One way to meet those revenue goals is implementing an account based marketing strategy. By partnering marketing technology with an approach that treats highly targeted accounts as their own market, ABM offers a fresh and often profitable set of techniques for demand generation.
It’s possible you’ve already been doing ABM without calling it account based marketing. Ask yourself if any of these practices sound familiar:
- Identifying the traits of “ideal” accounts or prospects
- Studying their key business challenges, mapping them to individuals, and tailoring pitches, conversations and campaigns to address those issues
- Using personalized approaches to reduce churn and expand your footprint within an existing account
Maybe you said “yes;” maybe you said “no, not yet.” Either way, ABM is a direction you’ll likely move in order to help you grow enduring relationships and gain share of wallet.
Here’s seven ways you can turn ABM tactics into a collective and considerable revenue driver:
Identify your most profitable accounts. Study your data for patterns exhibited by your ideal prospects —the ones who turn out to buy the most and are the most loyal to your brand. Also, take a look at those accounts to understand which ones are the most profitable to serve effectively. You’ll definitely want more of those. There may be some minor discrepancies, but you should be able to build a profile that maps out their key attributes, such as challenges, digital behavior, firmographic data and other traits Most ABM programs are a combination of existing accounts with more share of wallet opportunity and net new. Start with a small number of 25 or fewer high potential targets.
Target ideal accounts with customized messaging. Now that your team is skilled in spotting your top accounts, focus on them and analyze the experiences they’ve already had with your brand. Include both existing accounts and the ones that got away. Look at clickthroughs, impressions and content consumption, and trace their path through the funnel when possible. Then draft a content strategy for each step of your ideal customer’s journey through the funnel.
Deepen your existing account relationships. ABM can help you prevent churn and develop an expanded presence with current buyers. The first step is to dig deeper into the account and find out who else you should be talking to. What other departments or geographies might have new revenue opportunities? How are decisions and budgeting done throughout the year at this company? Which leaders are influential in the buying decision? Next step: utilize your web management platform to develop a personalized account experience on your website. Landing pages with customized copy, visuals, recommendations and forms are a great starting point.
Mobilize Sales to cross-sell and upsell. One-size-fits-all offers have no place in ABM. Using the same personalization research, your sales team can craft intelligent and relevant cross-sell and upsell offers. The idea is to design deals specific to each ABM customer and prospect that offer real value for their customer journey, challenges and personas. Timing plays an important role here as does sales and marketing alignment. Make sure you align tightly with the sales team so they can be prompt, responsive and informed when it matters most. That alignment should include a feedback loop to help you understand your accounts even better.
Use ABM to beat sales goals for specific products. To intensify product adoption, build a list of companies and executives who’ve been vetted as ideal ABM targets. Collecting leads from webinars and white paper downloads can be useful for top of funnel efforts, but boosting specific product sales means targeting the right prospects and designing a tailored engagement map that connects their favorite channels (such as social media, blogs, PPC, email, direct mail) with personalized tactics that speak to their challenges and needs. A smaller number of clever outreach strategies will drive more adoption than a scattershot campaign.
Fuel regional growth with ABM. If you’re expanding into a new geographic area, or trying to revive a struggling one, ABM can be the best approach for you to meet those KPIs. One key weapon here: using social intelligence to understand what motivates your regional prospects. For example, social data might reveal that buyers in the new area are engaged with an upcoming local conference, giving you an opportunity to have a presence at that event. Or you might find out that the leaders in this region have a different business culture that requires you to adapt your approach. Instead of repeating practices that worked elsewhere, you’ll create content and touchpoints that mesh with their expectations.
Seize the competitive advantage. Diligent ABM can help you determine which competitors are already servicing an account and how you can displace them. Retargeting is one way to market to targets who consume online content from other players in your market. Social analytics can also help you spot which ideal accounts are focusing on competitors and target them for advertisements.
Marketers have always known that relevance is the key to creating successful accounts. ABM can maximize your business opportunities by reducing your cost per lead and expanding your footprint where it’s most likely to bear fruit. With smarter targeting and rich personalization, your team can make every account a profitable one—and take your KPI results to a higher level.