A multitude of tools are available to help you plan, implement, track and measure an ABM program. Once you’ve tried ABM, you’ll quickly realize the potential for future sales growth and a new, more efficient way to market your brand.
Now that you are aware of the basic steps involved in an ABM strategy, download our ABM playbook for a deep dive into the step-by-step process of implementing an efficient ABM strategy.