As you may already know, there is a constant reveal of new marketing and sales jargon that we, as savvy marketers, need to stay updated on. If you aren’t already, let’s get you familiar with the acronym: ABM, or Account Based Marketing.
Whether you are new to marketing or are a seasoned verteran, you’ll notice that in today’s world, more stakeholders are involved when it comes to the purchasing power of a business than ever before. And in the fast-paced B2B world, that can make our jobs a bit more difficult. This is where account-based marketing comes in. However, the definition of ABM marketing can be just as difficult to understand as sorting through the key players in a business’s decision-making process.
According to Marketo, “Account-based marketing is a focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers. To reach their goals, marketing teams must employ strategies that meld the expertise of sales and marketing to locate, engage with, and close deals with high-value accounts that matter the most.”
However, when you kickstart your ABM marketing strategy with our three simple steps, we promise the process will seem less daunting and the results will be well worth it.
Step 1: Analyze Your Ideal Customer and Create Buyer Personas
Account-based marketing is a great practice you can use to find more customers who are similar to your ideal target audience. If you’ve already developed your buyer personas, you’ve done most of the work with this step already. If not, you can learn how to develop and the importance of buyer personas here.
When analyzing your customer base, you’ll want to focus on your best and most ideal customers. Creating a strategy around this target audience will allow you to find more optimal prospects—those who will be more likely to turn from prospects, to leads, to fully converted customers.
Take a look at their revenue base, their industry, their pain points, and how your services solve their largest challenges, match their buying habits, and align with other characteristics. The more trends you find, the more you’ll be able to create an efficient and effective account-based marketing strategy.
Step 2: Identify Potential Customers that Mimic Your Ideal Customers
Once you’ve armed yourself with your ideal customers’ characteristics and data, you will want to begin identifying other companies or contacts that closely resemble the customers who have the best retention rates and spend the most money with your business. The prospective company would be identified as the “target accounts” and the targeted employees within that company would be called the “target contacts.”
In some cases, you may find that your target accounts list is overwhelmingly large, and in turn, the target contacts list is as well. This certainly makes it difficult to run a high-performing ABM advertising campaign. When this occurs, an extra layer of research is required. You don’t just want to target anyone, but the right one. This means honing in on decision-makers and influencers—those who have the power to take action once being targeted by your ABM content.
Once you have decreased your list, it’s time to narrow it down further. As marketers, our goal is to get the best results with the smallest amount of spend. Because of this, it will be most effective to go through your current list and rank or prioritize the targets. You’ll want to begin your ABM marketing strategy with the target accounts and contacts at the top of the list, test the strategy, and then build and refine it based on the data you find. Then, you’ll be able to better market to the less prioritized contacts in your list.
Step 3: Engage Your Team and Your Targeted Accounts
Now, you’ve done the leg work; you’ve refined your list—twice. It’s time to get the entire team on board to close a larger amount of deals.
You’ll want to make sure your team has aligned its goals for the ABM marketing strategy with each tactic implemented, whether that be email campaigns, direct mail campaigns, ad retargeting, phone call campaigns, etc.
In most organizations, many marketing and sales teams don’t interact or communicate with each other as much as they should, causing wasted effort and dollars for the entire organization. Account-based marketing requires marketers and sales executives to work closely together, ensuring the proper campaigns are implemented throughout the ABM strategy. Combining efforts allows you to take a more personalized approach with the target accounts and is proven to result in higher lead conversion rates.
Getting the Results You Want
There are a variety of different ways to build your account based marketing strategy and the campaigns you use should all be determined by previous data and testing. But the key is that by doing steps one through three: analyzing your ideal customer and creating buyer personas, identifying potential customers that mimic your ideal customer, and engaging your team and your targeted accounts, your account-based marketing strategy will produce results that other strategies may not be capable of without wasting effort and money.
To learn more about how your company can utilize account-based marketing, schedule your free strategy call with us today.