Are you planning to migrate marketing resources to account-based marketing? ABM gives these large clients just what they want – personalized services and deeper engagement. Account-based marketing strategies are more effective for a business when it is targeting larger customers with specific customized services and more personalized communications. That’s why the key to achieve success in account-based marketing must begin with identifying high-value customers who can drive return on your investments of marketing resources to engage those target accounts.
If you are to begin the account-based marketing for your business and searching for a roadmap to success, following six actionable steps will enable you to drive for success in ABM.
Step 1: Identify high-value accounts
Marketers should use firmographic data (details on the target account organizations including their annual revenue, growth, employees, hierarchy, leadership team and specific important employees and their job function). At the same marketers should also pay attention to other details to find accounts that are influential to markets such as business intelligence data (or BI) to extract and analyze raw data on potential businesses and influence of those accounts in the market, chances of conversion and higher profit margins.
Step 2: Spot key internal players
After you have delved into the organizational data and identified the right kinds of target accounts, you need to identify the specific employees who will be the key decision makers in deals that you are about to make. That’s why it is important to understand the hierarchy and job functions in detail for each client, to understand specifically how their influence will play out in the negotiation and the deal. For this, marketers can seek such data from the sales development team; they can set a related market survey in motion, or simply purchase or source from a third-party market research data.
Step 3: Create personalized content & messages
Since the central idea of account-based marketing is to deliver more custom solutions and engage targeted accounts with personalized communications – this step is quite significant. Many marketers try to entice their targeted accounts by putting clients’ business name on their web banner ads but this tactic has not been proven enough effective in ensuring purchase. Instead, marketers should aim at deepening engagement from their accounts with valuable and usable content related to the clients’ problem areas and their major business challenges. Plan your content and communications in ways that target your clients’ main concern and will explain how your products/content/solutions can help them addressing those pain points.
Step 4: Define best channels to connect
To properly segment your content in ways that enable you to engage effectively with your clients, marketers need to decide on the best channels to connect to their target audience. Whether it is email blast, drip email marketing campaigns, direct marketing, web ads, mobile marketing, social channels or print media – figure out the optimal media and channel before you start circulating the content and messages. You need to remember that not all channels are equally effective for all client accounts and for certain people involved in those accounts. There should be a coordinated effort between marketing and sales survey teams in looking for the channels where accounts and key influencers can be found. You should also consider the type of industry they are in, the region where they are operating, opt-in rules to build your list for that channel and other essential considerations to adopt the right channel strategy for account-based marketing campaign.
Step 5: Well-synced, targeted campaign
Once your content and messages are ready with a great channel strategy in place and geared up to begin your account-based marketing campaign, you still need to evaluate the efficacy of the campaign so that key decision makers, leadership teams and other people playing important role in the purchase can engage with it. Marketo users can use ABM tools embedded in the marketing automation platform and leverage tools such as real-time personalization to optimize for key influencers, personalized ad banners for web and social channels, the Ad Bridge tool that ultimately bridges the gap between key players and marketer and assures that the campaigns are targeted and coordinated between marketing and sales team. Marketo als offers an excellent tool set that will enable you to follow up and monitor your campaigns using the different kinds of metrics needed by the marketing and sales teams.
Step 6: Monitor, measure & optimize
The importance of monitoring, measuring, following up with more optimized messages and solutions bring us to the last step of account-based marketing success recipe. Like other marketing strategies, account-based marketing also needs painstaking and accurate monitoring and analysis to test and ensure the performance of your campaigns. With ABM, marketers might be running multiple campaigns, and they need to use diverse metrics for different types of campaigns they are running to see if the campaigns are yielding enough reach and web visits, engagements, responses over campaigns, appointments, scope for sale conversion and revenue from potential accounts. Make sure your sales and marketing teams coordinate to discuss the metrics they are using and their key findings from the analytics they use for evaluating the success of ABM campaigns.
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