Whilst traditional B2B marketing efforts largely focus on reaching the many by leveraging different channels, Account Based Marketing (or ABM) is a more refined strategy, where sales and marketing, content and measurement, all work together in a highly targeted strategic campaign to convert a group of selected contacts into a business relationship.
ABM is brilliant in helping you focus your efforts on running campaigns that are directed and personalised to a select group of identified targets.
If this is the right route for you, the first steps are to establish exactly what you want to do, who you want to talk to, and with what message(s). The following questions may prove useful in your setup:
What does your prospect account look like?
Defining your target accounts is key to your campaign purpose and direction. The approach to take is often at an organisation level rather than on a persona level, building up a profile of what the current challenges are and how your product or service can elevate it. A process of account mapping can be anything from industry level, sector specific or potential for upsell opportunities, with the accounts looking to generate the highest long-term profits the type of business you want to go after.
Who do you want to reach out to?
This stage is all about diving deeper into the organisations you have identified, and to hone in on the challenges it faces specifically, what the decisions are that need to be made and who will make them. This stage can require an investment in time but the saying ‘knowledge is power’ really rings true for ABM marketing as it can often help best guide your efforts on how to influence key decision makers in the business.
What will you use to target them?
Unlike traditional B2B marketing, your ABM strategy should be personalised as well as highly targeted. By this point you will have identified pain points of your target accounts. Now, you must use engaging content that highlights these issues (and your resolutions) quickly and easily – your content needs to speak specifically to the recipient.
The key thing here is to consider how you would execute this across a series of assets rather than just the one. It is highly likely your target account will need to interact with multiple touchpoints before they engage in a conversation with you, and a conversion can take anything up to a year or more to take place. Knowing where and how your target interacts is also imperative to success and will determine whether your activity takes place over social media, digital, offline or a mixture of the three.
How will you know if it’s working?
As the campaign is so highly targeted it’s important to give it time to perform before you react. Running it for a period of 30-60 days will be adequate and prevents you bombarding your prospect with too much too soon. Measuring your campaigns over time will allow you to continually optimise and evolve your marketing efforts. How you define success will be based on your ABM goal, but what is important here is not to rely on one metric alone. Example metrics may include visits to your website, click through rates on campaign content, open rates on campaign mailers, conversations had with targets, enquiries coming through and ultimately the health of your pipeline.
One of the best things about ABM is the ability to mould your approach over time depending on how your campaigns are performing. With the right strategic and tactical approach in place, ABM can yield results quickly.
Author: Vicki Maggs, Account Director