Account-Based Marketing: Strategies for Targeted Success
Account-based marketing can be an extremely effective way to land your ideal customer. Here are some unique and innovative strategies that we used to deliver success for our clients.
DEMAND GENERATIONACCOUNT-BASED MARKETINGMARKETING/SALES SUCCESSABMMARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that focuses on targeting specific high-value accounts and tailoring marketing/sales efforts to meet their unique needs. Unlike traditional marketing methods that cast a wide net, ABM allows businesses to personalize their marketing messages and deliver them directly to key decision-makers within target accounts. This blog post will explore the concept of account-based marketing and discuss some effective strategies that can be employed to achieve success.
ABM is not your traditionally based inbound marketing program. For inbound marketing, content is created for the purpose of luring a prospect back to your website, where you can capture their contact information to further nurture them down the sales pipeline. Because you donʼt know who these individuals are, you have to wait until they engage with you. With ABM, you take the initiative and reach out to individuals with content and information they did not know they needed or wanted. The outreach is not limited to traditional content such as eBooks, guides, infographics, etc.
Since you are trying to engage someone about a problem they may not even know they have. So, the content and information being shared through the ABM program MUST be compelling and personalized. You have to grab their attention, or your efforts will find their way into the trash before you can have any impact.
We already have explored the value of an account-based marketing program and the steps you should take to initiate it in a blog entitled, "Stop Waiting For Your Ideal Customer - Use Account-Based Marketing." This blog is a discussion of several campaigns we have successfully conducted for our clients and the special metrics you need to be tracking.
Personalized marketing campaigns, including customized webinars, landing pages, blogs, and emails on topics specifically geared toward the targeted prospects, are key to ABM. The effort for these limited accounts is all-encompassing. You provide a seamless marketing experience through as many channels and on as many devices as the C- C-Suite and company influencers use. No marketing channels are off-limits. It is a metric-driven formula where you test all the channels for each buyer persona and focus on those that deliver results. These channels include all the traditional channels that are in a comprehensive inbound marketing plan, as discussed earlier. Your content offering must be diverse. Video, email, podcasts, webinars, blogs, and virtual and in-person events deliver quality content on channels your stakeholders find valuable.
Custom Websites - One effort we found highly effective was to create a personalized website for the specific companies we were targeting. We used a subdomain for each individually targeted client that incorporated their company into the content as appropriate. It allowed us to get granular with their unique pain points and where they sat in their industry.
Personalized Landing Pages - What makes ABM so different is the degree of personalization. We are not talking about just inserting the name of the individual in an email. Think more in terms of landing pages or microsites that are geared toward an individual account with a personalized URL (PURL). A PURL is five times more effective when it comes to open rates simply because, if your name was directing you to a microsite (www.yourname.com), you would likely find it harder to resist.
Events or Conferences - If one of the targeted individuals is attending or speaking at a conference, plan on attending yourself. Anyone who is presenting at a conference is usually more open to engaging in conversations with strangers. Just make sure your initial overtures are directed at their attendance or talk.
Personalized Videos - Despite the fact it has become more common, most people cannot resist listening to a video directed to, and about, them. You can share this video by email or direct messages.
Personalized Gifts - We do not recommend that you EVER gift anything extravagant, but a highly personalized gift after a discovery meeting can be a nice gesture to impress the recipient. The best kind of gifts are the ones that demonstrate effort, so donʼt just send a coffee eGift card. Consider sending something more personal, like having cupcakes delivered that are decorated with both your brand logos.
Before you send ANY gift, be sure to check up on the gifting policy for your recipient(s). Some industries have gifting customs or regulations, and many companies have guidelines for the value and timing of gifts.
Direct Mail - Sometimes old is new again. Not all marketing needs to be digital marketing. Sometimes you will be more effective using traditional methods, such as mail or delivery services. At the top of the funnel, the key is getting the attention of your targeted persona. Sometimes, getting something delivered to you can be the catalyst of a discussion. Send over some high-value content by courier service. Make sure that the recipients themselves must sign for the package. When they open the package, there has to be an immediate “wow” factor, just like the case study we discussed in our ABM Blog.
Unforgettable Content - First impressions matter. Make sure your first entry point is done in an unforgettable manner with content that will resonate with that individual. Be creative. If you are holding a webinar with a guest speaker you know will resonate with them, send them an autographed book from the presenter with a Personalized URL before the event. It will virtually ensure that they show and will create a solid first impression.
Guerilla Marketing - Through extensive social media research, we learned that the CEO of a targeted ABM effort had two undeniable traits. He loved practical jokes and he had an enormous ego. So, we decided the best way to grab his attention was to find a way to combine a marketing effort, he could not ignore. We found out who the vendor was for the executive cafeteria and who supplied the snacks to their vending machine. We paid the supplier to allow us to put a sleeve on top of each product that was prepackaged. The sleeve had a picture of the CEO with his name and a call to action. Deliver this to the CEO's name. He started to get lots of candy bars and soft drinks delivered to his office. When he took off the sleeve to investigate it was simply a PURL to a personal landing page saying, "CEO's name, Let's meet so we can show you how you can increase your revenues by 35% over the next six months." It had an appointment scheduler immediately below those words. Curiosity got the best, he scheduled the appointment, and the client wowed him at the presentation.
ABM Metrics to Track
Prevail Marketing is a metric-driven growth agency. When we are asked what metrics to track, our answer is always, ALL of them. We track 400 KPIs each month for every client. However, when we are engaging in an ABM program, there are additional metrics that should be tracked. Some of these metrics are ones we also track as part of our program, but these need to be specifically focused on the ABM initiatives.
Account Engagement Score - ABM requires a high level of engagement from a targeted company over a relatively short period of time. To see whether you are getting traction, you need to track each individual where and when they interact with your company, content, or marketing initiatives. This includes all interactions from website visits, social interactions, emails, events, etc. Track each type of interaction by category and use that to compare. By comparing all the companies in your ABM pipeline, you will begin to see where your efforts are paying off.
Account Penetration Score - This score will measure how successful you have been in penetrating the ranks of your targeted accounts. Not all individuals at any given account are of equal value, so have two measurements. The first is the overall percentage of people who have engaged with your marketing efforts. The second is just the percentage of decision-makers who have engaged.
Pipeline Velocity Score - These measure how effectively the targeted accounts are moving down the sales pipeline. There should be two metric measurements for this category. The first is the time it takes to move from one stage to the next. The second is the overall percentage of individuals in an account that has moved to a given stage.
What ABM Platform to Use
There is an ABM platform for every taste and budget. It would be impossible for me to tell you which is the best ABM platform for your use case. It would also be difficult to list and provide the value proposition of each ABM platform. The last time we looked, there were over 25 companies holding themselves out as the “best” ABM platform alternative
We have used different platforms based on the client's budget and needs. Some of the platforms we have found and used successfully are HubSpotʼs ABM Software, Terminus, Salesforce ABM, and Demandbase.
Account-based marketing is a powerful strategy that allows businesses to focus their marketing efforts on high-value accounts. By tailoring marketing messages and engaging directly with key decision-makers, ABM can drive higher conversion rates, increase ROI, and foster stronger relationships with target accounts.
Implementing effective ABM strategies, such as identifying and prioritizing target accounts, developing personalized content, and utilizing multi-channel marketing, can help businesses achieve success in their account-based marketing efforts. Regular measurement and optimization are essential to ensure continuous improvement and maximize the impact of ABM campaigns.
By adopting a strategic and personalized approach, businesses can unlock the potential of account-based marketing and drive sustainable growth.