For years traditional marketing relied on tactical campaigns to attract, nurture and convert customers. Traditional marketing usually fails when it comes to acquiring specific high-value customers. Marketers soon realized that a broad-reaching approach for sales and marketing wouldn’t serve the purpose. Account-Based Marketing came in as savior as traditional marketing lost value.
Account-based marketing made it possible to target a defined set of accounts using specific attributes and needs. Account-based marketing works because customers prefer personalized offers. According to research conducted by Aberdeen, 75% of customers prefer personalized offers.
Account-Based Marketing Best Practices
Account-based marketing, however, needs careful planning to deliver on its promise. ABM begins with alignment of sales and marketing but needs to follow industry best practices to achieve the highest return on investment.
Looking Beyond Firmographics
Most brands create the customer persona using surface-level data. The account profile includes job title, age, gender, location and other surface-level data.
Using firmographics alone doesn’t provide you an accurate picture of the prospect. Two people from the same location might have a completely different outlook on life and how they decide to buy. To create an ideal profile, you should look beyond what they do to who they are.
To understand who they are you need to know what their hobbies are, books they read, the movies they watch and more. This information when combined with firmographic data will paint a more vivid profile of the prospect.
Predictive-scoring sounds familiar to lead scoring. Lead scoring ranks a prospect based on firmographic and behavioral data. Predictive-scoring model looks at both historical and current attribution data.Predictive-scoring uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to arrive at the score using existing data set.
For brands starting out with account-based marketing using predictive scoring model might not prove to be effective.
ABM is about personalization
ABM requires you to personalize your messaging and communication to specific accounts to make sure your campaign resonates with the audience. Your target customers are more likely to engage with content that is crafted for them and is relevant to their business.
“If something reads like it could have been sent out to 100 other [people], then chances are that’s exactly what has happened.”
-Adam New-Waterson, RevJet
Finding the balance between personalization & automation is essential. The team at Engagio follows a personalization spectrum model to balance mix of content. The trick is knowing when to use simple personalization techniques like changing title, subtitle, imagery, and tweaking content (introduction and conclusion) and using a completely personalized “Just for you” asset to reach the customer.
Getting Sales & Marketing Aligned
It sounds simple at the onset but getting the sales & marketing teams aligned is the most crucial piece of ABM. Marketing & sales team function in entirely different areas of the pipeline, but work towards accomplishing the common goal of driving revenue.
Account-based marketing allows deeper integration between sales & marketing teams. ABM brings in account visibility & orchestration. Orchestration focuses on engaging with accounts during both pre and post-acquisition stages.
Getting the Account-Based Marketing Technology Stack Right
To execute ABM programs at scale, you will need to design your marketing technology stack. As organizations adopt account-based marketing, they will need to identify vendors to full-fill the core elements of their strategy.
Predictive analytics helps you to mine your data set to identify trends and patterns. Predictive analytics helps your to identify right buyers, discover new target audience, improve engagement and evaluate new market opportunities.
Predictive analytics vendors include Bombara, Infer, Lattice Engines, Mintigo, 6Sense, and Radius.
Contact Data & INtelligence
ABM starts with identifying Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) and making sure they are updated, relevant and includes the latest intelligence. Contact Data vendors include RainKing (DiscoverOrg), SalesLoft, InsideView, DataNyze, and Leadgenius.
With targeted advertising, you can target accounts across the internet with your content. For B2B companies LinkedIn continues to be the ultimate source to reach the target audience. LinkedIn strengthened its position further with the acquisition of Bizo. Other vendors include DemandBase and Terminus.
With website personalization, you can showcase personalized content as your target audience visits your website. Vendors like DemandBase and Marketo provide website personalization as an offering.
Account Tracking & Management
You need to use a robust CRM solution to leverage the ABM approach. But even the best CRM solution falls short when it comes to managing accounts and opportunities in multiple databases.
New solutions like Lean Data and Engagio are trying to change that by breaking down the silos. These new tools help you to measure, track and manage the effectiveness of accounts. For instance, with Lean Data you can directly convert a lead into an account and attach it to a target account. New metrics and offerings will enter the market replacing existing ones as ABM approach evolves in the future.
We hope that the list of best practices mentioned in this article will assist you to refine your Account-Based Marketing approach. The only piece of advice we have for marketers is to build your own set of best practices as you move forward in your ABM journey.