By Tom Taylor, Account Advocate at Studio/D
Account based marketing (ABM) efforts enable proactive B2B marketers to secure more attractive business by being more visible and relevant to select key prospects. So, what is ABM and how can marketers use it to win profitable business?
Let’s start with a simple question: Do you feel your sales efforts would improve if you could focus your time and effort only on prospects that you’ve identified as being of “high value?”
Account based marketing is an evolving, proactive go-to-market strategy that emphasizes targeted, personalized delivery of content – not only to select companies, but to select prospects within those companies. It’s significantly more focused than the scattershot approach of a typical lead-gen and sales follow-up, and relies on proactive marketers and salespeople pre-selecting companies and individuals that they would like to serve prior to developing content to distribute. Successful ABM efforts rely on sales and marketing teams that are aligned and in sync.
In this manner, companies of interest (perhaps mirroring current preferred clients) are targeted, and key decision makers within the company are identified. Some ABM practitioners employ a one-on-one strategy, others use a one-on-many strategy, identifying several influencers with target companies. Relevant content is then developed for an array of targeted communications. At Studio/D, we often recommend a hybrid approach of using an inbound “funnel” process to help identify key companies or individuals (who often self-identify based on their actions taken), then roll select prospects into an ABM approach.
ABM efforts go hand-in-hand with CRM and marketing automation tactics. With the rise of outbound emails, targeted online advertising, SEO, and social media, marketers can discover relevant content opportunities to utilize.
In summary, there are typically five steps involved in a successful ABM program:
- Contact Identification & Expansion. In contrast to traditional lead identification and generation, account based marketing dives into targeted organizations to identify potential influencers and decision-makers. This is the secret of how ABM works so quickly – it’s paced to the marketer’s cadence, rather than waiting for prospects to find and self-identify themselves to you.
- Understand prospect needs. ABM relies on insight gleaned from any number of sources regarding your selected prospects. Explore how they’ve interacted with your outbound efforts, if they’ve visited your website, and their traffic patterns through your site. Identify topics of interest to them – articles they’ve posted or viewed.
- Engage with Personalized Content. Find areas of mutual interest to establish rapport and build engagement based on their needs. Where possible, repurpose content you already have, with personalized touches.
- Deliver the Content. Use multiple channels for the delivery of your content. One size doesn’t fit all, so use several channels.
- Measure What Matters. Build a KPI dashboard. Adjust and improve your approach as needed.
Successful account-based marketing depends on sales and marketing teams being aligned and knowing how to use the tools at your disposal. Studio/D can help align sales and marketing teams and create a multi-phase ABM program to drive your revenue growth.
Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with companies in their supporting ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at StudioD.agency, or reach us at 314-200-2630.