Key Focus Areas for Effective ABM
January 14, 2019
Personalization has become one of the hottest techniques in marketing today, and this doesn’t just apply to the B2C community, either. B2B marketers have adopted an even more focused approach for their target audiences with the rise of account-based marketing (ABM).
Many marketers have already seen the wonders of this marketing model and recognize that ABM techniques have helped them achieve higher ROIs versus other broader marketing approaches. The added flavor of customized marketing is also preferable to B2B technology buyers, as they want to feel like they’re being paid attention to vs. receiving the same email sent to a hundred other potential customers.
There’s also the inevitable alignment of your sales and marketing teams as you execute ABM campaigns, which many companies struggle with. Indeed, the benefits make account-based marketing worth implementing.
Businesses already execute ABM approaches in their marketing, but some don’t realize it yet. If you want to strengthen your B2B marketing strategies, then here are the main areas you should look into for an effective ABM strategy that drives highly-profitable conversions.
5 Key Focus Areas for Successful ABM
1. Target Account Definition
This is the backbone and arguably the most critical part of your ABM journey. Who are you marketing to? You want to look at several important factors that will help you narrow down and focus on the specific accounts you want to reach.
This step requires the coordination of both your sales and marketing teams. They should be able to align their definitions of what or who your target accounts are. Predictive lead scoring can help your organization find out which accounts have the highest possibility of closing.
To be able to identify your target account, you should look into firmographic and demographic information. These encompass data that will help you classify which companies relevant to your business. They often include:
- Company size
- Number of employees
- Products sold
- Customers served
- Stage in the sales cycle
2. Target Audience Research
It’s now time to dig a little deeper. Building your customer relationship management (CRM) database is the next step to making sure you understand your target accounts correctly. Using your final list of target accounts, you can start identifying the key people you want to connect with at a specific company. This may change from time to time, so make sure that you continually update your database.
The bottom line is, you should know how your target accounts are structured.
- Who makes the decisions in the company?
- Who influences those decisions?
- Who is the gatekeeper for these decision-makers?
Answers to these key questions will indicate who your main contacts should be.
3. Engagement Strategies
You’ve now narrowed down the list of accounts and key people you want to connect with. Your extensive research would have led you to the optimal channels where they can be reached, such as:
- Industry events
- Social media
- Online publications
…and more. After which, it’s time to plan a course of action.
Attracting these accounts uses a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing methods. An omnichannel approach will increase the chances of your content and offers getting seen by the right people. Use different portals to distribute your content, create visually appealing graphics or guides that can pique their interest, send them a very convincing email, and so on.
Remember, your marketing team isn’t alone on this—sales teams are here to follow up, close deals, and analyze how each interaction performed. Work together to find out the best strategies that work for your company.
4. Targeted Content
Fact: value tailored content. Targeted content supports the customized nature of ABM. Using content marketing principles, you should focus on creating scalable and relevant material. Perhaps you can choose to focus on eBooks or whitepapers that revolve around a pertinent issue in your target account’s industry.
However, you shouldn’t stop there. Go the extra mile with personalization. The more personalized a piece of content is, the higher the chances it will be noticed. Brenda Stoltz of Forbes suggests creating “dynamic, personalized microsites that deliver content that’s of interest to your audience.”
5. ABM Campaign Measurement
Any marketing campaign should be thoroughly tested, measured, and optimized so you can monitor and adjust your efforts. Focus on the metrics that matter to your business, and don’t just rely on one: document the results of individual campaigns, account level campaigns, and overall performance of your target accounts.
Keep in mind that measurements in the first year of your campaign will serve as your benchmarks, but not all of them will mature at the same time. For instance, you’ll be able to see conversions and engagement rates rising, but revenue might take longer to identify. For this reason, it’s important to check during various milestones of your campaign, such as the launch, first month, quarterly, annually, and until it ends.
If executed properly, your ABM tactics will help your company rise the ranks by gaining new clients and earning more revenue to continue expanding. With this marketing model, you’ll be able to show prospects how much value your service will be to them, increasing your conversions in the process.